Forums > Social Discussion > Poll: Fire artist or Spinner.

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onewheeldaveGOLD Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,252 posts
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Poll: Fire artist or Spinner.

I've been wondering about the relative proportions of those who are into this mainly for the fire, and those who are primarily into the pure skill/flow aspects of unlit spinning?

Obviously many of you are into it for both, but, even there it should be possible to state a preference, for examples-

*you only spin unlit so you can get some moves down for the next fire session, and, if it became impossible to do fire you'd probably not spin anymore- would be 100/0 fire/non-fire

*you only occasioanly do fire (maybe the odd paid gig) as you consider fuel to be too toxic/dirty to use on a regular basis, almost all your spinning is unlit, and, if fire became impossible, it wouldn't affect your spinning at all- 0/100 fire/non-fire

*you like fire and non-fire spinning equally- a 50/50 fire/non-fire (although you may want to state greater accuracy eg 70/30 fire/non-fire)

I think it would also be interesting if, as well as stating a ratio, you say how long you've been spinning for (I have a theory that a lot of us start spinning through a desire to do fire, then get more interested in the pure spinning side).

Lastly, for clarity it would be good if we all stick to the convention of the first value of the ratio being fire, and the second non-fire (as in the examples above), otherwise it's going to get confusing.

"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

BirdGOLD Member
now available in "advanced"
6,086 posts
Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom

Hmmm. A tricky one!

I would say that I am a spinner, rather than a fire artist,

maybe about 20/80

I enjoy a good spin with fire, but I don't want to overdo it incacse it somehow becomes less special. that and i've been playing with moves that aren't really practical with fire poi! biggrin


I guess having read your post properly I should state how long I've been spinning too! wink

its about 18 months or so now!
EDITED_BY: Bird (1105128120)

My state of mind is not yours to define!

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

The Real Fryed FishGod's illgitament son
1,489 posts
Location: state of confusion

id say about 65.9/34.1.....glowstix and my tailed poi are fun, but i LOVE FIRE, fire eating, breathing, whatever, the glow stuff ill give up eventualy, but the fire will be forever wink

You can't avoid pain by fencing yourself from it.
Some times you need the help of others more than anything else
But you have to let them close enough to help......
People want to be needed, I found that out too

filthy 23BRONZE Member
136 posts
Location: USA

I spin mostly unlit, but also use fire from time to time...
Been spinning for roughly 5~ish yrs...

my fire / non-fire ratio is probably:

23 / 77


I AM working.

_khan_SILVER Member
old hand
768 posts
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Good question, and one that I've wondered about myself. I haven't been spinning for that long -- only since September. It was wanting to spin fire that got me interested, but as I've built up my skills I've realized it's the spinning that really has me. I'd definitely consider myself more a spinner than a fire artist.

20/80 sounds about right. This hasn't been my practice thus far, but in future I can see saving fire for an occasion--a holiday get together, or a friend's birthday or wedding (I've got two coming up), or at Burning Man, for example.

taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

HavokistBRONZE Member

2,530 posts
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

ive been spinning since the 18th of december, and my ratio would probably be about 40/60 cause after i first spun with fire, i pretty much just learnt how to link certain moves to others so i could do them in fire biggrin

We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers, And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams;
We are the movers and shakers of the world for ever, it seems.

musashiistarring Skippy the green llama
1,148 posts
Location: Seattle, WA

Hmm, hard to say really. I guess about 50/50. I'm not into lighting up as much as I used to be, but doing a gig once or twice a month, it's hard to say that my practice doesn't translate to fire(or recently, pyro). Not that I still don't get 'the rush' when lighting up, but it just doesn't hold the fascination level it used to for me.

On the term used, I think I would still use fire artist or fire performer, because a few of the fire related arts I practice don't involve spinning.

Edit: spinning since spring of 2000 wink
EDITED_BY: musashii (1105133362)

First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Depends what i'm doing now, really.

for paid gigs, its pretty much 100 / 0

Practice and fun, about 5 / 95

Interesting difference isn't it...

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My hairs on fireIf its got pistons or boobs, its gonna be expensive...
515 posts
Location: Cyprus

Been spinning for bout 3 years on and off, ide say im 35/65 smile

Henry Hill - 'One day the kids from the neighbourhood carried my mothers groceries all the way home, you know why? It was out of respect'...

Hope all is well : )

3,149 posts
Location: London


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

TheBovrilMonkeySILVER Member
Liquid Cow
2,629 posts
Location: High Wycombe, England

I've been spinning since August 2001 and I haven't lit up since June last year.

I'd say that makes me a spinner rather than anything to do with fire.

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

strugzBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,964 posts
Location: Southampton - Possibly..., United Kingdom

Written by: onewheeldave

I think it would also be interesting if, as well as stating a ratio, you say how long you've been spinning for (I have a theory that a lot of us start spinning through a desire to do fire, then get more interested in the pure spinning side).

Id go with your theory there, the whole fire idea got me into this 4 years ago, although id say im 50/50 im much more interested in the artform than the fire now.


"...We don't stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing......."

CodySILVER Member
That guy from Reno
556 posts
Location: Reno, Nevada USA

I'd say 95/5 Poi is an excuse for me to work with fire. I enjoy the technicality and chalenge of new moves and technique, but I'm all about fire and the art.

Been spinning fire poi since 2000
Been working with fire since 1998


Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

fluffy napalm fairyCarpal \'Tunnel
3,638 posts
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land

Spinning for just over 3 years.

maybe 3/97

I spin very little fire. Never have.

smile Nice thread

Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank

SocksBRONZE Member
Arf! Can I have a biscut?
288 posts
Location: North America, Mid West, USA

*pokes head in* I would not be a fire spinner, at all. Mostly becasue I'm a klutz, and I'm VERY flammable.

In spite of the 'dalmatian' appearance, I'm NOT a fire dog.

I'm weird. Just work through that and we'll all be fine.

"If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater suggest that he wear a tail." - Fran Lebowitz

247 posts
Location: Cork, Ireland at present

Been spinning about 6 months, only done fire once, before I actually started really practicing alot.

But when I do get to it.. this weekend I hope bounce2 wow bounce I think my ratio would be 25/75... I see non-fire for the first 3-4 months of watching friends do poi and I loved before I see the fire.. which was ubbloco & clap & eek I wonna do it!!!!!

and I agree with puk below, its a fun on your own or with other poi'ers, and artist when performing!! smile
EDITED_BY: Bretch (1105167659)

I used to be indecisive, but I'm not so sure now.....

PukSILVER Member
Sweet talented nutter
2,615 posts
Location: Brisbane Oz, Australia

Id say when i photo is taken of me artest when im not just a happy spinner .

that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk

ben-ja-menGOLD Member
just lost .... evil init
2,474 posts
Location: Adelaide, Australia

0/100 id say im a artist cos my main focus at the moment is beauty of movement. i very rarely spin fire now and its usually only at special gatherings that i do. ive been spinning since around the middle of 2002

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

PeleBRONZE Member
the henna lady
6,193 posts
Location: WNY, USA

I am a performer and hopefully on a good day an artist.


It really doesn't matter to me if I do fire or not. I could care less one way or another. I got into this to perform, so I learned adaptability first, love the fire later. Though I think starting with fire eating/breathing kind of stripped from me that "I must have fire" drive that many new spinners seem to have.

I've been spinning since 1997 I think. After awhile things all seem to blend together and it doesn't really matter anymore when I started as long as I keep on going.

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

fNiGOLD Member
master of disaster
3,354 posts
Location: New York, USA

I'd say you're skimming a fine line; I consider myself a spinner even though I like to be artistic and vice versa; some things I do merely for the aesthetic value and try to make them more technical....

prolly around 74/26: while I do love a good burn session, I find that it is most enjoyable when you take a trick that most people do just in the casual spinning, or that you've been working on for a while, and work and get it so that you can burn with it, even if the majority of observers don't notice it, its a great feeling. Other times, it can be nice just to practice....

couple people know that I don't own non-fire poi for that reason wink

I guess part of the reason is that I just like performing. In front of an audience iit just isn't the same with glowsticks/led/unlit. Believe me, even though you may have access to burnable areas, no burn is less special than any other. Rather, the lack of a burn can have negative effects (summer home, no-fire parental restrictions biggrin) , and the firing up is very therapeutic. I also found in my researching that it makes the work day go by much faster...especially when you're bored outdoors and can't go very far.

started 11 months ago

very interesting thread you have here

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lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more

garthySILVER Member
old hand
717 posts
Location: Bristol, England

0/100 and 1.5 years of spinning.

The last few times I've span fire has been cause people have ask me to.

Never would normally. Would spin if I was the last person on the planet biggrin

"**grumble*spuriouswindmills*grumble**" - Coleman
"if poi was only for girls there wouldnt be many good poi spinners...." - Nx

406 posts
Location: Oxford, UK

I've been spining for a year and a bit.

Funnily enough, I don't think fire ever actually crossed my mind when I first got into it. I really can't think why I ever wanted to learn poi, to be honest, it just popped into my head one summer - perhaps it was seeing glowsticks at Reading or something.

I'd say I was about 10/90 - I spin socks all the time, pretty much, mainly because I can spin them in my room and they're so much less effort - no paraffin etc required. That said, I do still have the belief in the back of my mind that if you can't do something with fire, you can't do it properly. smile

"Take that, math!"

Pink...?BRONZE Member
Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
6,140 posts
Location: Over There, United Kingdom

I would say i'm 15/85

I love my socks, but occasionally i like the thrill of fire, the sound and feeling of it is like nothing else.

I have been spinning since Dec 01 - so thats just over 3 years now.

Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

oliSILVER Member
not with cactus
2,052 posts
Location: bristol/ southern eastern devon, United Kingdom

i dont think i can state a ratio, i love both spinning fire for certain reasons (fire forces me to focus on creating a three minute long burn, i think it is this time limit that makes fire different for me, but i have to be in the right sort of frame of mind to maintain concentration for three minutes) , and i love twiddling a sock or two about for different reasons (its just fun, keeps me amused, i tend to not concentrate too hard and just mess about most of the time when i play with socks). i keep the two different art forms fairly seperate though

EDITED_BY: oli (1105212361)

Me train running low on soul coal
They push+pull tactics are driving me loco
They shouldn't do that no no no

724 posts
Location: Rotherham, UK

I'm more of a spinner, i love the feel and flow of the poi, for me it isnt the means to an end, fire is another way to express the art of poi, but for me not necessary. I prefer using glow poi if any. weavesmiley

Only when the last tree has died
and the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realise that we
cannot eat money.

Cree Indian, 1909

_Clare_BRONZE Member
Still wiggling
5,967 posts
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Probably about 60/40 for me.

I use my socks for practice, but I still love to play with fire. However, even if it was impossible, I would keep spinning.

I've been playing for 2 and a half years


Getting to the other side smile

onewheeldaveGOLD Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,252 posts
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

A quick totting-up of the ratios to now gives: -

Fire 770 to non-fire 1750

from a total of 25 votes (I disregarded a few who didn't give a ratio and rounded up/down some of the silly ones like 21/79).

Averaging it out by dividing by 25 gives: -

30/70 fire/non-fire

(everyone feel free to double check the calcs though).

"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32

Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

KlownyBRONZE Member
Disco Inferno
160 posts
Location: Remote Western Australia Karratha

As i trained initially unlit i learnt to apreciate what it means to souly spin, i mean people will watch a gig and take no notice of the skill involved in making the 'pretty streams of light' they just think it looks cool. so i spose id have to say 40/60 i prefer to just spin, personal preference, thats not to say im not into fire,i been doing twirling for about 9 months now.

"Only fools are positive! are you sure? Im POSITIVE"

mycoBRONZE Member
2,084 posts
Location: melbourne, victoria, australia

i'm probably 70/30. i love fire, always have. started about 3 years ago, and couldn't wait to burn. not much has changed.

PhaerieBRONZE Member
1,240 posts
Location: Melbourne, Australia

i have only been spinning for about 3 weeks... started with the appreciation of what the fire looked like, but now its all about the spinning... at this stage it would be 20/80 for me smile

Only when you close your eyes can you really see...

MiGGOLD Member
Self-Flagellation Expert
3,414 posts
Location: Bogged at CG, Australia

i've been spinning for..8 months now. I love the feeling, the noise, the rush of the fire. I practice and play around, but almost everything i try to learn is to spin lit. apart from contact staff, at this stage. waay to unskilled to set a stick on fire and not spin it ubblol

probably say i was 85/15

"beg beg grovel beg grovel"

"There was an arse there, i couldn't help myself"


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