Create a "Poof" of White Smoke Stage Special Effect With Flash Powder
How do I get a "poof" of white smoke so that I can make a witch magically appear? You can use the following items from our Special Effects products page:
FX0600 Non-Concussion Electric Flash Pot
GN5025 Nichrome Igniter
FX1062 White Flash Powder
Before I go into the gory details, I should point out that this can be dangerous to the witch. Practice it many times on a dummy or a stand-in. Practice outdoors on a still day. Get the amount of flash powder and the size of the poof dialed in so that nothing gets burned. Write down the exact amount of powder that you are going to use. Remember that inside that "poof" you want is a fireball. Keep in mind that from the audience's viewpoint, it is possible to place the flash pot further away from your witch than you might think. There is a tendency to want to place it closer than necessary to the person.
Here's how you do it, take one average sized witch and set her up wherever she's supposed to be, ideally in the shadows. Make sure she is behind a flameproof curtain. Black cotton material, treated with a flame retardant will work fine. Train a light or spot on her. Plug that light into a drop cord. Take an Electric Flash Pot and attach one of the Nichrome Igniter wires to the two electrical contacts, bending the wire down into the depression in the pot. From the place where you will be controlling the effect, run a drop cord over to the witch. Do not plug it into an electrical outlet. Place your Electric Flash Pot as far in front of your handy-dandy expendable witch as possible. Now, making sure that no body part you care about is ever directly over the flash pot, place a measured amount of White Flash powder into the depression on top of the igniter wire. Plug the 110-volt AC cord from the flash pot into your drop cord. Make sure neither you nor anyone else gets any closer than 20 feet to the flash pot until after it is fired. Go back to the other end of your drop cord and plug it into an electrical power strip like the one your computer is probably plugged into right now. BE SURE THE POWER STRIP IS SET TO "OFF." Next plug the drop cord that runs to the witch's spot light into the same power strip. When you are ready to make your witch appear, just plug the power strip into an outlet, and turn the power strip switch on. That will fire the concussion pot, creating a poof and a puff of smoke and turn on the witch's spotlight at the same time. As soon as the poof starts, your handy-dandy stagehand should smoothly pull the curtain down or aside. Then, when the smoke clears; Voila, the witch appears!
Cautions--again: First, practice this outdoors as many times as it takes to get it right. Get enough extra flash powder to do your practicing, probably 2-3 additional containers of White Flash. Especially important is to determine the size of the poof from the white flash you want. Remember, there is fire in that poof. It is not just smoke. So you want to make sure nothing near the flash will catch on fire including you, the witch, any flammable materials, and your audience.