Friday, July 11, 2008

Forest Gypsy

The Russian Sage oil came out beautiful. Lightly clouded with resin and deeply warm and fragrant. In she went to the warm pot with sweet beeswax and large semi soft clumps of Red Pine Pitch. It all softened and blended perfuming my kitchen with the smell of honey, sage and forest. When it was all melted, I strained it through cheesecloth to remove bark bits.
It was thick and syrupy. I stirred it every so often, keeping the pitch melted and suspended in the oil and wax. It cooled over a few hours and became opaque and creamy. I poured it into little pots to finish cooling.
The salve remains a softer consistency, more soft than my usual salves, I think I overestimated how much hardness the pitch would contribute, because I eased by about half an ounce on the beeswax. It's more of a firm ointment than a balm or salve. I like it though. I have a feeling this one will get a whole lot of loving use.
And a special thank you to Darcey who enlightened me on melting pitch into salve or oil.


Yarrow said...

How wonderful! I am looking forward working with pine pitch. How and when is it harvested? I have a white pine in my yard, is it usable? Thanks and blessings.

The Plant Whisperer said...

Oh yeah - White Pine sap is great! Anything in the Pine family is good. I harvest it at any time, it usually oozes out from fallen branches or where sapsuckers have pecked holes. Store it on open trays out of dust. If you put it in a jar good luck getting it out!
Have fun!