Introduction to Black Powder Rockets
Tent 2 | Seminar
February 17, 2023, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Presented by: Kurt Medlin, Mason Jensen, Scott Morton, Steve Majdali
Lecture portion – This workshop on traditional black powder rockets is a perennial favorite at Winter Blast. We will demonstrate how to make a “one-pound” black powder rocket. Starting with a few simple tools, a tube, some clay, a few ounces of black powder composition, and a stick, they will explain all the elements that go into making a successful rocket as they demonstrate the technique. Attendees will then have a chance to make their own rocket in the workshop portion which they can fire that night. A materials fee will be charged per student.
Additional Session Information
Kurt Medlin first began trying to make fireworks around age 10 (with the patient tolerance of his mother and the encouragement of his father!). An avid collector of fireworks books and publications, Kurt acquired copies of the classic texts by Weingart, Davis, and Lancaster by his late teens. Kurt joined the PGI in 1982 at age 22, attended his first PGI convention in 1983 and gave his first seminar at the 1986 PGI convention. Kurt worked his first public fireworks display in 1984. Kurt is a life member of both the PGI & WPA and a former board member of both organizations.
Kurt has given seminars at previous PGI conventions and WPA Winter Blast conventions on black powder rockets, tourbillions, girandolas, large bore candles, fountain and wheel construction, and traditional Italian shell building. In addition to hands-on firework making, Kurt is interested in fireworks history and collecting antiquarian fireworks literature.
Hailing from Southern Idaho, Mason is a collector of weird literature, dangerous chemicals, and a reasonable amount of string. He works full time in the family fireworks business, Acme Fireworks. When he isn’t involved with fireworks Mason spends his time relaxing with his small family, cooking large BBQ, and playing miniature golf.
Scott Morton a relative newcomer to the organized pyro community, has enjoyed fireworks for as long as he can remember. His interest in making fireworks eventually led to his finding Ned Gorski and Fireworking.com, and then into the pyro community with membership in WPA and PGI. Scott has become an accomplished builder of ground and aerial fireworks. His current areas of special interest include Italian Cylinder shells, the glitter effect, and all ground fireworks, specifically items that spin! When not studying or making fireworks, Scott is a fireman and paramedic who enjoys spending time with his wife Amy.
is a charter member of the WPA, a member of the PGI since 1984, and is an executive member of the Reaction Research Society (the oldest amateur rocketry organization in the USA). He has been published in several pyrotechnic newsletters as well as Pyrotechnica and American Fireworks News. Always willing to share, Steve has given seminars or demonstrations at every PGI convention attended so far (20 to date) and many more at Winter Blast. A licensed pyrotechnic operator for over twenty years in CA, Steve is a fabricator of pyrotechnic tooling, an amateur chemist, and a pyrotechnic consultant and educator. An electrical mechanic by trade and an inventor/tinkerer by nature, He is mostly self-taught in chemistry, fluid power systems, and writing. He has been a fireworks enthusiast since his youth and learned machining to further his research in pyrotechnics and rocketry.