Taking Stock of the Serpent

We were busy at the shop again this weekend, cracking open the Serpent Mother container and taking stock of all her guts. The Serpent will be at the Electric Daisy Carnival next month, and we have some system testing to do and some minor improvements to make.

The view from Lorah's second story container... cloudless skies over the Bay. The Serpent's egg is in the left foreground, next to WAVE.

Anthony forks while Margaret wrestles a vertebra section off its rack.

Sooz takes stock of various serpentine items.

On Saturday we pulled out the racks of snake-parts and snake-accessories and gave them a visual check. There is at least one suspicious weld we’ll redo. Minor primping includes scrubbing the stainless steel vertebrae with Simple Green, but that we will do on-site.

Before we leave, however, we’ll be adapting the hydraulic system that recently ran Charlie Gadeken’s WAVE, and using it to drive the Serpent. WAVE made its debut at Coachella last month, featuring mechanical design by engineers Mike Prados and Ray Sykes. They’ll be refitting our snakey with the same system.

Tad forklifts the disembodied head of the Serpent out of the container. You can see her right eye socket and nostrils from this angle. Creepy.

WAVE, waving, at Coachella 2012. Photo by Mike Prados, who photographed the sculpture and took some lovely video capturing its motion.

Meanwhile, in electronics, we’ll be rebuilding two control boxes that steer the Serpent’s jaw and neck motion. Heated, technical discussions are underway about building a schmancy analog joystick controller for the head to go with the schmancy analog valves. Thrilling photos from the Geek Suite to come…

Getting Ready for Robodock and EDC

While we bill ourselves as a collective of metal/fire artists, the true vision of Flaming Lotus Girls has always really been… WORLD DOMINATION.


RosaAnna takes stock of plumbing

To fulfill our ambitious quest, we’re bringing sculptures to two simultaneous events this June, Robodock and the Electric Daisy Carnival.


Babs, Michelle and Lou brainstorm a packing list, then scour the tool shed for grinders, wrenches and caution tape.

Robodock happens in Amsterdam, and we’re showing the Angel of the Apocalypse.

We just refurbished her for a show in Toronto two winters ago, and except for some minor electrical conversions and plumbing/metal inspections, she’s pretty much ready to go.

Which is suuuuuure good news, cause she ships in five days.


JDV regulates regulators.

We’ll do her final touch-ups on-site. Fortunately, when you’re as far north as Amsterdam, the early June sun rises at 5:20a and sets at 10:00p, so at least we’ll have daylight to work in.


Meanwhile, our fabulous Serpent Mother will be traveling to Las Vegas for EDC. We have a bit more work to do on her to bring her up to speed, but fortunately we have a few weeks until she ships. More updates on her progress as we complete things…


testing the Serpent electrical boxes


no way

We even had a very rare-of-late in-shop appearance from Kitty Wrangler Extrordinaire, Mills!


still life with helmets

Holy crap, you guys. The build season insanity is upon us.


Early predictions for the next 6 weeks: hard work and good times.

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.

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.