Smokeless bamboo charcoal making

With the help of my good friend Ray Eshelby we built a smokeless charcoal retort from up-cycled materials and it works perfectly – we use wood from the garden as fuel in the outer chamber and pack the inner chamber with bamboo pieces, light it from the top and then put the lid with the chimney on top.

The wood gases are being burnt off inside for extra efficiency and only a heat flare is visible, there is no smoke whatsoever after closing it. It burns for a few hours and the huge amount of heat can also be used, for example for cooking, frying or boiling water for purification.

I am hugely excited about this success, since bamboo charcoal has superior qualities and a wide range of practical applications such as soil enhancement, filters, and fuel, just to name a few.

Simple bamboo instruments

Crafted at home in Liverpool with simple hand tools from bamboo I harvested in private gardens in South Africa and  Germany, and some bamboo I ordered online in UK:

Eco whistle


Eco kazoo


Transverse flute embouchure hole trial


Guiro flute case


Pentatonic recorder




Unfinished panpipe/xylophone


Mobile phone stand/amplifier


Short demonstrations here:

Thanks to Bananas Media for photos and video  🙂

Welcome to my blog!

A few years ago I deeply fell in love with bamboo for its

  • beautiful sight, sound and touch
  • infinite creative potential
  • fast and sustainable growth
  • strength and flexibility
  • regenerative power
  • socio-economic value
  • philosophy

and since then have been investing most of my spare time into online research,  developing a growing vision of sustainable livelihoods and raising funds working as a freelance musician/tutor/composer/musical director in UK.

In August 2015 my vision started to become reality when I planted 64 bamboo seedlings on a piece of land in the subtropical coastal climate of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

In this blog I will share my experiments, experiences, successes and failures for you all to enjoy at your leisure.

I am also sharing the most fascinating and valuable bamboo facts and knowledge I came across during my online research on Facebook, stay tuned by liking my page and joining the group @BambooWoman.