FLG and Xylophage in Rolling Stone!

Image

We are pretty damn excited to be mentioned — again! — in Rolling Stone’s Culture section. This gorgeous panorama shot, from photographer Scott London, shows how cozy the inside of Big Stumpy feels at night. It gets really toasty in there.

Page through all 25 captioned shots of this year’s event under the collection “Burning Man 2013 – The Scene.” Beautiful stuff in here.

Update from the Shop/Lot/Highway/Playa… #11!

I know we don’t have to reiterate how busy we’ve been. The frenzy of accelerated productivity reached fever pitch some weeks ago, and has only increased since. One sure-fire way to feel it is when you step away from your email for 2 hours, and return to find dozens — and I wish I were exaggerating — of messages. Requests for a ride to the shop this evening, announcements about where we’re at on this part of the sculpture, pleas for picking up an additional item (or seven) on your next run to the hardware store. And of course, all-caps reminders that we need all hands, /your/ hands, down at the shop, yes tonight, yes every night.

Image

bark. EVERYwhere.

Image

Lauren carries a slice of mushroom past the disassembled parts of Charlie Gadeken’s Helix.

Image

Matt, persuading metal into the desired shape.

Image

Ted and Lance, solving some problem.

Image

Rolling metal into barkable shapes.

Image

Peter throwing sparks on a mushroom stalk.

sparks

sparks.

margaret sparks

sparks.

glowing

glowing.

Robin Wood

Robin Hood shows off her old-world alchemist skills — turning metal into wood!

painting

painting.

square Jessica

Jessica is such a square.

dwarfed

Denise working the pipe bender.

Lance steering

Ted and Lance steering pipe through the bender.

scrap

We sure do generate some interesting scrap from all this.

benches chat

Chatting about the benches for the inside and outside of Xylo’s center.

bence

Joe smooths out the benches’ edges. By the time you see these, they’ll be painted black.

These photos were taken over the past two weeks of shop chaos. This past weekend, we defied 3-space and managed to pack our entire sculpture onto its racks and into its shipping container…

amy on the forks

Amy on the forks.

… and onto a truck…

sidewinder load out

the first load.

… and off on its way, east-bound through Reno and up to the playa. And there was MUCH rejoicing.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

the second load.

googlemap

no, this playa. (Xylo is about where the red dot is.)

Margaret and the truck

muggin’ with the goods.

As of Sunday afternoon, the first part of the sculpture was unloaded and staged on the playa inside the Esplanade circle. By sunset, we were taking a break before dinner, drinking cold beers after a grueling day of 115+°F and gearing up for the night push. Our advance crew has been hitting the build hard: the Big Stumpy frame is up, and much of its bark is attached.  The fire mushroom stems are up too, but the mushroom caps are too hot to work on during the day so we’ll wait to build them at night.

But by the time this post is up, all these updates will be old news. Just know that our crew is killin’ it out there, assembling Xylophage for her maiden run in our favorite environment to show off our art. Come see our big metal thing! Go to 3:45 and Esplanade, face the Man, and start walking. Promise, you’ll know it’s ours when you see it!

Update from the Shop #10

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.

Image

Buncha bark lickers.

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.

Image

There are actually 14 people in this photo, but 11 of them are moving so fast you can’t even detect their blurs.

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:

Image

Sara and Adam pet the bark.

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.

Image

a brief To-Do list.

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…

Update from the Shop #9: A Whole Bunch of Happy People

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image