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TaiGuy


member
Location: Yorktown, VA, USA

Total posts: 127
Posted:I plan on moving to fire sometime this next month. I know a good number of you already use fire, and some of you, only use fire. So what precautions should i take to get ready for it? Tips? Ideas? safety concerns? having a "spotter"? Things that are different from other types of poi? NEthing i should do to get ready? How long do the flames usually last? How should i prepare my wicks? What fuel should i use? how should i store my poi/wicks? All information NE of you could give would be Xtremely helpful. ThanxP.S> I know i sound stupid, but i g2 learn sometime
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------------------"Happiness is not a destination, but a method for life"- Burton Hills


The reason communism doesn't work is because people like to own stuff

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Taiguy, I am not even sure where to begin!
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Yes, you will need a "spotter", especially for the first time. Actually, thinking about it, two people on hand is what I recommend. One to spot and one to take photo's!!!
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If this can not be another fire performer then please let it be someone who knows about fire safety and who won't be stupified by the "cool" lights.
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Keep a heavy wool blanket around. If you catch on fire this is great to put you out. A small dry chemical fire extinguisher isn't a bad idea either.I use towel wicks. They are absorbant and will burn about 6 minutes or more if I let them. I soak them in lamp oil and then dip them in white gas. Lamp oil burns long and fairly cleanly and the white gas (Coleman camp fuel) allows them to light quickly. Both are available cheaply at Wal-Mart. Unless you are doing a show you don't need anything fancy so soak up in a coffee can or something of the like. I like to saturate mine (meaning I soak mine for about 20 minutes). *******Spin off the excess fuel BEFORE lighting up*******...just simple swings at the side until flying droplets are at a minimum.As for wicks..I coat mine in Elmers School Glue (white glue). It cures, or hardens, in the heat of the flame and so the wicks last longer, and it doesn't put off any fumes. It also keeps them in one piece if they hit something (I do wraps and such). I store mine in a metal tin with a tight metal lid in a little bit of fuel to keep them from drying out and getting crusty.Please be aware of things like dry grass or anything aound you that could possibly catch alight. Also you need to be aware of wind, what direction and such as it can have an impact on where the flames go in relation to your body. What else? The roar of the fire is amazing and addicting but can be overwhelming if you don't expect it...expect it. It can be hard to hear over if you have a good set of flames going. I am assuming that you have (or will) practice with your fire poi unlit first (if you weren't planning on it, please do just to get used to them), once soaked the poi will be a bit heavier depending on size, so you can look forward to that as well.Remember, if you have long hair, pull it back and/or wet it to the point of being damp, natural fiber clothes, 100%cotton/denim works well.I also suggest the very first light up to keep it simple just to get a feel for the fire. Then get funky.The two most important things to remember,imho, are if you don't feel ready on the date you have set, don't do it, there will always be another day **and** have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Keep us posted and good luck Taiguy! I'm proud of ya! ------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir..."I prefer not to go where there is a path but to blaze a new one!"


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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Jesse


member
Location: Pittsburgh, PA/ USA

Total posts: 118
Posted:Wow, Pele, you were quite thorough!I think I only have one or two things to add: The major difference that I notice between practicing with my strings and practicing with my chains is that when I practice with strings my main fear is of getting wacked with one of the beanbags/glowsticks, because it stings! With my chains, that awareness changes... My wicks themselves are fairy springy, so they don't hurt to get smacked with, but the CHAINS become the danger. It doesn't take them long to heat up, and getting them tangled around a limb becomes my main fear. Also, I have a tendency to stand around thinking with my strings just dangling... You can't really do that once your fire poi are lit (depending on the size of your fire)... Not that most people are prone to just standing around once their poi are lit... but just be aware that once your poi are lit, you'll have to keep them in fairly constant motion until you put them out. (ie- post lighting would NOT be a good time to find out that you hadn't tied your shoes. -don't laugh... It's happenned...) Oh... and one more thing. You've probably already noticed this with regular poi, but the closer fit you can get with your clothes, the better. You don't want big flappy pieces of fabric that could grab your flaming poi out of the air unexpectedly... (Cool as it would look, I cannot swing poi in my double-circle skirt. <sigh> )Good luck! We're all cheering for you!Jesse

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:I pretty much agree with everything Pele said, except that instead of a wool blanket, I use a wet towel.Additionally, be aware of your footing. If there's any moisture on the ground, the cast-off fuel from your wicks (even assuming you spin 'em out somewhere else) will combine with that to be *very* slippery.Also, don't freak out. Unless something very Wrong happens, you won't really hurt yourself, even if you biff yourself with the flaming wicks. Being skittish is just as likely to cause a mishap as being reckless. I've had momentary freak-outs on one or two occasions, flinched violently, and really strained my shoulder (but you're just a kid, so you'd probably be able to laugh that off).Twirling fire requires a weird combination of calmness and alertness, of letting the poi follow their natural arcs and being in control. Actually, I guess you could say the control is in getting them into the right arc in the first place, and letting them follow it, rather than constantly trying to make course-corrections. How zen of me (here I am getting all philosophical). Anyhow, that's true twirling without fire, but *with* fire it is especially true.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Simos


enthusiast
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 382
Posted:huh i am back for a quicky
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well i am not much of a fire expert myself but i'll add what i think it's important...Think about it before you do it...just think about it and come to terms with the idea, try visualising that you have the chains tangled around your arms for example and think of what to do... having a spotter and all is great but for me the most dangerous thing is for you to panic...if you are cool and calm nothing will go wrong - think about the possibilities beforehand; it's quite important to realize that even if it comes to the worse and the chains tangle around your arms etc just by letting go of the handles and shaking your arms will set you free - the chains will fall down and maybe burn your handles but as long as you don't get burned the rest are replaceble...emmm maybe i shouldn't be giving you advise on this, i am quite foolish when it comes to anything involving any amount of risk; the good thing (or not!!!) about it is that after a while you don't get stressed and don't even get a significant adrenalin rush anymore
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ok ok i have to admit that doing wraps with fire is an amazing feeling
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especially the split seconds of waiting when they are completely wrapped round you until you see them unwrap again
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and a last thing..the more confortable and confident you are with your spinning the more calm you will be - don't try anything really fancy the first time and try swinging the fire chains before lighting them... i was always using tennis balls and glowsticks and when i tried brb weaving with fire chains it just felt different and i wasn't so confident i could do it with fire so i didn't go for it... btw thanx for that tip Pele
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i know that if it wasn't for you i would have tried every possible (and impossible) move i could think of on my first time with fire and definitely ended up toasted
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good luck with it TaiGuy, enjoy the fire...Simos


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gάrbǿ


gάrbǿ

addict
Location: Bristol / London / Norwich / C...

Total posts: 521
Posted:I have one bit of advise.Don't be cocky, by this I mean don't try and push yourself, if you are not sure about a move then don't try it. Finally, listen to the noise of the fire going past your ears, its the best.hope it goes wellpeac outgarbo
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be excellent to each other: safe:

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Finn


member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 341
Posted:Nothing to add.... (such a thorough job Pele) Good luck Taiguy, you'll love it!
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Superman
BRONZE Member since Mar 2001

Superman

member
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Total posts: 829
Posted:Bad Ass Taiguy!!!Its going to be an awesome feeling graduating to fire. Make sure to get some one to get pics of your first spin. Im sure we would all like to see.This saturday i will probably be watching fire POI for the first time up close. Now that you (Tai) are about to start, i am getting all hyped on trying fire. But I know i am a ways away before i try it. I have some learning and prcaticing to do. Plus i want to watch it close up...Congradulations !!Since i dont do fire yet, my only tips for you are...Dont eat yellow snow, never play cards with guy named after a city, & never respond to the question "can i see you DL and auto insurance?" with "can i shoot your pistol?" Police officers dont think its funny..Good luckSuper'------------------"Only the warrior that hears the call will know when to leave, Where to go" -unknown[This message has been edited by Superman (edited 23 March 2001).]

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.


- Mark Twain

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Skye


member
Location: Boise, ID, USA

Total posts: 33
Posted:Watch out for these nasty fumes that come up right when you extinguish the wick sometimes. It's this partially liquid foggy gas - don't breathe that in. It's not good for your lungs. Watch that you don't play for too long with your fire that the wicks themselves start to burn.Be sure you check all your equipment carefully before you start. I've seen loose wicks detatch from the chains more than once.Like everybody said, have fun and congrats.Skye

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Jeff Duncan


member
Location: sidney, bc, canada

Total posts: 140
Posted:the best thing i can say is practice with tennis balls.unless your dumb like my friend and i who have many intresting stories remember chicks dig scars (burns are like scares arnt they?)besides isnt that why hospitles are here?

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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London, Wales (UK)

Total posts: 2211
Posted:Hi TaiGuyI just started using fire and I waited until I could light up with people who knew what they were doing, my friend chooch, a poi spinner and Graham a juggler. The three of us lit up togther and it was a blast. I did hit myself on the arm a couple of times singing the hair on my arms, but a sooty arm was definitely worth the thrill of the fire roaring around my head.I hit myself on the belly the other night and all I got there was a black sooty mark too. the wicks are only in touch with the skin for a fraction of a second and except for the cheap waxing job on my arm, I haven't been hurt at all! Follow the safety procedures and it really isn't so scary after all! Precaution wise, well you heard the others, wear only natural fibres, that way the worst that can happen is they will get a bit dirty. Keep a damp towel/fire blanket nearby and water. A couple of nights ago the flames on my Poi were licking up pretty high, possibly I didn't shake the fuel out enough, I considered putting them out with a towel, but then started spinning them and sure enough the flames weren't anything to be worried about.The flames seem to last about 5 minutes. I think if you have some moves down and are confident about your ability to use fire then definitely light up. Make sure that you accustom yourself to the Poi without fire first though. Graham gave a tip for fire juggling that would prolly apply well to Poi too. Start Poi'ing in the afternoon and around dusk, light your Poi and twirl with fire. That way you are practicing and building up your confidence, lighting up when you are nicely warmed up and when it is still brightish enough for you to see what you are doing. I use kerosene and store my Poi soaking in the kero in a tin covered with a lid. That way it's all ready, and fueled for when I get that urge to spin fire. Not without a spotter though, I'm sure there are those that do, but as a relative beginner with fire I don't think it's wise to do so without someone watching out for you.Best of luck, enjoy the thrill of the first time lighting upKat ------------------"London is a city coming down from its trip and there's going to be a lot of refugees" - Danny,Withnail & I

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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TaiGuy


member
Location: Yorktown, VA, USA

Total posts: 127
Posted:Thanx Everyone! I'll be sure to get some pics of my first attempt at fire lol [whether i live through it or not ^__^]. Just one more question, actually 2. So you say the burning time is usually around 5 minutes? How do i extinguish the wicks? Do they just sorta go out themselves? Do i drop them in water [don't think that would work since it's kerosene and water don't mix]? And Pele, what did you mean when you say you covered your wicks with school glue? wouldn't that make it waterproof and unable to soak fuel?------------------"Happiness is not a destination, but a method for life"- Burton Hills

The reason communism doesn't work is because people like to own stuff

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Dr.NoodleHead
BRONZE Member since Mar 2001

member
Location: The Giant Mushroom, United Kin...

Total posts: 170
Posted:Mine tend to put themselves out after about five minutes, but if you want to stop before that, just smother them with a damp towel. Can anyone suggest how to keep them going for longer - five minutes goes muchly too quickly. Never tried the glue thing, sorry.

Fish are just like trees except they move and they're invisible

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Simos


enthusiast
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 382
Posted:Hey...as i said i am not an expert on this so feel free to correct me...for putting out; don't worry too much about it i am sure that you will have exactly the opposite problem (wanting them to go on for longer
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) - if they don't go out by themselves spinning them fast will usually pout them out assuming that most of the fuel has been used up - otherwise just use a damp towel... just a tip (i don't know if it's just me being overcautious but anyway), once you've put them out wait a bit until they cool off before dipping them in fuel again...just to make sure...anyways i'll let the older and wiser take on...happy swinging,Simos


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:If you let them burn down to where they go out from spinning it will eat up your wicks. Smothering them in a damp (not soaked) towel as the flame gets low (you will get better at gauging this with time) helps toput them out and preserve them. Simos, it depends on the fuel you use. You want to make sure they are out before putting them back into coleman, however I have put out matches in lamp oil...they can literally still be sparking (not on fire) an go into that, which is what I do.Glue doesn't make it water proof at all. It takes a bit longer for it to soak up but it is well worth it. We give heavy coats (meaning we saturate) to the edges that are sewn down and to the tops and bottoms of the wicks, then a very light coating to the rest of the wick which helps prevent freying and smouldering a bit. Our fie eating torches wicks are completely hard with glue..so that when we are ready to toss a wick, nothing is left but this hard ball of burnt glue. It is also completely non-toxic, btw. We read the bottle and inquired with the company. Obviously we change our swinging tool wicks before it gets to that point but it really does work well.------------------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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Ajtag


Ajtag

The occasional one...
Location: nottingham

Total posts: 445
Posted:i think that pele has done a reather good job there. the main things that i have found is that when the chains are lit then there is quite a wind resistance so it is slower and that i am so shit scared of the fire i tend not to think and i just makesure that i dont hit myself anyway and it doesnt matter if it is your first time. like when i practice i make tons of mistakes, on fire i am fine and dont genrally hit myself.enjoy....angus

There are 10 types of people, those who understand binary and those who dont.
Enjoy - A

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Posted:Just a quick note on fuels. Rubbing alcohol is a really nice introduction to fire. It burns at a much lower temperature than any of the other fuels mentioned here and has the added bonus of being easy to get at any drugstore. The only downside is that the flame is much smaller and if you spin too fast you can actually put the wicks out (but for your first couple of times getting used to the flame that might not be a bad thing
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It is also fairly easy on your wicks (if you are using kevlar it barely burns them, but if it is a towel wick there isn;t much you can do to save them) and blows out easily either on your wick or on you.Pele was right on with her instructions and i would only add wear jeans. The extra layer of protection will save you when you accidentialy brush against your leg. just make sure you don;t make the mistake of wiping excess fuel off your hand on your pant leg... (it only happened once but that was enough for me to learn that lesson) if you get fuel on your hands clean it off before grabbing that lighter too.other than that have fun and enjoy the flames!


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psychomonkey


member
Location: Kansas City, MO USA

Total posts: 148
Posted:New York- Be very careful with burning rubbing alcohol, from what I understand, it's toxic (the fumes that is) Ive gotten some nasty headache cleaning, Im just picturing what would happen when you charred it. But, if you've had good luck, dont let me stop you, just dont hurt yourself. -PSMPS: Welcome to the group!

One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind.-Alphonse Bertillon

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Empress Kylon
GOLD Member since Mar 2006

Empress Kylon

member
Location: Golden Bay, New Zealand

Total posts: 28
Posted:ooooo i'm trying fire soon.
i can't wait

peace


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artindoril


member


Total posts: 117
Posted:Don't know if anyone has actually suggested this, but try a move without them lit and practise it like that for abit. That way if something does go wrong whilst you're getting used to the different weight \ learning a new move, then at least the things aren't alight. It's certainly what I do when trying a new move for the first time when using fire poi and even when I'm using my fire staff. I've just had too many oh so nearly's cos I've got cocky and tried to learn a new move with fire.

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