Hai, or ash, is used in the fireplace for both seasons. In furo season the ash is sculpted in to a beautiful pattern known as a haigate, while in winter the ash is roughly placed in a pattern inside the ro.
Types of hai
The furo hai should have a light color and be sifted through a very find sifter
The ro hai should have a darker color and be sifted through a coarser sifter. Each year the ash should be given another bath in tea to deepen the color. Over time you will get very nice ash. You need 5-8 liter of ash to fill a ro.
Shimeshibai is moist ash that is used for sumi temae during the ro season. During the temae it will be sprinkled around the ro. Apart from being moist it should be the same color and coarseness as ro ash.
White wisteria ash used for sumi temae during the furo season. During the temae it will be sprinkled in the front part of the furo to make a nice pattern against the grey furo ash.
To make hai you need a lot of “raw ash” from a fireplace. Normally the ash from hard wood is used.
- Sift out all the large pieces
- Sift it through a smaller sifter (size depens wether you are making furo or ro hai)
- Wash the ash in by soaking it in water and stirring
- Let the ash settle
- Pour of excess water
- Repeate step 3-5 as needed
- Soak the ash in tea to give it a darker color. (Target color depends on furo or ro hai)
- Remove excess water
- Spread the ash one news paper and let it dry
- If you are making furo or ro ash wait until it is totally dry
- If you are making shimeshibai sift it while it still retain some moisture.
- Sift it one last time