Was a little occupied for the past month whilst my webmaster had helped transfer the website to a new host together with a slight redesign. Will resume writing.
Recently a friend had persistently asked me if there was an alternative to burning incense powders as a trail without the use of a stencil. It is possible! This technique is now becoming more popular in mainland China. Without the presence of makkoh or binder powder, the scent is purer, and with this method as described below, one can regulate temperature a little more to have an even cleaner burn.
There are very few equipment requirements for this, you might not even need professional tools. Just some Ash, some incense powder, and some implements such as a little spoon or spatula.
Transfer some ash onto a saucer or a plate.
Flatten it with a spoon! Compact it well
Compacted Ash Bed
Use a flat “spade” tool or a flat headed screw driver or anything you can get your hands on
And Create a channel. Avoid going too deep which will expose the ceramic dish.
Fill in the channel with your favourite incense powder, gently press it down a bit to compact it a bit.
Avoid over compaction as that will affect combustion
Using the lit end of an incense stick, break it off with a forcep and drop it on one side of the channel.
Once the incense powder starts burning well, you may gently push back some ash onto the incense powder trail
This ash that is pushed back must be gentle and loose, lightly forming a layer above.
The reason for this is to help drop the burning temperature of the trail a little, which will refine the smell and reduce burnt notes.
There you have it! Incense powder trail burning, without a stencil. If you’re creative you can create channels of different shapes and not be confined to any conformity at all!