Posted:At Burning Man I saw some women perform who had these fire headresses. It was kind of like a crown with metal pieces sticking up...at the end of which had wicking soaked in fuel and then lit on fire.
My fire dance partner and I want to try making something of this sort. My question is: what kind of wire would work best for this sort of thing?
Posted:Cheryl would you happen to have a picture of one of these head dresses???I had a lady email me asking if I could make one for her . so i have been thinking on this one too..If you have a home depot type store near you i am sure you will find the metal you want .. I have been playing with some 3/16 steel rod it seems to bend real easy by hand and is strong enough for this type of use i got 4 ft of it at home depot for less than 2 bucks ..I made a fire hat out of this metal kind of like a hat with a propeler on it.but used a wick insted hope this helps ya Riz
I have been cursed with the imagination to envision it all
Posted:Hiya, Cheryl! I would suggest using four or five guage steel wire. I've made fire fans, fire sculpture, and fire hula hoops with it. If you have a choice, buy the stuff with better "memory." Memory means that once bent into shape it will retain that shape. Some of my friends at BM just braided their hair and then piled it on top of their heads. Then they took long metal skewers with wicking on the ends, inserted them into the mass of hair, and lit them. I've got a three-horned fire helmet, prolly too heavy duty for what you want. But the fireballs are huge and just above my head, so I fastened it all onto a hard hat.
these are some instructions for a fire tearia that i have desigend
these instructions might be alittle hard to understand sorry
what u need: 1x head band ( the kind made of wire with the little spikes to hold it in your hair like a hair combe) wire ( thickish wire would be good but it still has to be bendable) round kevlar rope the thin kind about 1/2 cm thick pliyers wire cuters
first cut wire for the middle fire spike make it about twice the hight you want the spike now fold it in half and attach it by winding it around the head band and around on of the spikes that stick the head band in to your hair once you have wound it around a few times twist the two ends of the wire together with the pliyers and cut of the exess.
now to attach the kevlar thred th rope through the lope of wire in the teira now twist the wire around so that the rop cant slide out. now wrap the rope around the wire to make a blob then end with a few knots.
to make the other spikes repeat the process further along the head band
if you want the head band to sit like a tira cut of some of the spikes around the head band leaving the ones around the fire spikes
next bend the left over hair spikes down to the middle of the head band so that when you slide the tearai on in to you hair the spikes slide in easily like a hair combe
Thanks for the elaborate instructions! I am going to use a version of your idea, I need to modify it because I shave my head. Anyway, I appreciate the time that you took to put together the directions and the pictures
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Posted:At different points, my sister and i have done candle crowns, and learned some potentially useful stuff... and i got to have have the rush of spending about 45 mins with a crown of flames!
One of the things i learned very quickly with the candle-crown was to move slowly, as any quick movement made the candles gutter and the wax slosh. This would be less of an issue with wicks, i think. You would want to shake off the wicks on your headpiece before putting it on, though, so as not to splash burning fuel on your head. So make sure the attachments will all survive a good shake...
Cheryl, since your head is shaved, you could try a similar style of hairband, but without the teeth, or simply maked one from several strands of wire twisted together. To avoid heat tranference, you may want to do a wrap of leather over the metal so as to avoid metal directly on skin. You will also want to be sure that the wicks aren't so big as to make too much heat. Some months ago, at our Sunday Spin here in Denver, poor Sarah burned all 10 fingers because the wicks on her fire-fingers were too big and the heat transferred very quickly. (For the record, her fingers are about 1' long bare metal and the too-big wicks were cotton, about 1 1/2" long by about 1" wide). You can also avoid the transfer issues by testing different lengths for the spikes that will hold the wicks. I would think that at least 5" would be needed and maybe longer. I had no trouble at all with 8" candles on my head, but the flames was rather smaller than even a smallish wick would have. For folks with hair, if you decide to cover your head, use leather or such, do NOT use foil. My sister made an aluminum foil skullcap to wear under her candle-crown and nearly burnt her entire head.
Missie, your instructions and drawings are great! Very clear and simple, good job. I would offer 2 small suggestions: the wire sections for each wick will need to be somewhat more than twice the length of the finished wick, to allow some for twisting around the head band, and i personally would be inclined to assemble the wick and then attach it to the tiara (that's more an individual preference). One thing to bear in mind when attaching the wicks to the tiara frame is that the more twists of wire you have around the tiara, and the further along the tiara it goes, the more stabile the wick will be. I don't know if that makes sense, and i can't think how to describe it effectively... At any rate, that's all i can think of for now, so best of luck to you, Cheryl and Missie and anyone else who does a fire headdress.
One thing i can tell you, a crown of flames feels incredible, as well as looking great. You'll swear you're the queen of the world once you get that sucker on and lit...
We got the MikeZ in the house, woot!Glue the ham, hat baby!
Posted:Jade-- A more important issue than the size of the wick, or perhaps even the length of the supporting shaft, is the type of metal.
Different metals have different levels of thermal conductivity. Aluminum is an excellent thermal conductor--it transfers heat about 10x as efficiently as steel. This means that aluminum, although easy to work with and readily available, is a *bad* material to use for this kind of thing.
Although I've shifted to a different design for fire-fingers, I experimented with a number of different kinds of wire for making them. Although fire-fingers could safely be as short as 4" when made with steel, even 12" aluminum fire-fingers could get intolerably hot. Baling wire was OK in terms of thermal conductivity, but is very weak.
The same goes for headgear. I'd recommend hunting down some fairly heavy-gauge stainless steel wire to use for this project. I've gotten it at McMaster Carr (where else)-- www.mcmaster.com