Jul 22 2011



I chose blue to counterpoint XyloVan’s shiny aluminum keyboards – I had in mind a Moroccan blue – sort of ashy, viagra order like it had been fading for a while …

so it’s four boxes of Royal Blue to one box of Denim, and then it’s a matter of shoving all that fabric into that one tiny tub.

Once saturated, it fit in just fine.

Here’s the left-front panel. Why do I fear that – when I get the lace up over the vehicle’s “eyes” – I will have become some sort of van seamstress, forever building art cars and my latest model will be a laughingstock because it resembles a massive burkha. (shudder)

I laid out the panels on the lawn to dry – then when they were partway there, I pulled them up to the deck railing.

Here’s what that looked like just beforehand.

And here’s what you get when you dye without gloves on.

Jul 22 2011

Observation deck, ho!


I’ve been running around like a madman the past week. I looked at my first post on this project – it was less than three weeks ago. I’m going to have completed an entire vehicle mutation within a single month. It’s a blur of hardware store runs, try power tools and raw material.

Fencing worried me the worst. If there’s to be a cloud deck, I need something to keep the happy people from plunging off of it.

A contractor promised to drop off some recycled fence railing, gratis – and then he welched.

Fresh metal was going to cost at least $300 (yes, as a matter of fact, we are on a budget.) so that wouldn’t work.

So I dropped an ad into FreeCycle:

need about 35 linear feet of scrapped metal railings, the sort you see
on balconies, etc.

It can be rusted, bent or painted funky, but it must be at least 36″
high, with a top rail of at least 1″ thickness (round or square).

I will happily pick it up, and even help you clean up around it if it’s
buried among your construction debris.

Don’t own it, but know where I can get it? Let me know! I need this for
an art car I”m building – need to secure this in next 2 weeks! Thanks!

And lo and behold I got a call the next day. From a Burner.

Having just given birth a few months ago, she was resigned to skipping the Burn this year. But she had a whole slew of steel security bars that she just had taken off a building she’s renovating – and offered them up for free.

I cajoled the kids into helping scrub the crapola off of them

Next I’ll be bolting them together. They’ll be perfect. You’ll see …

Jul 22 2011

Only one way to skin this art car


Playa armor for mutant vehicles comes in mad variety: weathered clapboard, doctor diffraction-foil paneling, lycra skin over bent-steel skeleton, fur.

Back when we first dreamed up JANUS, I was thinking it could be a pipe-steel skeleton with some sort of canvas draping.

But David’s design turned out to be a lot lighter and tighter – and it required a different approach to the skin.

To keep the surface close to the original curves in the design, I started draping the material – 8-ounce coarse-weave canvas dropcloths from Home Depot – over the profiles that make up the pianos’ “shoulders.” I clamped them in place at the top …

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