Chrysanthemum 6 is a composition which was designed by Takeo Shimizu. The 6 in that name comes from the ratio of charcoal to potassium nitrate, which is 6:10. A reddish fire dust effect is obtained, which is relatively short-lived. To obtain the fire dust, the potassium nitrate must be in solution, which is then absorbed by soaking the charcoal. Therefore, a wet process must be used when mixing.
This mix burns well and reasonably fast. Pine charcoal is used to obtain a more attractive spark, while Willow charcoal makes the effect last longer. Alternatively, another hardwood charcoal--such as beech--can be used for a long effect.
Grind each ingredient separately in a mortar and pestle, or with coffee grinder, until as fine as possible. Screen the chemicals together by passing the mixture several times through a mesh screen, until evenly mixed. Then mill the composition for a minimum of 3-4 hours. The chrysanthemum mix can now be rolled, pumped, pressed etc. When preparing the stars, use a solution of about 75% water and 25% isopropyl alcohol, with no less than 75% water. The alcohol helps the charcoal absorb the potassium nitrate solution by reducing water's surface tension, thereby allowing the solution to enter more of the charcoal's pores. The drying time of the composition is also reduced, as alcohol evaporates faster than water.