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fun with wire wool

I never knew you can have so much creative fun with wire wool, if you twirl it around after setting it on fire! I never even knew that fine wire wool can be set alight in the first place. Needless to say, when my son told me about this little home science gem I was keen to find out if it was as good as I was told.




So if you want to have a go, here’s what you need.

  1. A lighter
  2. A hand balloon whisk (stainless steel!) with a loop on the end.
  3. Some FINE wire wool (coarse or medium does not work)
  4. A length of wire or string at least a metre long (I used my dog’s lead).
  5. A camera with exposure time of around 10 seconds.
  6. Old clothes, including a beany/hoody/hat to stop your hair catching fire.

So just fluff up the wool, stuff it in the hand whisk and tie the string to the loop on the whisk. Wait for it to go dark and get your camera ready. Something like F8, manually set to keep the shutter open for about 20 seconds. Focus the camera and when ready, light the wool and spin it around a bit to get it going. Click your camera and off you go.

Here’s our first attempt!


As you can see, the effects are quite something and here’s some more with a bit of practice. DO NOT DO INDOORS! The building shown below as an abandoned military building containing nothing that could catch light.