Pyro : Spark Spinning
Here's a picture of one of me Spinning sparks at BurningMan 2001.
(click it for a much larger image).
Creating these pinwheels of sparks is probably much easier than you imagine.
What you see in the picture is merely a burning piece of iron wool (yes,
iron wool burns) being spun very quickly.
A pad of iron wool (the standard kitchen cleaning variety works fine).
A metal wire coathanger.
A small amount of barbeque starter fluid (optional).
Unroll the pad of wool and then wad up the pad of wool in a less
compact ball. This is done because I have found that the pads are
normally to compact to do the effect well.
Untwist and straighten the wire hanger.
At one end of the wire hanger fashion a small loose basket around
the ball of wool. Make sure the basket has no holes so large that the
ball could fall out (remember that the ball will burn to a much smaller
size). Make sure the basket is not too tight.
At the other end make a short ninety degree turn in the wire. This
is done to make quickly spinning the ball at the other end easier.
Squirt a very small amount of barbeque starter fluid into the ball.
This is not strictly necessary but does make lighting the wool easier.
Make sure you have your protective clothing and eyewear on.
Go to a remote location.
Make sure the area is completely clear of any people or other
flamable objects within a thirty meter radius.
Make sure the wind in not strong enough to carry the sparks out of
the cleared radius.
Light the ball of wool while holding the other end of the wire
Announce "Fire in Hole" and give a 10 second countdown (making sure
to keenly watch the area for wandering fools).
Begin spinning the wool, slowly at first, then faster and faster
until you can't spin it any faster.
As you spin the ball reddish orange sparks should begin to come out
Keep spinning until the number of sparks coming out almost comes to
Slowly bring the hanger to a still.
- Extinguish the remaining burning wool with water or some well placed
stamps with your shoe.