This ramrod is thinner than the one used to clean the pipe’s smoke duct. It is only a braided wire, but you can use it to prepare pieces of coal, either bought or fired yourself, for drawing.
The willow vittles have a core inside, which before firing resembled a sponge, because its function was to transport water. After firing, it became a grey, fine and loose dust. Therefore, the core will be the first to fill in the structures of the substrate, on which it is then supposed to draw more black carbon, and not give it a chance to show its blackness in all its glory. It is like putting a book on the keyboard of a piano, which will deprive the musician of the opportunity to use the full scale of sounds.
It turns out that this inconspicuous ramrod, in addition to its function of preparing coal, has become a supplier of a new kind of pigment for me. “Core pigment” is a dark grey on a good day, no longer requiring rubbing, because the ramrod transports from the centre of the willow vetch a beautiful dark grey, the finest powder. Most importantly, these two types of coal have been separated from each other. Now not only does one not interfere with the other, but I gain an extra tone of grey.

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