The Next Big (Art) Thing

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Serpent Mother Vertebrae
Photo by Jess Hobbs

The girls who brought you Serpent Mother, Soma, Angel of the Apocalypse, and Tympani Lambada are back in the shop brainstorming their next sculpture. We’re in the earliest stages of creation and no one knows yet what shape the new entity will take. We’re thinking about what makes an FLG sculpture an FLG sculpture and what essences we want to convey in the new piece. We’re discussing materials, metals, shapes, colors, sound…and of course fire! 

We’re going to keep hashing out these ideas, drawing on inspiration from the past as well as dreams of things we’ve never done before. Our goal is to compile a list of one hundred ideas and once we’ve amassed that stockpile, we’ll start culling it back down to a few ideas that speak to our hearts and minds and will inspire us to create a piece that will impart that feeling to our audience.

Myths, creatures, forests, fractals, galaxies, aquariums, geometry, these are a few of the ideas swirling around.

Alchemy of ideas and metal and fire, a crucible for inspiration. What will it be? We won’t know for a couple months, but once we do we’ll let you know. Watch it unfold throughout 2013.

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Tympani Lambada at Burning Man 2011
Photo by Caroline Miller

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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testing the Serpent electrical boxes

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no way

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

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still life with helmets

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

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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.