Pencil Incinerated With Electricity




Introduction: Pencil Incinerated With Electricity

About: Robb was once an Artist-in-Residence at Autodesk's Pier 9. He went to Carnegie Mellon to study Art. He mostly does tangible artifacts that are often complex. He can be reached at

120 AC Volts are run through a pencil. A Rheostat is used to regulate voltage.
The pencil Does not survive

Contributors: James Paulius

Shot on an Olympus E-P1 with Panasonic 20mm f1.7 

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    5 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I just found this LOL. In the late 80's my friend and I ran a electronic repair shop with about 4 people. We would wait for someone to go into the bathroom, string together heavy test leads, have a pre-sharpened a pencil at both ends, and slid this under the door. We had a huge rack-mounted "power supply of doom". This thing could pump out many amps current limited. The pencil ignited and filled the bathroom with smoke. Was a hilarious prank that happened all the time. Made use almost afraid to go in there. Another prank: when repairing an older crt televisions, make a loud clap behind the person doing the repair. You never get used to the sound. Just like that of an exploding capacitor.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Terrorism at our electronics college: We used to find the tiniest electrolytic caps we could find, preferably with some terrible rating like "10V". The small ones have the biggest bang, and not bad amounts of magic smoke. South Africa runs on 220V....

    We would open up the box of some extension cord, wire the cap parallel over the live and neutral, close it up, and wait for some student to come sit down to do some bread-boarding or soldering. Plugs in, switches on, and is traumatized for life. Until they eventually find closure by doing it again to new students, a year or so later.

    A cycle of violence against capacitors.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the inspiration...

    Buahahaha......[evilly rubbing hands]......

    The Serial Arsonist