|What is it, you ask?|
|Pair of spills made from pine.|
The wonderful thing about them is that the hollow center draws air through the length of the spill, and the narrow tip creates a sort of wick which burns quite evenly and strongly. It takes some careful calibration for the spills to come out properly, but after a bit of setup, we were happily cutting away. This should add an extra degree of authenticity to any historic social gathering. It is fairly likely that only the upper classes would have used spills, as it is clearly a luxury item requiring a specific tool to manufacture, but initial testing makes it very clear that these are far superior to just using a twig or stick. The first ones I cut out of Poplar held flame for the entire length of the spill. Gentle blowing gave it a higher flame, rather than blowing it out like it often would with a twig or other such means of conveying a light from the fireplace to where it was needed. The pine ones were actually difficult to put out, and when blown out, re-lit themselves immediately. Snuffing them out is clearly the way to go.
If you're interested in ordering your own spills, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.