The first piece I did, THE ORIGINAL STICK was a blast! We had friends at our house for a cocktail party. I had just received some high speed fuses and the base compounds to mix gunpowder. I did a small sketch of my trademarked stickman on a 24” square board. Friends watched warily as I mixed the gunpowder then sprinkled it on the board. It did not look like enough, so I put more gunpowder on the piece. Then, even more. At that point I layered some cardboard on top to force the blast back into the piece. I placed many rocks from our garden on top of it. I ran about a 20 foot length of fuse to it, thinking it would give us some space and time to get to a safe distance and anticipate the explosion.
I lit the fuse. And, it was a fuse that burns ten feet per second (which was much faster than expected). Nearly immediately, and before anyone was prepared, the piece ignited. Boom! There was a huge flash. There was way too much gunpowder. Rocks blew into the air and all over our guests! All the oxygen was sucked out of the area. A thirty foot high mushroom cloud of white smoke appeared.
I was hooked. I still have the piece, it looks cool.