Friday, May 23, 2008

The Seussian Pedal Tractor

This Memorial Day weekend is the Kinetic Grand Championship in Arcata, CA. This is the largest and oldest kinetic sculpture race in the country. Since it started in 1969, several other races have cropped up across the country. These include The East Coast Championship in Baltimore, MD and about 6 others. One of the newest of these happens to be held in Prescott Valley, AZ - only 10 miles from my house.

The third annual Prescott Valley Kinetic Sculpture Race will be held on Sept 13th, 2008. Last year I was one of the judges. This year I will have an entry. It's working name is "The Seussian Pedal Tractor." I suspect I'll come up with a better name for it before it's done. Here is a drawing of what I will try to create out of steel and old bicycle parts. There are two seats in the back and one up front. All riders will be able to pedal. Note that the 6-foot diameter rear wheels do not have tires. They have shoes instead.
As fabrication proceeds I will post updates here. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Toast 2008

The best Toast ever! That's what we thought of last weekend's Arizona regional burn called Toast. The weather was perfect. It was tons of fun. Above is a picture of people enjoying the Snake Pit. The Snake Pit consists of a 30-foot long handmade fabric snake named Juliet. She is stuffed with blankets, pillows, pool noodles, and whatever else we could come up with to make her full and soft. The Snake Pit was filled with stuffed animals to create a silly cuddle space.

Below is a 30-second video of Mr. God lighting his hair on fire while spinning poi. His hair got singed but his scalp did not.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Toaster Tune Up

The Toaster is a steel sculpture that also serves as an outdoor heater. It consists of three wood burning chimneys that come together at the top. The rising heat spins a propeller. It weighs about 1200 pounds but disassembles into 9 major pieces and a bunch of smaller ones so it's not too heavy to move.

I designed it a couple of years ago and it was built by members of the Arizona Burning Man community at a series of work parties at my shop. We built it so we could use it at our events, particularly Toast, which is an official regional Burning Man event. It's been to Burning Man a couple of times and gets used three or four times a year at various events.

When it is lit up, a large warm space is created in and around the chimneys. It gets burned so hot that the metal warps. It has proven to be a great place to hang out on a cold night. Every year it returns to Cosmic Steel for a tune up. We beat the warped metal back into shape, fix broken welds, and get it ready for the next season of usage.

Yesterday was 2008's Toaster Tune Up Party. Part of the work this time was to put sides on its designated trailer so it won't slide off on bumpy roads. Now the Toaster is all set for next weekend's Toast event and whatever else it gets used at.

Below is a picture of the Toaster set up at Toast two years ago.