Thursday, July 31, 2008


Tiny Circus is moving from planning/preparation to doing/making. We've been figuring work schedules, talking about how to collaborate, eating good food. We are seven strong right now: Jin, Lisa, Janelle, Lisa, Greta, Carlos, Holen. Tonight Aleah arrives for two days, tomorrow we get Ben, Ryan, Amy, and Jess for a super-saturday. The History of Rain is first.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yep, the tearing down of the old 'streams is complete. All the parts are in their place, ready to be reassembled into circus pods. 
Today, Lisa from Key West arrives. And, tomorrow, Jin and Lisa (part II) arrive after a long drive from the east coast. The circus is a rollin'!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stormy Fields

The Circus is growing.
We picked up Holen at the Ottumwa train station.
Janelle drove over from Omaha,
and Phil came up from Iowa city.
Jason came via Texas.

Today we started taking apart
the big Michigan Airstream.

At night it stormed, and we cooked a delicious meal of Pesto and zucchini from the garden.

Marigold seemed sickly in
the morning, but after
being freed from her pen,
she frolicked happily with Raliegh the horse

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some Pig

We are making an outdoor shower today, old tarps stored in the top of the barn are our raw materials.

Greta is drilling holes in cedar for a wooden base to stand on.

Jason and Carlos cut the tarp to conform to the curved walls. First they cut a template to fit the wall, then cut the tarp to fit, then sewed a seam to finish the edge. Magnets were fit into the seam and more attached to the airstream so the shower will fit tightly to the airstream. It probably won't blow away in the wind when someone is showering.

We are using some already-existing poles on top of the airstream to secure the shower. Bungee cords hold everything square and taught.

This is a fake shower-taking photograph. The subject is still wearing pants.

Marigold, the pig

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


The summer herd is complete with the new 1959 full-sized baby from Michigan now in residence at Circus-Farm. From left to right: the mother ship (Iowa), Arkansas, Michigan. New York is already in pieces in the barn. We need better names for them, lest we feel obligated to have 50 (51 if you count Puerto Rico) in a few couple years.

40 hours - that's how long it took to get from Iowa to Michigan and back. That's also how long it took for the garden (and the corn behind) to reach a point of critical mass. It was planted a bit more crowded than it should have been and things are beginning to grow together - tomatillos in branchy union with zucchini and basil, watermelon reaching through the middle of the parsley plant.

The roasters (this nomenclature is designed to avoid attachment) volunteered to help in the garden. This was an experiment today to see if they would stick around. They didn't venture far and tomorrow the other 24 will come out to do some circus de-bugging work.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Veggie-Montage

radical radishes breaking through the dirt
baby jalapeno just starting to grow
shooting blossoms of sugar snaps 
snazzy colors of the new cherry floor in the Airstream pod paired with pointy purple radish

Cherry Floor

We put in the floor today, glued and nailed down.

More animation work too, simulated moonlight.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wood Walls

We are filling in the tiny trailer with wood floors and walls. The floor will be cherry, thinly sliced to save on weight and wood. Here, a 1" thick board is cut in half to make two boards. The surfaces were planed and the edges given a lap joint.
Greta made a template by laying out construction paper on the trailer floor, then chose boards to fit the space. We will cut them to exact size later.

The baltic birch panels that we prepared are going in too.

Greta drills some holes for the rivets.
Then she rivets them in.
This is the rivet gun, air powered, very satisfying to use. It makes a nice wooshclick sound.