Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wiring, studio beginnings

We put wires in the little trailer. We're not sure what will go where yet for lights and pumps and things, so we just put in extra. It's ready for walls now.
The first studio work session. Nick and Greta snipping and gluing. We are making a Tiny Circus explanation animation for our first project.

A still from the first animation.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Circus Hot Spots

Carlos=Participating in morning weeding ritual and dodging sprinkler showers
Beans= Single file, ready for growin'

James= Studio cat in training
New Studio Wall= Hung by Carlos, ready and waiting for large circus drawings and animations

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gloamy radishes and lightning bugs

The corn is knee high and the alfalfa is cut and baled and so Iowa is patterned with these stripes and polka dots. The lightning bugs arrived all-at-once, after a hot day, before a storm.

Today we weighed the small trailer, 920 lbs.

Finishing wood

We took a trip to Iowa City to put finish on our wood wall pieces. John, Greta, and Carlos made an assembly line.Greta carried the pieces to the spray station.
John sprayed on finish - three coats on the back, two on the front. We will install the pieces then spray a final coat on the fronts.
Carlos carried the pieces away, stacking them on shelves. Greta was standing ready with the next piece.
A stack of finished wood.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wood panel preparation

The remains of the Arkansas trailer went to the dump today. Then we started to work on the interior walls.
First we layed the templates onto new wood and traced the outline. The new pieces were cut roughly to shape on a bandsaw....and then fine-tuned with a belt sander...
...before drilling holes for rivets and sanding the surface with a hand sander. Then they went in a pile for a trip to Iowa City to spray on some finish.

Chard, Carrot, Watermelon

Sunday, June 22, 2008

View from Studio Window

The inside of the first small airstream is insulated and now looks like a room for robots. We are using thin birch plywood to cover the walls. Here, some templates from another project are temporarily held in place with to check the fit.
Nothing is square inside the space, we are making paper templates before we start cutting the plywood.
We stuck balls of masking tape on the ribs.
Then we used large sheets of construction paper to roughly fit the space.
... and tabs of paper taped to the larger sheet to fit the final dimensions.
The tape-y template is transferred to another sheet. Tomorrow we will transfer this to the plywood, cut and sand.
This is the golden horse out the studio window.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The two endcaps and windows, various aluminum bits, a truck full of insulation, junk and brown reclusive spiders from Arkansas.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Take apart and put together

The Arkansas trailer is getting thinner, just the top and rear end to finish it off.
David making a sturdy work table out of maple for the studio.
The studio coming together, with some new lights and the work-table.

Spinach, Basil, Plum

Thursday, June 19, 2008


We had several drills working at the rivet-removal, progress was quick.

The old insulation was wet and full of animal homes.
The ribs of the beast exposed.

How to Take Apart

Thousands of rivets hold these trailers together, they are made like airplanes. Here, Greta is drilling them out so we can take the walls apart.
It's a trick to get the drill bit exactly in the center of each dome, then hold it steady while drilling.
After a bit, the head pops off.

Before Pictures

This is the Arkansas trailer before we begin, full of spiders and dust. Also filled with: a shoe, a home-made baseball card, fish-hooks, carpet, an ant farm, a bottle of tequila with worm.

Insulating with Silver

Here is the baby trailer mostly insulated. We stuck the insulation onto the foam spacers with construction adhesive and then used silver tape to seal up any gaps. It looks space-age.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Insulation Preparation

We are using "reflectix" to insulate the trailers. It looks like bubble-wrap with foil on both sides and works by reflecting heat (or cold). In order to function properly, we need an air-gap on both sides of the insulation, so here Greta is gluing foam spacers to the tiny-airstream walls.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Honeyroom Studio

The main work-room will be in a space that was used for extracting honey from beehives.


Grinnell is on high ground, but other parts of Iowa are flooding.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Arkansas Airstream Pickup

Airstream #3 came from the northeast corner of Arkansas, is 28 feet, and gutted. David and Greta (pictured), helped with the gutting.

Circus Grounds

Look here: the circus-building grounds, the mothership, the garden, the horizon. The raw materials are moving to Grinnell, Iowa.