Yesterday I tried to make incense cones for the first time. It was fun and exciting but I can't say I've neither mastered the technique of shaping the cones and determining their size, nor did I nail down the formula for what I envisioned for my first cone incense.
Just for fun, I'm sharing here photos of the process and the materials.
The ingredients: dry woods (i.e.: sandalwood, agarwood, cedarwood), leaves (patchouli) berries (juniper) roots (vetiver) and mix them with makko powder or another combustible binding agent that allows for thorough, even burning incense and also binds all the materials together.
Mix the ingredients thoroughly together, and add water or hydrosol to bind the ingredients together and allow for shaping the incense.
Kneading the incense mixture into a paste that will be shaped into cones, sticks, spirals, etc. Sticks are pressed out of a machine (kind of like noodles in a factory), while cones are hand shaped. Joss sticks are made differently - the paste is rolled onto a thin wooden or bamboo stick.
Shaping the cone is done by hands alone.
The cones lay flat on a tray to dry. This can be done outdoors in the sun as well (but make sure the incense does not get dew on it or wet if it rains!).
The incense may take up to a week to dry. It's been very hot and dry here last night so I was able to have a preliminary testing for this cone today. The bottom and centre was not dry enough so it did not burn all the way down.