Essentially the same as a peony shell, with an standard bursting charge, but with fewer and larger stars. These stars travel a longer-than-usual distance from the shell break and usually droop considerably before burning out. For instance, if a 3" peony shell is made with a star size designed for a 6" shell, it is then considered a dahlia. Some dahlia shells are cylindrical rather than spherical to allow for more large stars.



DOT - US Department of Transportation who makes rules about shipping fireworks, chemicals, etc.

Cut stars

Combustible cubes made by regularly cutting a damp mass are called Cut stars. Cutting probably is the easiest method to make stars and there is more than one way to do this. The following are quite common methods:


A crossette star is a usually - large pumped star. It differs from normal stars in that it has a four sided cavity in one end that penetrates rather deeply, which is filled with a powerful burst charge, usually but not exclusively flash powder.

Cross match

A cross match is a piece of bare match or black match which is threaded through a hole in the time fuse, so fire is transferred from the black match to the black powder core of the time fuse. It provides for more reliable fire transfer and is most commonly used in aerial shells.

Crackling Micro-stars

Crackling microstars (also called Dragon's eggs) are small pyrotechnic stars which first burn for a period giving a visual effect and then explode with a sharp crack. This Chinese discovery is extensively used in both consumer and professional fireworks. When several stars are lit at the same time, a crackling effect is achieved as the individual granules each explode with a slightly different delay.

Note that the eggs are notoriously sensitive to friction and, to a lesser amount, to shock.


Convolute tubes

Convolute tubes are those rolled from a square sheet of paper. Thus the edge of the paper is parallel to the axis of the tube. Convolute tubes are superior to spiral-wound ones in quality, but the prize generally is also higher. They are recommended for high-pressure applications (rockets, fountains) as well as for candles etc.


A combination of chemicals that forms a pyrotechnic mixture, desired for specific color or effect.


In pyrotechnics a comet is a block of pyrotechnic composition. They are very similar to stars but are usually much larger, however there is no official size where a comet is called a comet rather than a star. Comets are sometimes donut-shaped to increase surface area and decrease burn time. They can either be fired alone or as rising tails, which are comets that are attached to the outside of an aerial shell.

Colored fires

Colored fires are slow burning color compositions that are burnt as heaps (without a container) or being loaded into short tubes by simple means.


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