Flaming Lotus Girls
The Angel of the Apocalypse
The Logs in the background contain the control switches for some of the Propane powered Poofers installed in the medium sized 8-10 Ft high Feathers.
This multitude of ball valves, fittings, pressure regulators, pressure gauges and pipe are used to control the flow of Kerosene to the large 20 Ft high Feathers and their fire effect.
The edge of these special feathers have pipe running from the base to the very top and will provide a flaming fringe to the Angel when pressurized Kerosene fuel soaks the Kevlar mesh surrounding the pipe.
The fuel is pumped to the feathers with 97 GPH Holly electric fuel pumps. currently there are two pumps each pump feeds 4 feathers. The rate of flow to each feather is adjusted with a pressure regulator and a ball valve.
Another view of the control switches for the Propane Poofers in the medium sized feathers. This is part of the audience participation feature. This should be a popular attraction on this interactive sculpture. Every Kid should have a chance to trigger a fire cannon at least once in their life.
Since the Angel is Very large. A model and a mapping system for all of the plumbing and the feathers and the massive head and body was hung on the wall in the Box Shop to keep everyone on the same page during construction.
The distance between to large feathers is about 50 ft
so it can't be completely assembled at the Box Shop. I'll bet the
best way to take a picture of this sculpture will be from above with an
Airplane. Or at least from the Aliens Mother Ship known to cruise the Black
Rock desert from time to time.
Ahh.... The bleary clock on the wall says it' about 1:10 am. Of course this clock is about 1:13 minutes slow. That really doesn't matter to the builders since time has no meaning when your on a short term build deadline for an event.
The Head of the Angel is a massive metal sculpture and it contains the fire pit. Most of the base is made out of 3/16 inch thick (hand and fire formed) mild Steel. The Beak in made from 1/8" thick Steel.
Hey has anyone seen Rebecca? I know, she was around here a minute ago..? Oh Wait! I see a vertical shower of Steel sparks. There she is....
You can see the lower beak pretty well in this photo. There is also an upper Beak that mounts on the rear of the sculpture above the eyes. Note the 5 inch diameter hole towards the bottom. A large pipe will be inserted here and a squirrel cage fan will force air into the fire pit inside of the head.
This is the Thorax (the neck) of the bird. This is a very nice piece of metal sculpture that Charlie and friends constructed. To give you some scale to it's size the feathers lying beside it are 20 Ft long. The Thorax is made from oxygen cylinders cut in half and many pieces of Hand Formed Steel.
When you get up close to it you notice the details that give it the appearance of a decaying bird. It contains the tendons and anatomic structures of hollow bone and sinew, all formed out of pipe cables re-bar and other bits of metal.
This structure will lay flat on the ground at the base
of the Birds head and it will also act as a cover to the Fan and fuel lines
and valves for yet another fire and flame enhancement effect.
A hatch was installed at the rear of the head to allow for wood to be added to the fire pit.
This is the Jig that was constructed to hold the pipes that make up the structure of the Feathers. Seamless Steel pipe was clamped to the Jig with U bolts and pre bent and tensioned before it was welded and braced to hold its final shape.
After the pipes were formed and welded to their bracing, Stainless Steel covers were added to the three sides of the triangular frame. The Stainless Steel also has patterns cut into it using a Plasma cutter.
Basically stencils were made and the patterns outlines were painted onto the Stainless Steel and then many volunteers took turns carefully cutting out the patterns (by hand).
Boy, that is a lot of nice work!
On the edge of the Feathers a pipe is mounted. Each pipe contains 27 1/16" holes with a 1/4" nut welded around them. A bolt is placed in the nut and the bolt is tightened to stop the fuel from squirting out ot the holes.
Once the Kevlar webbing is applied the some of the bolts are loosened to allow Kerosene fuel to leak out of the threads in the nut and soak the Kevlar. Then the fuel is then ignited and the Feathers are given their flaming edge up into the sky.
A Very late night photo of some of the Propane powered
Feathers these feathers contain a Propane flame cannon. Basically the cannon
uses a 5 gallon propane tank to act as an expansion chamber to convert
the liquid fuel (fed from a large remote tank) into a gas.
This gas is fed at tank pressure to a 1 inch electrically controlled value feeding into a 1" pipe.
A smaller 1/4" line is also fed a continuous flow of propane and this line is covered in Steel wool to act like a giant candle and ignition source for the large flame cannon.
I got to push the FIRE button on one of these babies at an early test. I can guarantee they will definitely curl you hair if you stand too close to them.
They shoot flame through the cutouts in the feathers about 20 Ft in the air. The Poofers Rock!!
The Feathers are beautiful works of art on their own, even without the flames emanating from them.
The Stainless Steel casts a pleasing glow at night time.
A Lone Feather, stands watch over the Box Shop in the Darkness....
Some of the Feathers that have been tested. Notice the discoloration of the metal and the flame patterns that are displayed.
A forest of Feathers surrounding the drift wood skeletal structure of the birds body.
The never ending job of moving adjusting and finishing the Feathers. This one is on it's way to the done and ready for shipping pile.
These are the base plates for the 20 Ft. Feathers.
Notice the pipes welded to the plate these allow the feathers to be secured to the base plates with steel rods . By removing two of the rods the Feathers can be tilted to the ground for maintenance. The base plate will be Re-bar staked to the playa to secure them in the wind that always blows in Nevada.
So here I was standing in the mouth of this Giant Bird..... And what do I see through its eye? Why it's Rebecca grinding metal. What a suprize.
Inside of the Birds Head are many handles. The Head is actually made from a lot of smaller semi easy to handle pieces and it is held together with pins driven through pipe. This makes the Birds Head very simple to assemble and very easy to move the pieces. Ah, Rebecca.... Your so good.....
The Angel Lives
The SanFransisco Bay Guardian article
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