The “rainbow” of star colors I’ll be discussing here builds on the methods detailed in the How to Make Screen-Sliced Brilliant-Red Rubber Stars project to expand your color palette of star choices.
Note: Be sure you learn and are familiar with that new way of making and priming stars before starting on this project!
The screen-sliced rubber stars production method has significant advantages for the small-scale hobbyist:
- A full range of great colors with a small collection of chemicals
- Simple and fast star-making process
- Fast drying stars, which are great for on-site pyro-device manufacture
- Very specific quantities of stars can be made, minimizing storage of excess stars
- Matching-color rising tails for shells and rockets can be made at the same time as the stars
- Metal particles may be added to the stars to create spark-trails behind the color-star heads
The introductory project focused on one basic star formula for “brilliant red” stars. At some point most fireworkers start to yearn for a wider variety of color stars and effects. They want to fill out the palette of potential star effects they have to choose from when making fireworks devices. Multiple colors and effects used in the same device, as seen in the photo below, can really make for interesting and beautiful fireworks.
Photo by Tom Handel
So how do you make a rainbow of color stars to go with those charcoal stars and glitter stars, silver-spark tailed stars, or a nice white star? At the same time, can we get around the problems of using chemicals that are hard to obtain or require special drying?
The purpose of this project is to answer these questions with a set of well-balanced color star formulas that use easily available and relatively non-hygroscopic chemicals. These formulas are designed to work well with the screen-slicing method described in How to Make Screen-Sliced Brilliant-Red Rubber Stars.
Now if I were you, I’d be clamoring to get my paws on those formulas and itching to start getting my hands dirty right away. So, I’m going to give you the table of new formulas right up front. Your job for this project is to use these new formulas along with the screen-slicing process you learned in the red rubber stars project to make some of these beautifully colored stars and try them out.
However, when you’ve worn out your hands (or exhausted your pyro budget), come on back in here and read the two sections of this project that come after the star formula table below.
In the first one, “Pyrotechnic Color,” I’ll explain how these (and other) formulas work to create colored flames and how you can mix and modify them to create even more colors for your pyro palette.
Finally, in “Developing a System of Bright Stars using Carbonates,” I will show you how to approach a major pyro research project by explaining how I went about developing this one. In doing so, I’ll include many more useful color star formulas for you to try and experiment with.