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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Anyone who has seen the video for Cirque Du Soliel's show Alegria should recognise Karl Sanft as the polynesian fire staff spinner.If you haven't seen it, then I recommend it.I have watched the video, well, I lost track of how many times now and his wicks have me very perplexed.First thing I noticed is that the wick on one end is nearly double the length of the other end. Possibly to create a weight heavy leading end? It is a theory based on the fact that he is very speed heavy in his spinning but the fire does not spin out, though honestly it is only a theory. It also looks like this long wick is wrapped in a round formation about the staff, but the segment goes so quickly I can not tell. So then, moving on to the other end, and to the wicks on his doubles. They are box wicks. I can not see an attachment point though. They are not bolted in the sides that I have seen. And since he does pooling on his knee with the tip end of the staff, I am assuming there is no metal bolts there either. Also, where my wicks look black, his looked metal grey.Anyway, his flames were blue at the base, which is indicative of a white gas style fuel. Also he was able to pool well, better than an oil would've allowed, yet his wicks burned long and brightly, even during the blurring speed spinning. Anyone have any ideas about this? What he might be using or how they might be made? Possible speculations as to why the differences in length, shape and such? I am just really damn curious!
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


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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Posted:I always thought Samoan Fire Knives had a 'blade' and a pommel, which are different sizes..as to the wick construction...no idea (although Id certainly like to know).Josh

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I agree Josh. In fact, it reminds me very much of the "pommel" on a swinging torch or club in a way. A skill which totally eludes me! (can you say butterfingers?
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)Though I swear that was the weirdest thing..he did staves, no blades but he was listed as a knife dancer...when my friend saw Alegria when it first came out, there were no knives then either.
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Still, I am craving info on those wicks...they looked cool, lasted long and shone well against the stage lights (how very impressive that is!).
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


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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melissa
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

member
Location: madagascar

Total posts: 156
Posted:i've talked to a couple of the samoan fire twirlers here in hawaii and their wicks were made of towel. i didn't get to see it up close though to see how it was constructed.

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TeeJay


TeeJay

member
Location: Malaeimi, Am. Samoa

Total posts: 75
Posted:Look here: www.sivaafi.org to see how Samoan fireknives and their wicks are constructed.
They do indeed have blades, which have three holes on each side. The wicks are attached with 20 guage galvanized wire.
Most use plain cotton towels and the wicks must be 2 X 10 - others use roofing tile from Hawaii, sam dimensions, wrapped in one piece of towel, and wired to the knife the same way.

Teejay


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Sparkfire


Fire coach - Cirque du Soleil
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 89
Posted:And then there are the practical tricks of the trade. After some experimentation, Sanft has found that Coleman camp stove fuel works best.

"We used to use unleaded gasoline, but that was really smoky," he said. "The reason why I went to Coleman's is because it burns cleaner. If I used unleaded inside the tent, it would be filled with black smoke."

http://www.sptimes.com/2004/02/15/Floridian/Where_art_and_athleti.shtml
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Ha!


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