Introduction: Making a Water Canister With Fire

We live in a time of big cities, electronics, and waste. In a world where we've lost our bond with nature and the respect that comes with it. But we've also the knowledge that we gained from living with nature that is still used by indigenous tribes. Knowledge we can implement in our daily life, such as medicine, making techniques and managing food waste. This is the reason why it's important to preserve this knowledge and pass it onto the next generations

I started researching about indigenous knowledge, focusing on making techniques. I found a technique used for the first canoes/boats ever found, dating back to 8000 BC. In this technique, hot coals were used to carve out tree trunks to make canoes. A beautiful technique were patience is the most important ingredient for success. A virtue that is lost in our modern society. Using this technique I made a water canister that we can use in our daily life, and also solves the problem of our plastic waste from water bottles. By making and using this canister in our daily life this knowledge will survive.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

To make the canister you need coals, a place to put your coals, tongs to pick up the hot coals, a sharp knife for carving the wood and a wood saw. Then you need a log of hardwood approximately 23 cm high and 12 cm wide. The wood shouldn't be too dry otherwise it will crack and the end result won't be that good. And you also need a strong stick to get the burnt wood out of the log.

Step 2: Let's Begin

Start by lighting the coals and letting them warm up until they are grey. You don't need a lot so just begin with 5 pieces of charcoal and then in the process just keep adding more when you run out.

Next put 1 coal in the center of the log and begin to blow air onto it. The more oxygen you add the faster the wood will burn. You can also use a bicycle pump to speed up that process and blow more air directly on the coal.

Step 3: Start Scraping

The coal is now burning the wood and you will see that in the beginning it will go pretty fast. When the coal has burnt a hole of approximately 0,5cm deep, you can start scraping the burnt wood out. The scraping will give you an extra 0,5 cm of depth and is important because you need fresh wood to burn. Now keep repeating this process, you should aim for a width of 6,5cm for the hole and depth of 15cm. It's important when you reach your 6,5 cm of width, that you start only burning downwards (and not in the width). You can do this by only blowing on the bottom and not on the sides, so the heat is focused and also by not letting the coal sit too long. If you let it sit too long it will start burning form the sides.

Step 4: Saw

After finishing the long process of burning the hole in the log, you can start to saw of the bottom of the log. The sawn-off piece will become the lid. The lid should be 4 cm high, but first check the depth of your hole, so you know that you have enough clearance. Then saw off a 4 cm thick slice with the wood saw.

Step 5: Carving

After you sawed of the bottom, begin removing the bark with your knife. Always cut away from yourself so that you don't cut yourself.

Step 6: Finishing the Water Canister

Keep on carving, but now round of the bottom, the technique is to begin 4cm above the bottom with carving in little steps, and with every step carve further down to get a rounded edge.

Step 7: Making the Lid

You can make the lid out of the piece you sawed from the log. Trace the shape of the hole on your piece of wood. Tip : you can use a piece of paper and some of the ashes. Lay the paper on top of your hole and dip you finger in the ashes and rub it over the paper. You will see that the edge of the hole will become clear. Now cut outline of the hole out of the paper with scissors and report it on the slice of wood with a pencil. When traced start by sawing off the rough shape of the hole and then carve the rest precisely for a good fit. When everything you've reached the right shape for your lid, you should start tapering off the edge like shown on the drawing.

Step 8: The End Product

You now have a water canister totally made with indigenous knowledge. You are now also part of this indigenous knowledge. Use the water canister in your daily life and help indigenous knowledge survive.

For more info and more of my work check

Step 9: Movie About the Project