Yep – I probably received six separate posts and tags of this from Fezbuk friends. And they're all waiting to see how I pull it off.
But I'm taking a different tack with mine – I'm going to make a cool-embers, last-for years version. I have two burned-out fire pit bowls to use as bases. My plan is to craft a pile of glowing embers in each of the fire bowls, and then top those with a stack of blackened skulls. I've built ember piles in past years with light strings and Great Stuff, so that won't be hard. I'm planning to use plastic skulls and bones for the stack, paint them black, ash them, and probably hide a second layer of lights in the middle of the pile. A little smoke for atmosphere, and I think it'll work.
A large FedEx box of plastic skulls was waiting on my porch when I got home tonight. Heh heh heh!
This is so cool! I guess eventually they'd break down, how long would they last?
Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, the best damn little band you should be listening to!
"There are no mistakes, only happy little accidents." - Bob Ross
Seems like if you make them out of the special cement, like they use to make fire bricks, they'd last for years.
"I'll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween..."
I am betting someone could make something like this using the old Great stuff faux embers technique. Make the fire using skulls rather than sticks and make some holes to release smoke from a fogger or cauldron mister in specific locations around the fire to make the smoke effect. Could also strategically place flicker lights inside the skulls or other places to give it a realistic fire type flicker as well.
A friend sent me the link, too, but she also sent a thread with a recipe for making somewhat less expensive refractory brick. It's 2 parts fireclay to 1 part each of perlite, clean sand, ash, and portland cement. I have not tried it -- no first hand experience at this point-- but the person who recommended it appears to have some significant experience making forges and such.
My plan is to try a few once it gets nice enough to take the mess outside. I intend to let the skull-bricks dry, and then give them a slow heat-up in the kiln, just to be sure no guests are hit with firebrick shrapnel from a bubble of moisture somewhere. Alternatively, a person could just bury them in a good hot fire and keep their distance.
I've done embers in the past (various prop-takes on a hellmouth), and am looking forward to assembling these two. I've had my best results imitating a fire using a combination of flicker lights, steady lights, and a lightning box. I just have to make sure I'm happy with the stack and design before I start gluing it all together.