Jill smoking a hide she tanned with only stone, bone and wooden tools at the 'Rabbitstick Rendezvous' (in one of our 'stone-age tanning' workshops). She's smoking over a two foot deep pit in the ground that contains smoldering punk. Her hide sack was put together with hide glue. The scorch at the bottom of her hide is only a surface color, her hide wasn't harmed.
Doug 'Digger' Crist smoking a hide over the stove pipe from his yurt's woodstove. His woodstove is tight enough that he can close it down and not worry about flare-ups scorching his hides. So he'll just wander off and do something else whilst they smoke. Doug tans really beautiful and soft hides. Info for ordering hides from him is in the Directory of Tanners.
Michelle, Matt and John Mein goofing off as usual. Hides are being smoked over a two foot deep pit in the ground. I'm checking the heat in the pit with my left hand (an important thing to do regularly with pit smoking).
Notice how the hide sack is naturally 'ballooning. He puts his sacks together with either glue or a sewing machine. The really tight seam that results holds most of the smoke in, which creates this effect, and produces more evenly smoked hides. Shéom was the main person who taught me how to tan. He taught the dry-scrape method. Nowadays he is mostly using the wetscrape method from the book 'Deerskins into Buckskins'. Shéom custom makes beautiful braintan garments, for contact info check our Directory of Tanners.
Chris (aka 'ABO'), preparing to smoke a hide at a museum demo in Nebraska. He's also smoking over a pit in the ground. Notice the pile of punky wood next to the pit.