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Forums > Technical Discussion > Random fire questions (mainly wraps)

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Lamar


member
Location: Dacula, GA, USA

Total posts: 53
Posted:I discovered the whole 'poi' thing because of glowsticks and right now I spin poi during the day and sticks at night, but I really want to graduate up to fire at some point. What I'm mainly curious about is if everything can transfer over. Obviously a huge part of any performance is keeping flow... to do so requires good transitioning from one move to another. I personally use a lot of wraps to switch the direction of my poi to achieve these transitions... but is that really safe with fire? I don't doubt that wrapping is possible, but to what extent? For different transitions and different moves I tend to wrap deep or shallow, and on a deep wrap the stick / poi tend to stay on my arm for longer... bad? Any pointers about how to go about practicing wraps with fire would be cool. I did read an old post by Pele and gathered that bare-skin wrapping is a bad idea, but I tend to have trouble wrapping w/ both poi on articles of clothing that are baggy... so any recommendations for my forearm & calf(sp) would be cool. How about ACE bandages as a solution?Lastly, if anyone wants to offer any newbie info (other than 'use search ya dolt!') about what they personally feel to be a good starting length, or good starting poi from the shop here I'd definately appreciate it!Thanks much!

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:You *can* do bare-skin wraps, but you've got to be really precise and really fast with them. I generally avoid them. I'd consider that kind of thing an advanced move.If you're swinging practice poi, you've probably figured out that there's a big difference in weight between them and glowsticks, which is the main thing you'll need to get used to (apart from the fire itself).

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Posted:Yep I'm with Adam. You *can* do it. but it's probly not advisable until you are very comfortable with twirling fire. Also - start with easy wraps like thigh wraps for example, and do em shallower. Then work your way up to doing arm wraps and the like.Bear in mind, some ppl talk about wraps meaning partial wraps, where the head doesnt make contact with the body. Others talk about wraps where the head bounces off the body, make sure you have a very good idea about which they meant before trying something you find in a wrap thread
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Wraps are great, and I agree they make transitioning all that more fun
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Happy twirling,Josh


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Hold up a minute!!! I am interested to know which post that was since I wrap on bare skin...all the time..and have been a proponent on this in other threads. Herm, got me wondering now.
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pj and I got into a discussion on the benefits/drawbacks of bareskin wrapping. That might be it.I even wrap with my four wicked toy..so the fire touches my skin...that's the point to me!ANyway, practice with you fire poi unlit first, until you are fluent enough where they don't tangle and don't stay for over five seconds (hence no burning). Practice over your clothes with fire first, until you are comfortable with it, then go for the small wraps with fire on bare skin, legs, arms. Save necks and the more apt to tangle wraps for when you are really sure of yourself.As for ACE bandages, they have elastic in them, a big no-no with fire. If it gets tapped by the fire you are going to have a melting, oozing and extrememly painful mess on your skin. And to state the obvious,Don't wear terribly baggy clothes, and there won't be an issue.
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Wish I could help with your shopping needs but I make my own and truly feel that is the way to go (sorry Malcolm). However, I like short chains for closeness to the body and the ability to do alot of moves without having to wrap the chain on my hand. The longer chain however is fluid and graceful so it depends on what you are looking for, but if you get cables over chains they are really hard to wrap around your hand to shorten, so what length you get you are *generally* stuck with.Good Luck!
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...[This message has been edited by Pele (edited 15 June 2001).]


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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LightWeaver


member
Location: State College, PA, USA

Total posts: 4
Posted:wait wait wait a second...since the heads are SOAKED in fuel, won't there be a sponge like effect when it makes contact with your body (and 'splats')?That would, in theory, leave a residue on your skin, which would probably be on fire.This is not good.Anybody out there actually done wraps with lit heads? What actually happens?

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Lamar


member
Location: Dacula, GA, USA

Total posts: 53
Posted:Here ya go:http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000020.htmlI didn't read it close enough, though, 'cause you say you do wrap on exposed w/ regular, just not w/ quad.All the advice is much appreciated!Pele: It appears that you have your wraps down... what is safer/easier for you to do them with: chains (big/small?) or cable (thick/thin?)? I have noticed that the cord (not really cable I don't think) on the poi I have are nearly impossible to wrap 'cause they are so thin that it slices my skin if I try and pull the wrap off of my body to hard/fast. I definately do *not* want the same thing on my future fire poi. Also, how frustrating is constructing them? I love my glowsticks for the flow I can get out of the longer string, but I also love my poi for the added weight + shorter string that allows me to do moves super slow and also allows me to do a very very smooth looking quad corkscrew... but butterflys suck 'cause I have to beat so fast to keep 'em up. (shrug) I would shoot for middle ground but then I think the corkscrew wouldn't be possible... so it would probably be a good idea for me to make my own so I can experiment w/ length and not be totally stuck.Lastly: I'm sure you have all gotten burns to some degree, but has anyone actually had / seen / known of a (or multiple) bad incidents w/ them? I don't doubt I'll get burnt at some point... probably by a wrap that doesn't unwrap, but I would like to stay out of the hospital if possible!
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Lamar


member
Location: Dacula, GA, USA

Total posts: 53
Posted:LightWeaver - I know that you are supposed to go crazy spinning off any excess fuel on the heads before you light them... so (at least in theory) the little bit of fuel left on the heads allows the fire to ignite around the entire wick, all the fuel burns away, and the actual wick keeps the heads lit through the remainder of your show.Anyone care to confirm/deny?

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Peregrine


member
Location: Mystic, Ct. USA

Total posts: 428
Posted:yes it is really important to spin off the excess fuel outside the twirling area after dipping and BEFORE! lighting. otherwise you will fling hot oil/kero/coleman fuel everywhere, possibly onto other people (seen burns happen this way). you get droplets of fuel on you which I guess could catch depending on what kind of fuel and you might get fuel in your eyes which is bad. you might want to set the ground on fire in a ring around yourself (if you are on pavement) by spinning out in a circle and lighting it however this can rapidly get out of control (had this happen, burnt arm hair off trying to put fuel fire out with a towel). I think dangerboy had an incident trying this trick too close to the fuel container which went up.only burns i have had have been from the wires around my towel poi, which is why i don't do bare skin wraps, or many wraps at all anyhow. making kevlar poi this weekend so maybe i can do more. and if you do fire you can pretty much assume at some point you're going to burn some hair off
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REPULSE!Pere


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Okay, Lamar. I use 20 to 16 gauge dog leads and choke collars. They come tested for up to 220 pounds of pressure, so I am certain they won't fall apart on me. They have loops already in them for my wicks and handles to be attached. They are smooth, so they don't scratch me (very important I found out), and they come in many lengths that can be cut to suit your preference. Also they are stainless steel, which cleans up in a snap and doesn't burn or corrode with heat. You can even get them at pet stores in colors for nice looking daytime use (I have an electric blue one, but I wear it as a collar
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). They are very affordable, anywhere from $1 to $4 each and can be found from discount stores to pet marts. I have a ten inch all the way up to a four foot one. Long chains can be used with fire just as easily as long strings with sticks. You can wrap the chain around your hand for varying lengths and moves, so please don't limit yourself. I find a personal satisfactio in making my own tools. I get very attached to them (I nearly started cryin gin NH when one of my sets came up missing), I have a great pride in the very simple utilitarian construction. Everything is interchangable. Also I know exactly what is wrong if something doesn't "feel" right and I can fix it (I have a tool box with extras of everything). That can't always be said for bought poi.About burns, my most serious was when I got branded on my ankle. Someone steped too close to me while I was spinning my four wicks and I cut it down and wrapped it on my ankle to keep from hitting the person. I got branded, no big deal. It's healed and I have a cool looking mark. Remember for every "it happened so quickly" horror story there are thousands of hours of safe burn time you never hear about. Practice unlit with the fire poi until you can do the wraps in your sleep and practice tangling them and getting out quickly if you are worried about it. I have watched and "coached" people through their first wraps. I love hearing the "But I'll get burned" switch to the "EEEEE! I did it!" squeal. It is a riot!!! Not one of them has been burned yet *knock on wood!*.Now, to you Light Weaver. First of all, I am sure you have heard Diana and I talk of trailing, that is intentionally leaving a residue of flaming fuel on our flesh because it has an amazing feel, effect and warrents a great response from crowds. Yes, it stings little and if it goes on to long or done wrong it will burn, which is why we practice long and hard, and slowly with it. Many people do wraps with lit poi heads, wicks whapping the skin encouraging this little group of sparks to go flying into the air. It is really cool looking. Nothing really happens and if by some chance flaming fuel is left behind then *usually* the fuel will burn off and go out without lighting your clothes aflame. Using your analogy of the sponge to comment to Lamar about the actual burn process....take a sponge and soak it in water. When you pull it out it is dripy. Squeeze it and it is barely wet. Dunk it again and when you pull it out spin it off. It will still be fairly wet but not soaking. That is the theory behind spinning off wicks, to remove any excess fuel that would ignite, then fling off the poi, possibly hitting someone (I had an experience recently where someone lit up without spinning off and whipped the poi around without regard to what was around her. My arm still has the flaming fuel burns from it
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). The point of having the wet and not just damp poi is that it is the fuel that burns, not the wick. Personally I think that squeezing out wicks takes away too much fuel and the flames don't last as long nor maintain size and brightness. Damp wicks I think tend to burn better and longer. Anyway, I digress. Once the fuel is burnt from the wick, the flame will diminish and eventually go out from the force of the spin, leaving smouldering wick behind..but not flaming wicks, leaving the wicks to be dunked and used over and over. Much like once the water evaporates from a sponge you are left with a dry, hard sponge which can be used again. If the wick were what we were burning I don't think near as many people would do fire as often since wick making *can* be time consuming and labour intensive and is not something I want to do every single time I want to light up.
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Kay...so I think I covered it all. if I missed something just thwap me with it again, eventually I'll get it right!
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My Best...------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Lamar


member
Location: Dacula, GA, USA

Total posts: 53
Posted:Great stuff! Okay, one last set of questions for ya Pele and I think I'll be all good. You talked about the dog leads having holes at both ends so you could attach your wicks and your handles... How about those wicks and handles? I figured that the dog leads would already have a handle, and then a clip-type-deal for attaching to a dog collar (?). What about the wicks? Should I just order a foot or a meter of kevlar wick? And is all that is involved just basically taking that 'spindle' of wick and wrapping it up, then cutting it, or ...? Sorry for all the lame questions, man, but now you've really got me wanting to make my own. Not just for cool engineering 'hey, I just made something phat!' factor, but also because I think I can customize my poi such that it suites me perfectly and I think I'll be a better twirler for it. Is there any way you could take pictures of all the necessary components -- all separate, and then a snap-shot of the actual poi or something? That'd be cool.
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Thanks again bud!


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tkerby


member
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Total posts: 30
Posted:HiI sometimes poi with arm guards on. These are basically a nice bit of leather in a trapezium shape cut with the height almost the length of my forearm, and the top and bottom widths about an inch off my arm circumference at the right points. They are then punched and laced with thong.They were part of a beltane costume but they come in handy for wraps and large firebreathes off big fire brands as they take some of the heat away.

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Cassandra


Cassandra

Froggie ... Ribbit !!!
Location: Back in Paris... for now !

Total posts: 4224
Posted:Just a question to u all : I had a loooooong fire session yesterday night and tried the neck wrap for the first time ... burnt my forearm with the chains - the closest part to the heads- real real bad... I am almost 'tatooed with the patterns of the chains ...' the wrapping itself felt great though, but I think i did things wrong ... when you do the neck wrap do u actually wrap it only around the neck or is it neck + forearm... if it is only neck, then how the hell do you NOT burn you neck's skin ????help ...shine on cassandra[This message has been edited by cassandra (edited 18 June 2001).]

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:'Kay....Lamar...yes, dog leads do have a nylon handle at one end and the clip at the other. They are very convenient, already set up for you. What I was talking about with the two loops at the end was the choke chains, the ones where you feed the chain through a loop and hook the lead to it so if the dog pulls they choke. I don't agree with it for dogs but they make damn good short poi!!! As for handles, I use deer hide. I cut it in strips and sew it with sinew. It is amazingly soft and durable. I attach that by screw clamps to the loops on the choke chains, and for the shortest possible poi I have sewn them directly through the loops.As for wicks, there are many good threads about wick creation, from towels or denim to kevlar, if you do a search. If you are doing kevlar, and smallish interweave Cathedral wick will require about 2 meters of kevlar each. Cassandra, I am sorry you got burned. I hope you recover quickly. I don't wrap around my neck and forearm , just the neck. The wick actually ends up by my shoulder and cheek and not near my neck and usually the minute I feel the poi hit my neck I push backwards to begin it in the reverse swing so that it only makes contact briefly. Alot of practice unlit and very wet hair!Best to you both!------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Cassandra


Cassandra

Froggie ... Ribbit !!!
Location: Back in Paris... for now !

Total posts: 4224
Posted:Ok, Ok ... I'll try again and again... and maybe with unlit poi this time... still I remain sceptical that I will reach a level where I wont burn my skin ... the heads of a poi are ok to be in contact with, but this tiny part where the metal is so damn hot ????? as for recovering, you always do, right ? and I don't think anything 's gonna stop me anyway ...Got me a few super weird looks at work (you know ... chain patterns burnt on the forearms, has cassandra some weird S&M hobbies
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That was fun !!!Shine onCassandra


"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"

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