We recently acquired a pole pig at the lab. We bought it off a guy who didn’t have time for a high voltage hobby any more, and so far we’ve made a Jacob’s ladder with it, and used it to make fulgurites.
Fulgurites are the figures made by lightning hitting sand (or other melty grainy materials). We don’t have lightning but we can definitely simulate it with the pole pig. We start by putting sand (100lb for $7 at Home Depot) in a terracotta pot. We stick electrodes from the transformer straight into the pot and turn it on. The result comes out like this.
We then epoxy them into nice solid pieces of art. I made a video about the process for my science class.
Credits to Pip aka @yoyojedi for helping me out with this. He’s the fulgurite master and was nice enough to teach me how.