Firstly, I am pleased to say that my pieces I made yesterday survived the drying process and we went on to make the fire to 'cook' these in the open fire. Amazing experiencing watching the fire take hold and burn down. Towards the end of the firing while the pots where still hot we put a milk glaze on them. Yes that is pretty much as simple as it sounds, poring milk onto and into the pots. This is an ancient technique of making them less porous. Of course, in today health and safety standards they do not pass muster for liquid but can be used for dry foods, such as nuts.
The second exciting thing of the day was making fire. We did a one match challenge first where we had one match, one sheet of newspaper and a stash of dry wood we collected our selves. I have to say I failed on this challenge. I did not collect enough very fine twigs or I did not stack it correctly as while newspaper had some embers it but did not light the wood.
Two useful shapes to help light a fire.
The raft, using dry wood to create a raft for the fire to sit on. This takes it away from a damp surface and gives it a dry stable surface.
the figure A. Place the V of the A shape with the open end facing the wind. Place a piece of wood to make the line and use this to stack small twigs in the middle. At the bottom of the place the newspaper. The wind blows into the open A tacking the embers from the newspaper and lighting the twigs
Last but not least the newspaper itself should not just be rolled up into balls but twisted into loosely curled rope to create as much air as possible so it catches well.
From using matches we went to on to learn about more traditional means of lighting a fire using Flint and carbon rich striking tools.
For the ember we used a choice of carbon cloth, dried fungus (bracket fungus and king Alfred cake) this could also be or made into charcoal.
Make nest using nesting type of dried climbing plant or grass, and place Sycamore bark, fine seed head material, clematis tendrils and dry rotten wood into the nest. Place the charcoal ember and fold it all into itself. Allow to settle then use the length of the arm to sway your arm back and forth to create air flow. When smoking quite well hold up and blow into the nest and when it catches quickly place in your spot and add you collected fuel, going from small, medium to large until a good fire is established.
It has been a fantastic course and a great group of people. I highly recommend it to anyone. Detail can be found at : http://www.nativehands.co.uk/
To sign off here are images of the pots I made.