Saturday, June 30, 2012
When the sap has melted down to about level, you may add an equal amount of coconut oil. When this begins to blend, stir it carefully, trying not to stir up the bits of bark and twig at the bottom. Warm some more. As it becomes more liquidy on top, it will be time to add in a bit of beeswax. Do this at roughly an 1 to 8 ratio, that is 8 parts resin mix to 1 part beeswax. This particular jar was a 12 ouncer. I put in about a tablespoon of beeswax, maybe a bit more. This may be done in two steps, where you would do a pour of the liquid to another jar first and then add beeswax, but I did it all in one jar to be able to get as much sap as possible. I believe that the bark and other bits add a certain something to the healing components of the monoterpenes.
This batch took all day to be ready to pour. This is the fun part! You will want to stir just before so to have a nice consistency and then be careful to leave the solids at the bottom, which can be tricky. Take it slowly but surely. If the sap begins to harden too much, just pop it back into the oven for a bit; this will loosen up the resin again and you will be able to squeeze even a few more drops out. If you prefer to add other ingredients or to add an essential oil, this would be the time.
I have always loved Pine Trees especially the scent at Christmas Time when Evergreen Trees are brought into the home. There is a certain something, a mysterious wonder the scent conjures up. Several years ago, I went to visit an old friend on Cape Cod. She lives on the edge of a Pine Woods and we walked our dogs amongst the lovely Pine Trees there. She mentioned that her mother had made Pine Needle Baskets and she even had inherited a beautiful basket her mother had made called a Mattapoisett Basket and showed it to me. I was mesmorized by it. The basket was as hard as wood but light as a feather. The baskets are similar to Nantucket Baskets but made in Mattapoisett. Whether these were handed down from the Native American Tradition or something else, they are incredible beautiful using tennerife lace, ivory, leather, and Pine Needles. This is where the intrigue of the Pine Needle Basket started for me and I eventually learned techniques to make my own baskets. My friends mother made the Mattapoisett Basket in the 1970's while taking some classes from a master, Gladys Ellis. These baskets are a wonderful combination of Ivory, Pine Needles, Tennerife lace techniques highlighted with scrimshaw and pulled together like a Nantucket Basket. http://www.basketmakers.info/2011/01/in-memorium-gladys-ellis.html