It is officially the BEST time to be at the shop, right now. This is it. This is the memorable chaos, the crunch-time problem-solving, the begging each other to just come here and help me carry this thing, it’ll just take a sec, seriously please.
The Flaming Lotus Girls share our shop space with dozens of other artists, and there are several other large projects in progress, with the same timeline and due date as Xylophage. There’s Charlie Gadeken’s HELIX which is coming together beautifully, with its punchy colors and swirling metal shapes all gathered in bins around the shop. There’s Flash.It, whose successful Kickstarter video has us really fired up to go scale their gorgeous and distracting blinky climbing wall out in the desert. And there are other people working on other things that we’re just too busy to stop and inquire about. The short of it: there is a FEARSOME amount of activity down here lately.
The most exhilarating part of being here now is the bullet-time ninja-weaving one has to do in order to cross the shop floor. Three or four people at a time are propping and guiding 20′ pipes into the pipe bender, feeding them in so the pipes can bend into curves and then arc their way out the other side, climbing higher and higher as their bends become more pronounced, arcing into the air in graceful curves. But they’re being shaped along planes that aren’t easy to anticipate — and anticipate you must! Because making your way through the shop, between all these active projects, is like threading a very dynamic needle. Also, it’s damn loud down here. Every welder is constantly in use, the plasma cutters are buzzing, the grinders are going off, and of course the Xylophage bark is being hammered into bumpy shapes. There’s a heroic amount of bark going onto this thing, look:
It’s difficult to describe; you should really come experience this quality of hectic productivity. The Flaming Lotus Girls always shine under pressure like this, and we’re at our best as we sprint to the finish of the build.
If you’re not here, you should be. And if you are here, uh, would you mind just helping me out over here for a sec? I just need you to hold this one thing in place while I lift this other part around it…