Mantis has been making fire props since 2001. He initially began constructing fire props as there were no readily available alternatives and no other fire dancers in the immediate area. This lead to a lot of experimentation both with different styles of common props and unique variations of other types of object manipulation. Upon connecting with the larger firedancing community, Mantis became known for building and wielding a large variety of props, and it wasn't long before folks were asking him to build them things.
The Playing Mantis was created with the aim of supplying both professional-quality versions of the more commonly used fire props as well as providing access to custom construction capabilities. We also carry wicking and hardware so that we can encourage folks to innovate on their own.
We're based in Wilmington, DE, though we travel throughout the East Coast of the US and ship throughout the country. Our online store, started in late 2010, is still new and continuing to expand. We're looking forward to being able to offer a wider and wider variety of both fire and non-fire object manipulation props and toys, and can't wait to see everyone playing with them!