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Sunday 24 April 2011

Prepping Artists conk for Amadou

We found a few artists conk (ganoderma) that we can use for amadou, and Buzzard have had a couple of emails asking if the method we use is a sure fire way to produce amadou that works everytime and the short answer is no. It works for us and we have had no problems producing quality amadou but that doesn't mean this is the definitive method. Experiment for yourselves but do please get in touch and let us know the results.

Fresh and straight off the tree

The tubes and outer layers cut off just to reveal the trama of which there was a considerable amount on these

Steeping in the Lye soloution we made not that long ago, note we don't boil the fungus we find steeping it in a quality solution for 24 hours to be just as effective, but there's more than one way to skin a cat!

Pound it flat, dry it out and it's ready to go!

 Note this amadou can take a little longer to take a spark than that prepped with salt peter,but that can vary with humidity, the quality of your steel and other conditions too. Play around with this method to see what works best for you. This stuff burns with a slow smoulder and none of the popping you get with potassium nitrate, happy fire making!!


  1. Good post. I must get back out there & do some more experimentation.

  2. I understand that wood ash has a high concentration of potassium, but where do the nitrates come from? I've beard of "strong urine" being used... any experience of this?

    I'm trying to find a completely natural tinder that will take the relatively cold spark from a traditional flint and steel.

    Any advice or information would be appreciated.


    2 May 2011 15:00

  3. The true tinder fungus (Inonotus obliquus) is the only fungus I'm aware off that will take a spark readily without any treatment, other bracket fungi will take a spark easily enough (Horses hoof for example) with a little care. Artists fungus normally needs prepped with something to make it take a spark more easily, the normal substance being potassium nitrate (salt peter). Potassium nitrate can also be obtained from urine, as a matter of fact it used to be collected to help prepare gunpowder, normally after it had been poured through straw then the crystals allowed to form..