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Spinning wool in a factory

Spinning wool in a factory

Spinning wool in a factory is all very well; you can get some nice jumpers out of the process. But this is spinning wool in a factory according to the manual of Amazing Stuff: steel wool, set alight, twirled around in an abandoned Indianapolis factory by night, purely for the sake of amazing photos and a jolly evening.

Spinning wool

If you want to have a go at steel wool spinning yourself, be careful: we are talking about lumps of molten metal spraying in a chaotic vortex about your face. It would be advantageous to first acquire skills in the art of poi or fire spinning before tackling its errant brother steel wool spinning (or ‘sparkly poi’, as it is sometimes known).

Sparkly poi

Sparkle poi

Once you’re a master spinner, you will need to construct a small, rounded cage of wire mesh and secure this to the end of a light chain or metal cable. Fill the cage with fine-grade steel wool (not packed too loose or too tight) and cover your skin and hair with natural-fibre clothing. Then get yourself to an abandoned factory or some such post-apocalyptic location, light the wool with a lighter (or by rubbing a 9-volt battery against it), and spin yourself into oblivion.

Steel wool spinning at the top of factory tower

Spark spinning

For the photos, you will need your camera on a tripod and a six to eight second exposure at roughly f5.0. The technique is similar to light graffiti, but where the swirling colours of light graffiti have a fantasy feel, the white hot sparks steel wool spinning seem altogether more dystopian. When taken in such an iconic location, they bring the stark reality of industrial decay, and even the passage of time, into a sparkling new light.

Steel wool spinning photo

Steve Schubert wool spinning

These amazing photos were shared with us by photographer Steve Schubert. Visit the Steve Schubert photoblog for more amazing photos. Thanks a lot Steve!

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