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Aerial Silk Kit
It can be hard to decide what the best gear for your aerial silk (aerial tissue) rig should be, so let us help. Our Aerial Silk Kit has everything you need to get your aerial rig going.
One (1) 20 yard aerial silk tissue, 108 inches wide, of your choice of color
One (1) figure-eight descender (a.k.a rescue eight), flat on one side to distribute weight more evenly.
One (1) large ball bearing swivel with 3-year guarantee and up to 10-year life. Keeps silk from twisting, and reduces torque on the sling or bolt attachment points.
Two (2) William screw lock carabiners. Use to secure swivel to descender, rescue eight, or hook, and to secure swivel to sling or other attachment point.
One (1) 120 centimeter sling. Put over and around a sturdy horizontal support.

Aerial Silk Hammock
The Fire Mecca Aerial Silk Hammock can be used for performance, exercise, suspended yoga, or to generate atmosphere.

The Aerial Silk Hammock comes with 10 yards of aerial fabric silk, two (2) carabiners and two (2) figure eight descenders (a.k.a. rescue eights). You can upgrade your order with 2 adjustable QuickFix Slings which will allow you to easily adjust your hammock's distance from the ground or apparatus.

Aerial Fabric Silk
Fire Mecca aerial silks (also known as aerial ribbons, aerial silks, aerial tissues, fabric, ribbon, or tissu, depending on region) are incredibly strong with some give and flexibility. Aerial silks are 108 inches (~2.8 meters) wide, and gather well for the average adult. Perfect for your aerial endeavors!

The total length needed can be calculated by doubling the total rigging height, and adding two to three yards or meters.

Our aerial fabric silks are currently made of low-stretch nylon tricot. Linear length stretch is approximately 10 percent, and horizontal stretch is approximately 50 percent.

Featured Article: Rachel Stegman of Circus School of Arizona
E. E. Cummings once wrote, “Damn everything but the circus.” Performance arts can bring laughter, tears, suspense, and sometimes even terror. During the month of April, we want to focus on increasing education and awareness about the potential dangers and necessary precautions for safe aerial acrobatic practices. To begin the dialogue, we interviewed Rachel Stegman, owner of the Circus School of Arizona. Rachel trained for many years at the Circus Center in San Francisco, Trapeze Arts in Oakland, and Gregangelo of Gregangelo & Velocity Circus. She started working with Gregangelo in 1999. She later founded the Circus School of Arizona in 2007, where she teaches aerial acrobatics including rope, tissu (or silks), static trapeze, aerial hammock and aerial hoop (Lyra). Over the years many of her students in the Bay area and Arizona have become notable performers across the United States as well as internationally.

Rachel was eight years old when she was first exposed to circus arts. Her family went on vacation to a Club Med that had a circus program and she was instantly enamored. There were no schools in Arizona teaching aerial acrobatics which led to Rachel spending time at circus camps across the country as a child and young teen.

Starting in her early twenties, for ten years, Rachel studied intensively with many renowned aerialists. During this time, she was taken on as an adjunct instructor, performer, and administrator for Gregangelo &Velocity Circus as well as an instructor at Trapeze Arts. After moving back to Phoenix to be close to her family and start a family of her own, Rachel embarked on the journey of running her own circus school. Arizona still had no formal school, but there was, and still is, a growing number of people interested in learning aerial arts. The Circus School of Arizona provides a safe environment to learn those arts.

One of the most frightening things about aerial is when things go wrong: equipment isn’t properly inspected or is of a substandard quality, an aerial performer may not have studied long enough before going out and performing solo, they may attempt more difficult moves than they have been trained to do or they perform or practice without a mat. A growing trend is that people with little to no training are attempting to teach aerial arts and are doing it without the proper safety equipment and in environments not suitable for safe training. A novice or someone who has learned from websites will most often not be aware of the safe progression of learning tricks or may utilize improper techniques such as which muscles to engage and relax during various tricks or sequences.

There really is no one component that is more important than others. Because the equipment is a direct chain supporting the performer’s weight and tension, each individual piece of equipment is vital to the performer’s safety. Injuries can be drastically reduced in both number and severity by having the correct rigging, including quality locking carabiners, and using crash mats.

Rachel’s most valuable advice for aspiring aerial artists is that they ask questions of their potential aerial instructors. How many years they have been studying? Approximately how many hours per week did they study? With whom did they train? Keep in mind that someone can list reputable schools or aerialists on their résumé even if they only took a couple classes with them. Research the instructors and/or schools named by the potential instructor to make sure they also have good solid aerial training. Note that just because a group has a nice website and photos, it does not mean that they are a legitimate source of aerial knowledge. Experienced teachers are the key to learning good, solid technique, and ensuring a professional, polished, and safe aerial experience.

Rachel’s Circus School is located in Fitness Dynamics in North Scottsdale, Arizona. You can study aerial arts Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday evenings. Classes are by reservation only. You may make reservations and find out more about the aerial arts by visiting www.circusschoolofarizona.com. You can also see performances by CSA Events, the performing branch of The Circus School, by checking their schedule on the home site.

Fire Mecca carries the finest in professional aerial rigging equipment. Petzl ball bearing swivels prevent ropes and silks from twisting when the load is rotating. These swivels have excellent performance and reliability due to the maintenance-free sealed ball-bearings. They also have a three year guarantee and can last 10 years before retirement, which is markedly better than other swivels on the market. Also important in a safe aerial set up is a figure-eight descender. Aerial fabric is looped through our Petzl figure-eight (“huit”) descender, where weight is distributed evenly across its flat side. Fire Mecca recommends the Vulcan high-strength steel carabiners for all safety-critical rigging setups.

Rigging must be inspected and retired on a periodic basis. Petzl equipment comes with fantastic instructions that include advice on inspecting and retiring gear, as needed. If you’ve had your rig set up for a while, it may be time to replace a few things. In addition to the essentials already mentioned, if your silk needs replacing, now may be an excellent time to freshen you colors for spring. Fire Mecca carries a low-stretch nylon tricot in red, black, blue, green, white, and more. Check out this month’s special on the Aerial Silk Kit for more information!

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Fire Mecca
2417 E. Calle Joya de Ventura
Tucson, AZ 85706

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(877) 235-2662

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