She collected the future fire starters with a rigor and excitement that could not be found in any person I have known. Mia-Aurora, named for the natural phenomenon that brings spirit to our soul as we watch it dance, she reflects the wonder and awe for nature as we walk together hand in hand through the brush.

Mia picking up cones

Mia picking up cones

She moved with as much ease through the low brush as a two year old could manage and exclaimed “I love pine cones!” as she plucked them from their resting place. She ventures by my side whenever I go forging, and always with an excitement that can be admired.

Our eyes downcast as they hunt for the spruce cones that peak for under last fall’s leaf confetti laid in dense mantles atop the earth.

We collected as much as we could carry back to the house for our fire starters. Falling from our grasp,  inbetween  fingers, from our pockets and the overloaded basket.

A sauce pan filled with water was set on the stove to heat. A tin can with old wax was put in the water filled pan, to melt down the old wax. I wrapped the wicks around the cones, making sure that the wicks stayed tightly between the seeds.

Ready to dip

Ready to dip



With the wax melted, I took the can out of the pan so that it would cool. The wax must cool until it is cold enough to cling to the cone.

Dipping the cone into the wax, I tested the wax until I was sure it was only warm. If the wax is to hot, then it will not cling to the cone, wait longer to ensure it does, but if I was to wait to long then I would have to reheat. Thus, I was content with constantly checking the temperature with the “test” cone.

When the wax was ready, I dipped the cones in twice to ensure a good coating and laid them on a piece of wax paper to dry.

Dry, they are ready to take flame and start your house fire.

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