[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]H[/bra_dropcaps]ow do you know when you’ve built a spectacularly flame-worthy piece of art? Its postscript includes flashing blue lights and shiny red engines checking out what you’ve done.
And that’s exactly what happened at the Flame Effects for Artists course, run on May 23/24 by the new not-for Profit arts organisation Flame Effects Australia and attended by 40 Burners and general fire nuts from all over the country.
At the end of the two-day workshop at Footscray Makers Lab, the Melbourne Fire Shamans class of 2015 had gathered around to see their graduation project in action.
Built for a hodge podge of metal bits dragged in students, the “Eye of Sauron” or (Free the Nipple) let off a mighty roar of flames when the first person hit the control box button (also built by the students). A quick succession of button pushers means there were many very very happy little pyros roaring and phwoaring for 45 mins or so.
Sated and bathing in post-flame coital bliss, students were quietly milling around when the fire engine lights appeared down the side of the street. Woopsie!
But all’s well that ended well, and the engines departed again after a brief chat with key organisers, including Dave X and Propaniac who came out from Burning Man to run the course.
Dave X has been the Fire Art Safety Team manager for all fire art on playa for the more than 10 years and Propaniac is both part of FAST and the Chief Inspector for the Nevada Board for the Regulation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
They also shared pics and tips to drive home the safety message: no safety third here. Creating flame effects and fire art = magic and fun for everyone. Carelessness and fried body parts = not the best look or way to make friends.Aka two shit-hot, experienced fire artists, who spent the first day leading students through valves and hoses and density and pressure and gas and and…
After a day full of nuts & bolts, the second day involved splitting the 40 students in three groups: one to build the electronic control box, one to create and plumb the accumulator (the bit that emits those short sharp bursts of gas for the flame effect) and the third to fabricate the structure.
Check out the pics below to see what the class created, and stay tuned to see a burst of flame effect art at Burning Seed this year.
All in day’s (ok, two days’) work: fabrication team builds….control box team takes everyone through the to do list…and thar she blows!