About this project
We have reached our minimum goal! THANK-YOU!!
Should we receive additional support, we intend to use it for an upgrade on the sound system. Presently, we have collected garage sale speakers and a home stereo amplifier. If we could afford to, we would purchase a "proper" sound system meant for vehicles.We also would purchase a smoke machine for Phoenix, he could blow off some steam when he can't use his flames. Our first dragon had smoke machines, and one year, when we had a bad drought, we used that instead of shooting flames! THANKS AGAIN!
We are creating our third Mutant Vehicle and our second DRAGON. Our first dragon was a red beauty featured in the Burning Man documentary, “Spark” and was entirely self funded. (With a lot of help from our local Twin-Enviro recycling center.) See the link below to view it.
To make our second Dragon even bigger, more durable, and twice as majestic, we could use your help!
The Phoenix is primarily made for the Burning Man Art Festival in Nevada, but we will also share this artwork at the Art-O-Cade in Trinidad, Colorado, the summer and winter festivals in Steamboat Springs, Co, and the Halloween parade in Las Vegas, NV. At these events we amaze and inspire with hot bursts of fire and our seamless use of recycled materials. Phoenix's flame will light a spark of delight in the hearts of children and the pyromaniac child that lives in all of us.
Meet the building team, a husband and wife dynamic duo, creating beautiful things together for 30 years. Charlie, better known as “Captain Carburetor,” is an inventor, mechanic, and mad scientist. Gail “Kismet” is an artist who has been featured in local galleries for her pottery and jewelry. Charlie starts with tubing from discarded trampolines. Welding, cutting, forming and even inventing new tools as he makes the initial skeleton frame. Gail created the initial drawings and is working on the dragon skin, finishing details, texture, and rewards.
Our first dragon, "Spike", was very successful. She attend three Burning Man festivals. Last year she appeared several times in the new Documentary "SPARK". Here is a link to the trailer. We are 30 seconds into it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbSUyYXH8hs
We were well received and gave lots and lots of rides. We brought it down to our town functions as well, and had the kids shoot the flames! We were even asked to bring her/him to an art opening at our favorite gallery Circle 7.
She was, however, not holding up in our Colorado winter weather! We had used materials which were affordable but not ideal for durability, such as paper and cloth mache, plastics that broke down in sun, and CDs that disintegrated in our snowy winters. Your contribution will help us to breathe new fire into the vision and make version 2.0 practically IMMORTAL.
For this Phoenix - Dragon "2.0", we intend to use materials that will hold up better to the extreme weather exposure here, and to make it easier to cover. Charlie has put hinges on the roof, near the base of the dragon's neck, so parts of the Dragon will fold for travel and storage. That in itself is not the only challenge! We will drive and steer this beast from seats mounted on the roof! This involves using an old steering column from M-and-M Junk Yard and welding both steering columns together. All controls, gas, brakes, etc get relocated up on the roof. Fun! Every day we build and create and invent to make this the best Dragon and one that will last for many years at Black Rock City.
You can contribute to this roving artwork, and be a part of something Magical.
Risks and challenges
We have 4 weeks to complete this project, so we are in FULL-BORE MODE. (Being a retired car mechanic has it's advantages.)
We have already purchased the base vehicle, and we have been collecting recycled materials from all over Colorado.
The wing materials have been ordered, the flame system, high pressure hoses, the special fittings and valves and PVC for the wings have already been purchased.
We still are looking for the material for the dragon skin and are contemplating using some discarded scrap metal to cut scales from, but in the interest of Phoenix looking her best, we need to purchase some large sheets of sheet metal from a local company. Propane itself needs to be purchased and brought 1000 miles to BRC. New (used) tires need to be procured and installed as well. Safety bars and fire extinguishers are needed also.
Our list of additional needed materials includes:
2000 watt inverter
12-volt gas valves
1/4 turn shut-off valves
lots of sheet metal, 4 X 10 sheets
propane rated hoses
0-60 psi regulator and gauge
12-volt spot lamps
Harbor Freight metal cutter, (mine just died today)
better tires for the mutant vehicle (used is OK.)
welding 'consumables", mig wire, tips, gas, etc.
rope lights for night license
heavy duty hinges
The list goes on...
3-trips to the hardware store every day.
We own the required tools and welders, and as stated before, Charlie is Master ASE Certified for over 25 years and has a proven track record in "creative problem solving". - (PS - we don't quit !)
Now, we ask for help in the purchasing some of the materials.
100 percent of the funding is for materials only.
NO PART of the funding is for labor or outside costs.
I am visualizing participation from my communities, and I am THANKING YOU in advance for your help. -CFH.
Good question! This is our third "Mutant Vehicle" and it seems to average between 600 and 800 hours total. We work on the project like a job, putting in about 60 hours a week, not including the sleepless hours planning and obsessing about details or schedules and lead-time items.
Another good question. We have been on a steep learning curve for this one. It takes two propane tanks, the first is our supply tank. A 100 pound tank about 4 feet tall that sends propane to the second tank, a smaller BBQ-style tank called an accumulator tank. When we hit the button to shoot flames, the entire accumulator tank discharges through a 3/4 inch pipe to the dragon's mouth. (This is similar to flushing a toilet, where you get all the water at once, instead of just a small flow. The back of the toilet is the accumulator tank.)
What is art? Some people build ships-in-a-bottle, some paint or make pottery. If you take a retired car mechanic and give him a welder and some spare time, anything could happen. This project is my creative outlet and my gift to Steamboat and the Burning Man community. It's fun. It's art. It's creative problem solving!
Just to see the faces of the kids and grown-ups who experience the dragon and shoot the flames is a big reward for us.
We are always searching for different materials and techniques for building our Mutant Vehicles. Gail found this material called "Aluminet". It is used to make partial shade in greenhouses and you can buy it with different percent opacity. Gail is using a 50% mesh for this Phoenix project.
The stuff is very strong and makes great wings !
This is probably our longest lead-time item when we start an "art car". I spend a lot of time looking at used vehicles for sale and try to plan how each vehicle will "fit" into our plans.
This year I found and purchased 3-potential cars for this project.
a 1995 Cadillac De Ville, a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix and a 1997 GMC Safari van. (our first dragon was based on an old Nissan 4x4 pick-up truck.)
The GMC van won out in this contest and the other vehicles have been sold. One requirement was an automatic transmission and a high roof for visibility. Plus as an added benefit, we get lots of space inside the van for the propane system, the sound equipment and even a small Honda generator.
When this mutant vehicle is completed, you should not be able to identify the base vehicle.
We use the Mutant Vehicle at a large festival in Nevada called Burning Man and that was the original purpose for the first dragon.
Since then, we have used the dragon to promote Steamboat's Circle-7 art gallery, Merry MainStreet events, Christmas-in-the-Rockies, Steamboat's 4th of July Parade and we go to the Art-O-Cade in Trinidad, CO, and Halloween in Las Vegas.
Once we reach our funding goal we are assured to receive that specified amount.
BUT, if we continue to receive donations it's called a "stretch" and the additional funds go toward extra parts or equipment for the Dragon.
In this case, we are planning to purchase more propane for the flames, a better sound system for the dragon and a smoke machine to blow smoke out the mouth. (As well as flames.)
Any of the Rewards that are still listed as available will be used for the stretch.
To be honest, I think that the $10 and $25 donation category's are a good bet and they allow some of our younger Dragon Lovers to participate in this project. The STICKERS are really nice, large 4" X 4" and good quality vinyl. Plus the hand made CERAMIC MEDALLIONS are priceless!
Support this project
- (20 days)