Sunday, January 17, 2010

Caravan Progress Report 1-17-2010

I picked up the roofing panels on Friday. Just in time, too. Big weather is supposed to be coming our way and I needed to get a roof on the gypsy wagon so the plywood floor doesn't get ruined. The panels are 20 feet long so I hitched up my other trailer and rigged a way to put the panels on it. Fortunately they came bundled on a makeshift pallet of sorts and it wasn't too hard to manage.

On Saturday Nita and I started screwing down the roofing. She would sight along the ribs and tell me where to put the screws. A good bit of teamwork. We got all the panels on but they weren't trimmed yet. I used nearly 300 screws and there are still another 50 or so that need to be put in. That can wait until later.

On Sunday I got out the plasma torch and cut the roofing panels to fit. We also put the roof on the clerestory structure on top. The final step was to silicone all the screw heads. I then tied tarps up on the ends of the wagon and threw a tarp over the top. This wasn't easy. The gypsy wagon is pretty tall and we had a heck of a time getting the tarp over it. The wind kept picking it up and tossing it around. We got it, though and now it should be ready for the rain and snow that is forecast for all of this week.

The photos below show what the gypsy wagon looked like at the end of Saturday. I did not get a photo of it with the roof panels all trimmed and screwed down to the curve of the frame.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cosmic Caravan Progress Report 1/8/2010

Since we got back from a trip to California I got some more work done on the gypsy wagon. I put in the floor insulation - 1 inch thick polystyrene panels. I put the 3/4" plywood floor down and attached with lots of screws. I finished the curved ribs on the frame and built the clerestory window structure for the roof.

I ordered the roofing panels, too. They should be here late next week. I wanted a certain pattern of RV siding but the cost turned out ti be prohibitive. I settled for metal house roofing panels which was 1/3 the cost. I got 29 gauge steel coated with an aluminum/zinc alloy and painted an off-white. The color, or lack of it, will make a good background to paint murals on the sides.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mosaic, Junk, and Mud

We just got back from a week-long driving adventure to southern California over the Christmas holidays. Since Adventures in the Zone is about art I will focus on the arty parts of our trip. We also visited family and friends for most of the time which was the reason for the trip.

We visited Queen Califia's Magical Circle in Escondido - my second visit but Nita's first. It is truly magical even though I can see some deterioration since my last visit. There is supposed to be a foundation that maintains the site but I didn't see evidence of anyone repairing the broken bits. The first phot0 in this post shows two giant mosaic snakes that frame a view of Queen Califia atop a giant bird.

My brothers and their significant others joined Nita and I along with my good friend, Don, and went to see the movie, "Avatar", in 3-D. A ground breaking movie for sure. I recommend it, especially in 3-D. It is visually amazing.

We went for a walk in Elysian Park in L.A. with friends who live near there. Surprisingly, there are some folk-art pieces cropping up in the less-manicured areas of the park. These things are happening without permission from authorities and by anonymous artists. A totem pole of toys and junk was quite nice. We didn't have a camera with us on that walk so I didn't get a photo myself. I did find a photo of it online, though, on a blog called Summer of Shred. Here's a link to their photo of the Santa Totem

We went out to East Jesus on our way back to Arizona. Things keep changing out there. Some more work has been done on the Tower of Found Object Art and a visitor has arranged the truckload of duck and goose decoys around the tower in an entertaining and hilarious way. Some are partially buried as if the dirt was the surface of a lake. Some are interacting with pieces of junk that are lying around. Nice work! Only a small portion of the duck array is shown in the photo at left.

Our last stop was to see the mud volcanoes that are only a couple of miles away from Niland - the gateway to Slab City. We really loved these! The mud volcanoes are part of a geologically active area on the east side of the Salton Sea. There are hot springs, and geothermal energy extraction facilities in the area, too. The area is seismically active and is the southern end of the San Andreas Fault. Charlie said there were a couple of earthquakes the morning of the day we arrived. Although the mud volcanoes fall outside the focus of Adventures in the Zone, they were so interesting I had to post about them. I shot video. I love the noise they make. See my video here.