Another great Aunt Bett article, which reminded me of the time I needed wood ashes to try a new stoneware glaze recipe for ceramics. Got some wood ashes from a friend who had a fireplace, and then started processing them by adding water & letting them settle out, per some instructions I'd found in a book. Worked on them for a couple of days, without gloves, and found my hands were getting reallly irritated. Rang a little bell back in the recesses of my feeble mind, looked up "lye" and figured out what I had been doing...DUH. Took a couple of weeks to heal them up. Wish I'd had some of Aunt Bett's comfrey salve!!!