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Everyone enjoys fireworks. Why? Because "Fireworks Make People Happy"!

The thrill of exploding fireballs and streams of multi-color streamers falling through the sky tickle our funnybones. If you can take your eyes off of the show for just a second and look at the faces around you, you'll see nothing but smiles. The majesty of a good fireworks show is awesome!

Now imagine that your hobby can bring out those smiles. The art, the chemistry, and the tedium needed to create these spectacular devices come together in a brief few seconds of fascination. The art is knowing how to blend the colors and the crafting of the device. The chemistry is in combining the metals and powders in just the right portions, with creative molding of the mixtures and careful drying to the final form. The tedium is in the careful construction, pasting and tying multiple layers of cardboard and paper, around a core of gunpowder and star nuggets, with wicks and paper match to make everything light at just the right time.

A well-constructed star shell can take up to 40 hours of effort to complete. And it's gone in a brief flash ... but, Oh! What a flash!

But, the danger, you say. Well, the danger comes when you break the rules. Yes, like just about every other endeavor, there are rules to making Pyrotechnics. Follow them religiously and the danger is virtually non-existant. Break them, and the consequences are severe. The art of Pyrotechnics is not for the young or the foolhardy. But, it's also not as dangerous as you might think.

As with mountaineering, skydiving, and scuba diving, you must study with a master before you're ready to venture out on your own. There are clubs of such masters available for your training. Seek them out and listen closely as they pass the art of fire to you. Soon you'll be able to craft the sky with arcs of light and sound. Yours will be the biggest smile of all!

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