Monday, July 14, 2008

a little past half

We made good progress on the full assembly this weekend - spending a lot of time figuring out the logistics of building this thing with a group of people and how to keep the pattern somewhat aligned as we add pieces. I think we have a pretty good strategy for moving forward. The second image shows the piece where we left it on Saturday evening with a little more than half of the members in place. The final assembly with be be the same height and about twice as long.

Big thanks go to Laurie, Laura, Mary, John and Lyman for enduring the scorching sun to get this thing up. We'll finish it up in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bells progress

I was planning on surprising Glenn at the burn, but decided to post some photos now...

The guy on the right is Sylvio Modena, a metal work artist that specializes in bells. He lives nearby us in Half Moon Bay, CA.

The other guy is my son Marius.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

marking and moving

This weekend I marked all the 4 x 4's and moved them over to crew mate Laurie Geissinger's property where she's been kind enough to host the full build out of the project. The last image of this post is Laurie clearing one of her meadows with "Lucky" to make a space for the project. The marks indicate the where the pieces will rest on one another and are critical in maintaining the alignment of the pattern as the installation grows larger.

If all goes as planned, we'll build two weekends from now on July 12.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

a few more schemes

Here are a few more schemes I assembled this Saturday. The first images are of Leonardo's bridge design. This one is not very stable. The large hex/small triangle scheme was a little difficult to assemble due to the way the 4 x 4's lay on one another at the small triangle intersection. The last one is the rectangle scheme I built previously using the 12' long 4 x 4's. This one appears to be much stronger with a lot less bowing. I'm really looking forward to the full build of these ideas!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

may update

Wood: 120 - 10 foot long 4 x 4's arrived in my driveway a couple of weeks ago fresh from the lumber mill - green and heavy! They are now neatly stacked with spacers between allowing plenty of air circulation for drying. They should be ready for building by the end of June.

Meanwhile, I've trimmed the 34 reclaimed pieces down to 10' and re-marked them at their stacking points. I'll use these to study various patterns while waiting for the rest of the lumber to dry.

Bells: Rikk has begun the bell fabrication and has decided on a 5 bell configuration around a central "donger" that will be made from a found steel something-or-other. Pictures to follow!

Rikk will be flying up from the Bay Area this weekend for a little brain-storming and strategy session with myself and Matt Wilson (Vashon) who will be helping me out on the wood side of the project.

Monday, May 5, 2008

full scale

I did a full scale test on Sunday using some 12' long 4 X 4's that were salvaged from industrial size pallets. I learned a few things:
  • One person can assemble this thing but two people make it really easy
  • The gravity only connections work wonderfully
  • The full project will not fit in my yard . . .
  • 12' long 4 X 4's are too long!
The last image shows the amount of bending in many of the sections - 12' is just too long - fortunately I was able to change my lumber order to 10' pieces - which will be arriving this Thursday.

More full scale experiments this weekend.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

a discovery

I made an interesting discovery last night as I was building another pattern - this one based on a rectangle. The previous patterns were generated using either a triangle or a hexagon at their center resulting in a symmetrical and equal expansion as they grew. Being four sided, the rectangle can expand symmetrically as well as bilaterally creating a long linear form. More experimentation is required!

Other news -

I've acquired a few 4 x 4's and will start building some full scale mock ups in the next week or so.

I got a call from a guy at the Discovery Channel who works on a show called Daily Planet that is interested in documenting the project for inclusion in a series of "science meets art" stories premiering this fall. Fun!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bells, bells, bells

I found a great local craftsman that makes bells out of recycled gas tanks! I plan to contact him and see if he can help me make our bells for Burning Man 08. Stay tuned....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

JRS announcement

The Burning Man news letter, Jack Rabbit Speaks, came out yesterday with a list of the funded projects for 2008, and due to the presence of a little analysis widget on my website, I'm able to see where visitors to the site are coming from. The site got over a thousand hits yesterday from all over the world! Japan - Germany - Peru - Columbia - France - Sweden - Poland - England - Australia - New Zealand - and a majority from the US. Exciting!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

bigger model

I started another series of study models at a slightly larger scale. They're really starting to feel like 4 x 4's now.

So far, I've discovered some really critical things.

One, the proper and accurate alignment of these pieces is essential to making a large pattern. With out the proper alignment the pattern quickly degenerates into chaos.

Two, that lashing the connections during the assembly process will make keeping the pieces aligned much, much easier.

And three, this pattern is going to us more than one hundred twenty poles - I'll need about 40 more.

The action figures are about the right scale.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


While I was out in the Southern New Mexico desert last week, I received a call from Lady Bee telling me that harmonic geometry will be funded! I am psyched!

I'll continue developing the idea thorough physical models for the next month or so and when the weather improves, jump up to full scale schemes using 12 foot long 4 x 4's.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

2008 Grant Proposal

Here are a few images from my Burning Man grant proposal for 2008. Yes, this is a completely different idea than the last one I was working on . . . It's based on an interesting structural system discovered by Leonardo Da Vinci and later by Dutch sculptor Rinus Roelofs.