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.

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