Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] flaming coconuts?
- Do you have any video recordings of the number with the visible flames? I am
curious to see it...
I am not sure how safe this is, since you will be dancing with open flames,
but when I do fire breathing and fire poi spinning, we use surgical cotton
soaked in alcohol (Golden Grain is gross tasting, but is cheap and does the
job well). The alcohol creates a "low temperature" flame, but, you must be
wary that it will still burn you, and I'd be especially wary about the
beautiful dancers' hair around an open flame...
But, you might be able find a way to secure cotton in the bottom of
coconuts, soak in alcohol, and see how that looks? I would also do
experiments to see how long it lasts, depending on how much cotton / alcohol
you use. Could you use an industrial staple gun to keep the cotton in it?
I am definitely curious to hear other people's ideas about this.
2010/6/10 n taylor <harpist@...>
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> I make costumes for a hula troupe. They are doing a candle number - it's
> quite beautiful. We take coconut halves and put tea lights in them. but -
> the gals saw a similar number done and the girls were holding coconuts that
> had visible flames coming out of them. Now they want something more
> spectacular than tea lights! I'm stumped. I tried melting candle wax and
> basically making the coconut into one giant candle, but it's not the effect
> they want.
> I have tried a few theatre supply places but they don't have the kind of
> effects I'm looking for. Someone suggested using fireplace gel in the bottom
> of the coconut but frankly that scares me!
> I tried asking some other hula teachers but they don't know how this was
> done either.
> Anybody know of a source or have experience with flames? I thought of
> attaching some kind of wick to the bottom of the coconut, soaking it with
> tiki fuel and lighting it, but don't know how to get the wick attached so it
> doesn't come out while they girls are dancing.
> lol - I thought when I started doing costumes that I'd be challenged with
> unique sewing tasks, not figuring out how to do special effects!
- A link or video clip would be helpful, because the size and color of the flame could provide some clues about how they did it. However, I like the cotton idea...you could either go with the alcohol, or (if you want a flame that will last longer) you could also try working some petroleum jelly into the cotton (it's a 'quick fire-starter' technique I picked up from some backpacking friends--the petroleum jelly, or the cotton, alone, don't burn very well, if at all. But together, the jelly acts as a fuel and the cotton acts as a wick). If you can secure a small metal hook in the bottom of the coconut, you can snag the cotton onto it (wrap it around several times) and keep it secure.
However, the alcohol will light more easily, I'm sure, and should burn long enough for the purposes of a number or two (I'd still try the metal hook inside the coconut to hold the cotton in place). Whichever route you go, if you aren't doing it already, keep a wet towel handy off-stage to douse flames in a hurry.
The hook would probably also work with a wick...but I think a wick and tiki oil would 'cook off' too quickly and you wouldn't get the effect you're looking for. Of course, tiki lamps are designed to burn with an open flame, so it might work (I'm more concerned that the oil would burn off too quickly without a larger reservoir to draw from).
I know a couple of people who do fire-eating/fire-spinning, with a wide variety of implements...I can try asking around and see if they've got any suggestions...
--- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, rebecca bunny flower <bunnyflower@...> wrote:
> Do you have any video recordings of the number with the visible flames? I am
> curious to see it...
> I am definitely curious to hear other people's ideas about this.
> 2010/6/10 n taylor <harpist@...>
> > Anybody know of a source or have experience with flames? I thought of
> > attaching some kind of wick to the bottom of the coconut, soaking it with
> > tiki fuel and lighting it, but don't know how to get the wick attached so it
> > doesn't come out while they girls are dancing.