Glitter is That Silver Twinkly Part at the Bottom of These Brocade Shells
This is a gold brocade shell. Glitter is hard to depict in slow-shutter-speed fireworks
photographs, but you can get an idea of how silver glitter might look like in the sky if you
enlarge the photo above.
Here's a good recipe for making yellow glitter from Bob Winokur. Bob wrote the greatest treatise on
making glitter stars and comets,
Pyrotechnica 2. It's probably the most complete study of glitter stars ever done. This
article ran in the August 1992 issue of the First Fire, the Florida Pyrotechnic Arts Guild's
excellent newsletter. Thanks to FPAG for letting us use this, and Chris Miller, wherever you
are, for writing it.
by Chris Miller-WPA
I originally got this formula from Dr. Winokur a few years ago as a universal (good for all
occasions), "state of the art" yellow glitter. It has a long delay and can be used in any
sized star, from 1/4" t o 3." Stars 5/8" and smaller tend towards the "glitter cloud"
effect and are great in shells by themselves or mixed with color stars in a volume ratio
of 3:1 or 4:1 (color g1itter). Stars 3/4" and larger leave long, beautiful tails and are
particularly suitable as either regular comets or crossettes.
Assuming the ingredients are lump-free, sieve the mix three times through a 20-mesh screen
(window screen works fine) and bind with 8% water. This isn't a lot of water so one should
knead it for several minutes to insure that the water is well incorporated. Because of the
antimony sulfide, I wear a respirator when mixing the dry ingredients and latex gloves when
adding the water (I'm told antimony poisoning is akin to lead or barium poisoning-very
unpleasant and I don't want to find this out first hand!)
Priming is not required although some people like to prime them when going for the cloud
effect. It is also a good idea to lightly prime the exposed face of crossettes made with
this formula because there is a lot less exposed ignition area on a crossette compared to a
regular comet of the same size. Priming is cheap insurance against one or two of them being
blown blind and diminishing the symmetry of the break (not to mention wasting all that labor
that goes into making each crossette that didn't work).