FLG interviewed on Ignite.Me!

FLG got interviewed on Ignite.Me!

Ignite Me is an inspirational blog featuring groundbreaking artists — visual, audio and otherwise — and their terrific projects and creations. FLG is humbled to be featured on their site, with an interview with one of our founders, Pouneh Mortazavi. Have a look at some money shots of our sculptures in action, and read Pouneh’s accounts of the fuels we use, how we fund our work, and what it feels like to see the finished product!

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.

xo,

margaret

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!

xo,

margaret

Beyond Wonderlot: Mutopia sends out a pod

pod 5 at beyond wonderland... even with a fence, still awesome.

Heres a recap of our adventures with Pod 5 of Mutopia down in San Bernadino a couple of weekends ago.  Overall, it was pretty fun. Check the full array of pictures here: https://picasaweb.google.com/luminescent42/BeyondWonderlot311#

Beyond Wonderland (or as it was dubbed by various art groups, “Beyond Wonderlot”) went well. Thanks to Bethany and her friend’s help with loading up, Denise, Jax, Anthony and myself got going on thursday and made good time on the drive down. Anthony and Densie piloted the box truck while Jax and I had a lot of time to consider the aesthetics of the back of the budget truck paint job. We met our 7am call time at the event site with ease on Friday, as did our production manager, Ian. (I think he was a little surprised with punctual artists.)

up it goes!

Pod 5 went up no problem, Denise learned to drive the VR, the fire marshals looked forward to pushing the buttons, and overall, we had an easy run of it. We obtained interesting factoids along the way, such as the ability to pick a fully build pod 5 up by its landing pad pick point and move it 60ft to the left when the production peeps realized they’d really rather have it over THERE. The weef stems may need a little re-adjustment, but they look great- especially with their shiny paint job (thanks again robin!).

we heart heavy equipment... especially when we get to drive.

The fishbug and syzigryd crews were also in attendance; “you’re doing it wrong” was synonymous  with “hello”.   We all helped each other out with obscure plumbing parts, and generally hung out in each others fuel depots during downtimes. Insomniac seemed to have paid attention to complaints from the last event; there  was a VR designated for ART, and we shared amongst ourselves with no issue.

We managed to get away with only 1 home depot run for set up. Hooray for having the best inventory of plumbing parts.

no more leaky seam...

Saturday, the day of the event, was much more exciting. Things went well-ish. There were some situations, they got resolved. A leaky water trough was handily reparied with AB epoxy(go denise!), mutopia tried to eat itself again (so cute.), and a button malfunction was repaired in the field (yay anthony!). Pod 5 was once again on fire and widely enjoyed by the masses of candy ravers (who were really sweet and fun… such big pupils!). The crowd had a fun time pushing the buttons and were very excited about the fire.
We ran the piece for about 7 hours, with a few breaks scattered throughout. Good times!

and... we left before it started raining. Win!

Break-down went smoothly, took about 2 hours. Thanks to Denise’s VR operation and some help from Hassan from the Fishbug crew, we got everything unbolted, yanked out, packed up and strapped down before it started raining.

uh oh.

It rained most of the way home. We saw exciting accidents, flooding, sheep, and interesting railroad machinery. And more accidents. We obtained fudge. Things got a little silly. There was pea soup for dinner.

Big big thanks to:
Fishbug Crew for the occasional hand, taxi service, catering, big love and the occasional plumbing bit.
Syzigryd for our industrial artists guild (IAG) contract enforcement, friendly visits and dinner date.
Insomniac crew for being on top of things this go-around. Yay!

AND!
Anthony for driving the ENTIRE time.
Slinky, JDV, Babs and Ray for helping us execute a super quick unload. Yay!

all and all, beyond wonderlot was a triumphant success. We rose to the challenge and each gave 133.33%. Go team!

We’re eagerly anticipating showing the full mutopia at EDC in June.

xo,

margaret