Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gypsy Wagon Progress Report 12-19-2009

I got the floor frame skinned last weekend. This meant putting sheet metal on the bottom and painting it. Once the floor was done I and three friends, Dan, Jason and Amber, carried the 6'x16' steel frame out of the shop and onto the trailer. With the floor now on the trailer I welded the pre-made end panels and side panels to the floor and to each other. The Gypsy Wagon is finally starting to look like something.

Today I bent and welded some of the curved ribs on the wagon. It's starting to look a lot like a Conestoga wagon. I guess it's the decorations that will make it look gypsyesque. I am very pleased with how it's going together so far. I have been very careful to constantly measure and square everything so I don't run into fitting problems later on and it's looking like that care is paying off.

When all the curved ribs are welded on (there are four more) I can then skin the outside of the caravan. The sooner the better on this so I can protect the inside from the weather. For the time being I will have to cover it with tarps so the metal won't rust. I'd like to use some RV siding but I don't know if I can afford it. I found a pattern I like that I think will work

There is a lot to this project. Not only do I get to exercise my welding skills, I get to learn wood working, plumbing, and electrical skills as the Gypsy Wagon progresses. I am hoping to scrounge appliances out of old, dead motor homes to save money. The further I get on the project, the more excited I become!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Leave an Interesting Trace - Part One

Over Thanksgiving weekend about twenty-five people went out to the desert near the Salton Sea, California to build a large, collaborative artwork out of junk. We have a couple of working names for it - The Tower of Barbarella was the first name we came up with. Another suggested name was "The Tower of Slabylon" No decisions have been made on this yet.

We all had a great time building and decorating the tower as well as taking field trips to other Slab City art destinations like Rockette Bob's Church of Broken Toys, Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain, and the two huge concrete tanks that have been totally muralized by a lone artist who calls himself Tom.

I shot video at the event and also took some still photos. The stills are at

The video is at

Big THANKS to Charlie Russell, the Mayor of East Jesus, and to everyone who contributed and participated in the project. We are NOT done! There will likely be another art jam at East Jesus probably in March of 2010.