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The Acavallo Carousel, an art project for Burning Man 2012 and beyond. A mechanized, rolling dreamship of metal horses, fire and music.
Created by

Michele Marlo

114 backers pledged $7,762 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Pendants, trivets, and a pony

Gettin stuff made - will get these in the mail in the next few days.  I won't get the rest out til the week of the 16th, am taking a ten day daughters break and will be shipping out crows after that.  Thank you all so much, so much, every pendant was red-hot pounded with especial love, except for a couple, which had dirt love.  You'll never know!!

And the horse, another unicorn, bound for Brooklyn.  And the trivets come with a free insert, double the fun!

xo

Quill

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Gotta get these promos outta here

I'm finally back in the shop and cranking out the promo items.  It has been a whirlwind of experience with the carousel -  Burning man, California (SF & SD), and of course Las Vegas, and now we're gonna set it up at the local Tonasket winterfest this Friday.  Bringing BIG ART to a small town!  And it's all thanks to you, to your love and generosity, and I appreciate it so much.

You should get a survey requesting an address - I'm hoping to have all items ready to ship in Friday, so get your responses back and I'll be droppin packages in the mail! 

Much love, happy days and sweet dreams!

Quill

Vroom Vroom! First drive

Rollin.  Lost an airhose there at the end, and the steering is a little slow, but there's still time to fix it. And that squeaky belt too, but man the glasspack makes that six sound so sweet.  Varoom!  It just goes.

IT"S AWESOME

I can't wait to share it with y'all!!

The speakers show up this week, and we'll be rockin.  And flames.  And the rest of the deck... handrails... and what about those pendants ; )

Q

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Catwalk is up, and UP

There's been so much happening here it's kind of hard to summarize.  The ship's a ship, the deck frames are on, the folding and bracing figured out, the flip down step also.  Plus the big side wheels, the steering, the driveshaft and exhaust.  We just got the catwalk up today, it's totally awesome and works great.  It lowers to 13, and raises to 16'-6" with some super cool double purchased ratchet strap boatwinches.  It's stayed with some awesome chain I had leftover from the theater days.

There's a lot of old theater machines in this beast - the crane bearings front and back, the steering gearbox, and the casters that act as rollers for the ratchet straps all came out of the same set of turtles, built for Broadway years and years ago.  It's thousands of dollars of stuff, the crane bearings alone are 3500 a pop.  So nice to be able to use the old stuff!  And it really makes everything work, those bearings are incredibly strong and really make the whole swivel steer suspension possible. 

Barley, Will and I have been doing 12 hour days in the 100 degree heat, sawing, welding, grinding, cutting, welding, grinding, bolting, filing, drawing, arguing, day after day.  Only a couple more weeks!  It's gonna be a push all the way through, but the piece is really coming together now. I go home at night and dream for six hours about metal tubes that fit together, and then come to the shop and know how to fit the next round of pieces... brackets and pulleys and tubes and it goes around and around. 

We also started putting the deck down, it looks great, the old wood is pretty hacked up but it adds to the charm.  The whole piece looks great.  The combination of old-rusty and new-notyet rusty and new-painted is really great.  There's so much detail.

There's an awesome little cubby up front that Will walled in with expanded metal, for storage of crap.  And also a seat, at the very front, right where the forestay and the sidetrusses come together.  It's gonna be awesome!!

Will also found some time to rebuild the drumcar suspension with stiffer springs.  He moved the old stiffer springs from the back to the front, and then fabbed in some upcycled 240SX coilovers in the back.  It rides tall and boss. 

Next step for the carousel is Horses, which we'll have up in a couple days!!!

I just got the kickstarter money transferred to my amazon account, so purchases begin!  THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!  It's so great to be able to say "this art is for the people funded by the people"!

Much Love!!

Quill

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visions of metal tubing

We're in it now, it's day after day after night after night of tubing intersecting with other tubing... a blur of grinding wheels, saw blades, rust, welding flash.  

It's been a while since the last update, and a lot has happened - there's paint on the trailer core, and driveline components.  I don't like paint, paint is a lie, a postponement of the inevitable decay that will, of course, win in the end.  It also turns things into ideas.. by which I mean, the uniform coat of color unifies an assemblage, making it one, and burying all the detail of the raw metal beneath.  But, we don't want this trailer to decay, I'm willing to put paint on it to draw out it's lifetime, make sure it gets some road miles on it before it all just rusts away.   It feels so good to do the extra work to make sure that the thing will work in the long term - that we're not just building it for one party, but many many. 

Although, to be honest, I can't remember why we're building it, what it's for, it just is, this monumental project, the doing is all I can think about, the why is for later.  

Anyway.  Paint is a nightmare.  Clean the metal, spray the primer, try to keep the drips and runs to a minimum.  Let dry, sand, clean, paint green.  Repeat.  It's awful.  Toxic.  There's so much concentration required... keeping the gun perpendicular, moving it evenly, watching the paint shine and flash.  And then run!  dammit.  

Green over grey.   I wish I'd gone with orange primer, the inevitable scratches would look better!  It's all scratched up now, getting fitted with all of its various components - we have the driver's deck in place, the steering gearbox, the rear tires, the back deck support frame.  We got the two side trusses figured out and aligned last night, getting ready to bolt those on today.

The nose frame is also together, which was fun.  I've got the whole carousel modeled in 3D, so when it's time for the trusses to get notched, I can use the 3D model to generate the full-scale intersections, which we print out and tape on the tube, trace with a sharpie, and cut along.  When it's done, the tubes all just fit together in the most satisfying way.  Gotta love the 3D.  It makes some things so much easier.  

Sure soaks up the hours, though, the design work.  But it's done too.  Almost every detail.  So many hours invested this design, and I hope it shows, I think the piece is going to look WAAAY better than the original.  More shippy.  More sexy.  I can't wait.

Onward!

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