Pyro Tyro

I live in Virginia which is currently a Safe-n-Sane state with regards to fireworks. Generally, the public can only purchase consumer fountains and sparklers that have been approved by the local AHJ.  I’ve looked into joining a Pyro Club in the past but it never worked out from a schedule perspective.  This summer, I found out about the Mid-Atlantic Pyrotechnic Arts Guild (MAPAG) fireworks club which:

  • meets locally in Locust Grove, VA (just down the road from me in Fredericksburg, VA
  • meets more frequently (the last weekend of April through October)
  • is a builder focused club where members get to learn about pyrotechnics and work on making their own fireworks


I went out for the Saturday of the July weekend, met a bunch of the club members, was welcomed to club and got to build my first few 6″ ball shells.  Looking forward to seeing them fired.  I spent the August weekend out at the club event making my own black powder, making some glitter stars and making some 5″ ball shells along with my son.

The September event will be focused on the club’s big yearly show so there will be little to no manufacturing that weekend.  I am hoping to work on a cylinder shell in October and have been practicing building techniques based on information from Fulcanelli I and Fulcanelli II and from numerous demonstration videos from Ned Gorski ( and Paul Moulder (BangkokPyro).

I will have some followup posts showing my assembly of dummy shells to see about getting some feedback before October.