How to do explosive art

Materials needed

  • 2 mm leads (hardness recommended: HB-medium);
  • Wires with crocodile clips;
  • A4 sheets of paper (grams per square metre recommended: 160 g);
  • Plug with bipolar power supply wire, duly modified by separating phase from neutral;
  • Power socket (230 V).


  1. Position the A4 sheets on a flat surface or simply on the ground;
  2. Lay the leads on the sheets of paper in a casual way (it is a good rule to lay at least one mine on each sheet);
  3. Connect each lead to the closest one by their ends, using the wires with crocodile clips;
  4. Connect the first and the last lead respectively to the plug’s phase and neutral;
  5. Make sure that the leads-terminals sequence is a closed circuit;
  6. Connect the plug to the socket;
  7. Wait for the leads to catch fire (a few seconds will suffice);
  8. Disconnect the plug from the socket.

Technical information

Graphite, of which leads are made, is a mineral, an electrical conductor that disperses energy in the form of
heat when electricity is run through it, according to the so-called “Joule effect”.
The power dispersed in the form of heat can be represented by this formula:
where P is the dispersed power, V is the voltage (230 V) and R is the resistance offered by the conductor.


Work by:

Technical support by:

  • Gabriele Frediani
  • Paolo Malfatti
L'arte delle mine is hosted by BAU #09