so, this one time… at Burningman….
I was sitting in camp enjoying a beer at the Burn some years back when up walked Watermelon Dan (some know him, some don’t. s’cool). He said he wanted something “more” out of his poi. Something bigger. I told him that he came to the right guy. :)
I futzed around with kevlar for a while until an image of the Death Stars popped into my head. I tried in vain to make them but, instead came up with a new kind of cathedral fold. For those not in the know, a cathedral fold typically looks like our medium kevlar poi, and involves folding two strips of kevlar back and forth then stabbing a bolt through them. The serious advantage of this kind of fold is that EVERY layer gets secured on the hardware. The new fold involves 3 strips of kevlar, but otherwise has all the same advantages.
I was disappointed, but showed them to Dan anyway. He loved them. Immediately he attached them to his chains and let fly. He was spinning them near some solar powered walkways lights that had come on while I finished up. Each time the wicks got near the lights, they’d shut off (presumably because they thought the sun was up and it was time to charge). So, poi that were as bright as the sun… well, that’s where the name came from.
Yup, they’re bright. But they’re also very long lasting. Fresh wicks can burn as long as 6 minutes on white gas. The cathedral folding makes them tough and durable, for hundreds of burns. They’re all kevlar so you can use kero or lamp oil to get even longer burns. (insert Tim the Tool Man hominid grunt).
Eventually, I did manage the Death Star fold. But that’s a different story. Now that Dan’s gone, and things have settled, I thought it was a good time to tell this story.