Monday, August 14, 2017

How to make artists' drawing charcoal

I was bored one wet, cold, miserable winter's day, do I decided to have a go at making my own drawing charcoal.

We are lucky enough to have a wide range of trees on our property, including a variety of fruit trees, so I was spoilt for choice of what wood to use.

Willow is often recommended as suitable for making drawing charcoal, but we don't have any willow.

Grape vine is a popular choice and I have also heard of apple being used successfully. We have both of those available.

I snipped a couple bits of semi-hard wood from an apple tree and grape vine then prepared it for roasting into charcoal.

I videoed the whole process, so you can follow along on Youtube.

For those who like a bit of science, I included a brief, simple, infographic explanation of pyrolysis; the process that sees wood turn into charcoal instead of ash.

I did a quick test with the charcoal and thought it performed pretty well, although some bits were a little scratchy. I hope to do a few more experiments using different woods and longer roasting times and see if I can get better results.

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