Sunday, January 12, 2014

Discovering 2014: Incense Cones

Discovering 2014 is a personal goal to complete a daily project throughout the year!

My day 12 project was Incense Cones. We definitely love to use incense in our home, so once I saw this pin by Live in Art I thought that if we could make our own, that would be fantastic.

The tutorial on Live in Art was very user friendly to read, but following it required letting the mixture sit overnight, and that means I was a day late to the party (lesson learned: read up the day before!). I continued searching and found an alternate tutorial from Scents of Earth. Their tutorial is quite verbose and at places can be hard to follow, but when I finally found the three paragraphs applicable to my powder ingredients, I saw that starting from powder-only state meant that it shouldn't have to sit overnight before you could form it into cones. If there had been ingredients to grind to powder, that would have been a different story.
tl;dr: powder only ingredients means no overnight curing; grinded ingredients means let sit overnight.
With that settled, my husband and I began our work on making some incense cones! (UPDATE: Here's how they turned out after curing!)

Our ingredients included sandalwood powder and makko powder. The makko powder is the base, and the amount you use varies on your other ingredients. I had ordered a couple more scents (Patchouli and something called "Nag Champa") but they haven't arrived yet. I'm sure they'll get some use in the near future once we get our powder-to-base ratio worked out!

Because we didn't have a resin, the tutorial states that makko should be roughly 10-25% of the sandalwood. We used 4 teaspoons of sandalwood and 1 teaspoon of makko in our mixture.

After briefly dry mixing those together in a small bowl (next time I think we'll use a bigger bowl!), we then used a dropper to add in filtered water slowly.

We continued to very slowly add water until the mixture was felt pliable. During this process we hand mixed to feel the difference because the visual difference was very minimal.

At this point we formed cones and placed them onto wax paper to dry. If your cone is falling apart, put the mixture back in the bowl and mix in some more water. This is largely a trial and error process.

In the end, we got nine cones out of the amount that we used. With more consistent sizing we could have gotten 10, and had we wanted smaller cones, probably 12 or 13. There's still plenty left to mix up, so we still feel we got a very reasonable yield.

Here's the downside -- curing time is supposed to be two weeks. Once they're fully cured I'll give an update on how they turned out!

Tune in tomorrow for the Clay Medallion Pendant project, which will put the Clay Texture Tools from last week to the test!

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