Update from the Boxshop No. 1

Support the FLG! Click here to back our kickstarter

Hello Friendly People!

2013-05-27 20.07.58

our first cut list for metal! Yay!

Xylophage has started to become a tangible, physical reality. After the months of brainstorming, planning, and designing, we have metal on the ground, being cut for our centerpiece, Big Stumpy, with the mushroom metal soon to follow.

showing off Merope at Maker Faire, San Mateo

showing off Merope at Maker Faire, San Mateo

When the Flaming Lotus Girls are on, we really fire it up. In the past month, we’ve not only been finalizing the design of Xylophage and making our first cuts on metal, we’ve also been taking existing art out to Maker Faire in San Mateo, throwing a BBQ shindig at our shop, and hosting fundraisers in San Francisco – all while planning for our build at Burning Man. To pull this off, we have an amazing and talented collection of people!

Like all of our art, Xylophage requires us to hone many skills sets. Aside from welding and metal work, we also have teams of people working on lighting, sound and fire effects. Each discipline has a cluster of people devoted to crafting the effects that make the sculpture come alive.

One of the awesome things about the FLG is our policy of welcoming everyone to become a Flaming Lotus Girl, and that’s never more apparent than when we begin a new project. Most people come to the shop never having held an angle grinder in their hands or laced up a pair of steel-toed boots. Watching them transform themselves as we transform sticks and sheets of metal into art is a tremendous thing to behold.

Backing a Flaming Lotus Girls sculpture is more than just putting money towards an amazing piece of art to have in the world; it’s supporting a group of people who thrive on helping each other become the best they can be. That’s how we make our art, and thats what the money really creates. The Flaming Lotus Girls never forget our ethos of inclusivity and education, and how important the support of the greater community is. We thank you very sincerely for your ongoing help in furthering our art, and our community!


To join us in the shop, email info@flaminglotus.com. We work out of the Boxshop in San Francisco.

Mutopia: Las Vegas

mutopia against a busy EDC sky- photo courtesy Cathyrn Blum

Las Vegas was hot. We’re talking, too hot to pick up that wrench hot, boil your brain inside your pink hard hat hot, 86 degrees at 4 am hot. Hot. Fire kitties we might be, but we’re accustomed to cooler climates. We quickly realized we’d be better off working at night- which seemed to be the routine of the rest of the production for Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). Thus, it was under the glare of light towers on the gravely speedway that we surveyed, unloaded mutopia from the racks and wrenched things together.

good morning, from the build crew- photo courtesy Cathyrn Blum

Putting it all together again went fairly well, for something that hasn’t been together for 3 years. There was a few moments of figuring out just how something went on something else, but that seemed fair enough. Our collective memory (and pictures from 2008) served us well.

Though our work “day” started at 7pm and ended at 6am, we managed to get out to see a bit of Las Vegas on our downtime- the favorites being the Bellagio Fountain, Red Rocks Park and the beef jerky store. We also located the nearest hardware stores, coffee shop, and the best plumbing fittings store ever, All Hose, less than a mile from our hotel.


During the build, we had some deliveries for our fuel depot infrastructure. A shiny new 30 gallon pressure vessel for our beloved liquid shooters arrived before we did, and we had our new pink LP vaporizer delivered to us on site. The days of worrying over lack of propane pressure are mostly over for us with the addition of Joulie, the 200 gallon per hour Ransome vaporizer. We’d been concerned about the matter of supplying propane to Mutopia. We are not concerned anymore. :)

As usual, the FLG crew rocked it- build went great, we wowed the fire marshals (who tried to be jaded and nonchalant, but we got some grins out of them), and we managed to entice people to play with our very hot fire art in a very hot climate. Not too bad! New friends were

packing is a dirty, dirty job.

made with the propane guys, the LGP hose guys, and we spent time with our friends from Flux, there building their new piece, Brollyflock. The breakdown crew got the sculpture taken apart and into the container by Tuesday night!

Check out more pictures from our adventure here, here,  and better quality ones here.

One sculpture down! One to go! look for some updates on tympani soon, and check out our kickstarter here.

Tympani’s first steps!

Two sculptures at once! Mutopia's racks, Tympani's metal.

We Flaming Lotus Girls are some lucky girls. Not only are we getting to take out Mutopia, which hasn’t been seen in full for nearly 3 years, but we’re creating Tympani Lambada as well.  We’ve made some important milestones that we’re delighted to share. Personally, I have been doing my happy dance a lot lately.

our very first space pigeon!

Our first big steps into reality with Tympani are our first metal order delivery and our first space pigeon.

What, you may ask, the hell is a space pigeon? Our space pigeons are the cross-section shape of Tympani’s arches, and have become a repeating design element throughout the sculpture. They are called space pigeons because during the design process, there are many late nights that involve beer.  On one such night, it was decided that the shape we’d just come up with looked like what pigeons might look like if they went to space. And so, the shape was named.

Ray making the first cuts for Tympani! He loves the new CNC.

We have a distinct change in our arsenal of tools and skills this year. The Boxshop has acquired a CNC plasma cutting machine. Many of us are fairly skilled with a plasma cutter, but theres no competing with robots on some things. Robots may never come up with space pigeons, but they can cut them perfectly over and over again. Its enabling us to save a lot of time with angle grinders (a handy but not widely loved tool). We’re learning the ins and outs of this machine, and are very pleased with the results.

To celebrate our progress, we’re having a BBQ fundraiser at the shop! On Saturday, June 4th, we’re inviting you to come check out where we make our art, see how Tympani is emerging, and visit with pieces of Mutopia. There will be food, drink, music and fire.  Its also the start of our kickstarter campaign! We’ll need your support and help to make our visions of metal and fire into reality. Come say hello to your favorite girls with fire.



Mutopia at Maker Faire!

Lou and Brit discovered just how delightfully climbable mutopia is

Maker Faire is a great event to bring art to. It really is. The crowd is incredibly curious and appreciative, the people who put the event on are awesome, the people bringing things are excited about sharing what they’re doing,  our friends are there with their art, we make new friends, play with robots…  It’s also in the sunshine and there is kettle-corn. These are all good things that make for an awesome weekend.

As part of gearing up to take the full of Mutopia to Las Vegas in about a month, we brought out 2 pods to Maker Faire. This was somewhat special; when Mutopia was being built in 2008, Maker Faire was one of the places a prototype pod was brought. Coming back with a more fine tuned version was very satisfying. The pods went up so quick it was like being an art ninja. One moment theres some parking spaces in a lot, the next, a big piece of pretty!  Of course, our stellar install crew, Lou, Denise and Brit made everything look easy. Mutopia was extra shiny, having received a major touch up job from Robin and her newly trained painting crew. The roots almost outshone the new copper on the promatic weefs (think pneumatics… but with propane. Because we’re like that.)

lots of excited kids...

On Friday we tuned up the electronics that run the buttons, made sure our plumbing was properly screwed,  and talked to about 13,000 kids before showing off to the fire marshals. Mutopia achieved a milestone by running for two days without attempting to light itself on fire… though it nearly got me. I’m pretty sure thats just how it shows affection.

Even with only 2 pods out of 9, Mutopia puts on a great show. The three-way poofers are some good fun, and fire just never gets old. We did a brisk trade in calendars and t-shirts, as well as recruiting new people to come play with us.

Jane is talking about something.... big.

We also got a chance to show off the scale model of our work-in-progress, Tympani Lambada.  The new model (and last) is at a one inch to one foot scale, and the size of the thing is… impressive. The general commentary was “can’t wait to see it out there!” (at burning man.) We can’t wait to see it too! We are making our first metal order for building this week, which is quite exciting. Fabrication begins so soon I can almost taste the welding fumes. As always, we love having new volunteers… so if you’re thinking you need to make a giant work of art this summer, we can help with that. Send us an email at info@flaminglotus.com, and we’ll get you on your way to the shop!