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Saturday, 29 September 2012

A Prickly Pith

 Elder Pith was a once popular material for float making which is now often forgotten about so its nice to make something that nature herself made and can be collected by yourself on a nice winter walk.


It is normally found around the countryside at the side of roads or on the edges of hedgerows and it quite easily recognisable, not only does it supply us with Pith for float making but elderberry wine and elderberry liqueur are very nice to drink also.

I was asked recently if I could/would make up 3 Elder pith floats for an elderly gentleman who enjoys some winter roach fishing down south, which of course I agreed to as I dont make up as many as I used to so its always a great change to work with Elder especially if you have collected it yourself from the bush.


The gentleman was asked what type stems he would like, cane, birch wood, bamboo & the answer I received back could I possibly do it in porcupine quill, which funny enough a few friends and myself had been chatting about a few weeks ago so it was settled, Elder Pith & Porcupine.







Whilst stripping the Pith from its bark I noticed some scarring on one of the pieces of pith and was concerned on how it would turn out but I think its nature itself and has added character to the float
(last on right) & after showing it to the gentleman he agreed.


 Elderberry's are also used as a fishing bait for many species, Roach included, so you never know these pith floats may just support another berry or two still in search of the gentleman's roach.

2 comments:

  1. Where do you get your porcupine quills from?

    In Angola they are called Porco Spino which means spiny pig.

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  2. Hello Hippo, I suppose where you are they are ten a penny to get hold of, back in Blighty they are getting quite rare for new ones as they are now a protected species so we either buy old floats and strip them down then refurbish them or have a look around the web and see what we can get, luckily I was fortunate enough to get my hands on another 30 quills so I'm OK for the foreseeable future.

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