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!

propane burns GREAT in the rain…

A couple weekends ago, a crew of FLGs headed to San Bernardino, to bring the Cochlea section of Tympani Lambada to  Beyond Wonderland. The Cochlea fountain is made of TIG welded stainless steel tubes which conveniently nest together for travel, making this a great sculpture to easily take on a road trip.

Babs, Margaret and JDV fire-test the Cochlea.

Those of you who saw the Cochlea fountain at Burning Man will remember that it had a huge methanol shooter that purged colored flame straight out its top. For this particular venue, however, we omitted that feature and instead created the double poofer element.

As we prepared to head down, a quick check of the weather indicated that we should leave our tube tops and miniskirt-tutus behind, and pack our rain coats and Wellies instead. In fact, at one point the weather forecast called for snow, which we ended up getting on the way home.

JDV in full fisherman garb, priming the Cochlea

But despite the rain and subsequent mud, this sold-out event was packed with happy raver types, ready to dance all night — both for fun and fortitude against the sub-optimal weather…

Colinne approves of this sculpture.

The wind was a bit of a challenge at first, but the Cochlea fountain braved the elements with panache to delight the crowds with her beauty and style (and also to keep them warm).

Whenever we poofed, the audience would call for more.

The double poofer looked gorgeous and put out a lot of heat, which was enthusiastically welcomed by the shivering audience.

After a successful show, we upheld our annual tradition of stopping for delicious Anderson’s Pea Soup on the way home.

This pea soup is seriously worth the hype.

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