#howslowcanyoubow Today I revisited my alternative challenge and fashioned a new spindle and tested the set first 😀once I knew the set was good I embarked on the speed challenge … well the how slow can I bow challenge. You don’t need to go hell for leather . Slow down.
With good pressure and a steady pace an ember was coaxed in just over 1 minute on the first attempt. slowing down allows more awareness and to spot any issues which may need addressing.
I feel that It also allows me to more enjoy coaxing the ember out of the wood and to be more connected with the whole experience.
Do you dare take on this speed challenge!
Blessings on the ancestral fire 🔥🙏
#frictionfire #bowdrill #bowdrillfirelighting #ancestralfire #firecraft #ancestralskills #sacredfire
#howslowcanyoubow it is a really interesting exercise! Try it! Slow everything down. Technique becomes important. Any imperfection will be exaggerated. Spindles will fly more. You may need to apply more pressure. At first my challenge was about how slow can I go and still get an ember. After 20mins or so I didn’t get an ember- even when I sped up. I realised the set wasn’t good but then I realised that this practice is not just about getting an ember. It’s almost like a meditation.
Slow everything down - bring all awareness to the Bowing- bring all awareness to the set.
In our modern world it’s all about how fast but how about how slow for a change 😀
When you slow down it’s easier to be more aware and to connect. How is your technique, how is your pressure - adjust as needed.
Also check in on your emotions and how you feel that an ember isn’t coming - do you want to speed up, do you think it’s stupid, are you frustrated!
The below clip demonstrates how effective the fire plough can be with the right materials. A friend gifted me some Malayan Cherry which has a lot lower combustion point than UK woods and so it is more suited to the fire plough. As can be seen in this clip an ember is formed ridiculously quickly (7 secs) which is the fastest I've done on any method! And this is why the fire plough is the main method in places like Polynesia where there is wood suited to this method.
I wanted to try fire plough (fire plow) blind folded - not to show off 😀 but to see how good my muscle memory is as the fire plough is alot about muscle memory in stopping/starting in same spot - as you are going so fast you can’t really do it by sight anyway so I just wanted to see 😀 I achieved 3 embers 😀 the issue with ember 1 was more to do with the blade being uncomfortable and couldn’t achieve the pressure needed so I trimmed the blade and it worked on attempt#3- and wow what an ember 😀 now it wasn’t possible for me to know when there was an ember - I could smell smoke but the plough produces loads of smoke so I just continued for a good amount of time (based on my experience and going a bit longer.) I then cleared and shaved the groove and went for ember#2 - vid 2- I didn’t press record properly so only the ember on film - again another strong ember and in one attempt. I then tried ember#3 - and again on first attempt - I slipped at the end and decided to stop but another strong ember It was an interesting experiment - and it just felt natural even blind folded and proved that when doing fire plough you don’t really use your eyes in changing direction - but they’re useful for seeing if you have an ember 😀 Set is poplar on poplar - very dry and seasoned. Another tip - ensure the blade is comfy to hold as it makes a big difference in applying pressure - spend time smoothing it off.
Tales from the fireside - stories are a part of being human and have been told around fires since the beginning! In this video I tell the story of How Rabbit Stole Fire - a story from the land now called America. There are many versions and this one is based on stories told by the Koasati, Hitchiti and Creek peoples. I have deep respect and honour for the land and peoples from where these stories originate. I support Survival International, who fight for tribal peoples' survival - working in partnership with tribal peoples to protect their lives and land. This video will go-live at 9am on 20th November 2021.
In this short fire plough / fire plow clip you can see how the wood fibres rub off the blade and base and char and accumulate into a pile. The fibres are heated up and charred as they are rubbed along the board. The build up of the heat in the pile of fibres causes the wood fibres to ignite and an ember form. This is using Hazel on Poplar.
Stop using synthetic bow drill cordage ! use Natural Cordage - myth busting! reduce plastic comsumption!
This video is a few years old but it is still current and valid especially in the current environmental crisis - we should be reducing our use of man made materials and synthetics and one of those is bow drill cordage. I have a pet hate against synthetic bow drill cordage. There is no need to use paracord or other synthetic cords with the bow drill and I have been talking about this for a few years!
This video demonstrates different natural cords and 3 different ways of using natural cords and shows that it isn't difficult!