A Year in the Life of a Sculpture

It was just one year ago that we hosted the Flame Effects for the Artist Class with Propaniac who runs Poofer Supply and Dave X from Burning Man. Over the course of two days they covered everything from the safe handling of LPG (propane), how to build a flame effect from scratch, all about gauges, electronics and even a fire extinguisher training.

On the second day we built a sculpture with an effect in one day, it went from a pile of scrap materials that participants donated to a full fire ‘poofing’ machine that got named the “Eye of Sauron” but was affectionately nicknamed “Free the Nipple”.

This effect is an accumulated LPG (propane effect) lit by a  LPG pilot that runs off a secondary tank. It is controlled by a closed-valve 12V solenoid hooked to a battery and our control panel complete with an emergency kill switch. As you can see the frame wasn’t much to look at and we also needed to raise her another meter to make it safe to display at festivals. A few of us got together and raised her up another meter.


By June we were itching to do more with her and got approved for a Small Arts Grant from Burning Seed. A small crew was formed and Brendan Jones, Sage Lian and Haig Jason spent a weeknight each week for a few months turning the Nipple into the beautiful beast “Haoma’s Vile Heat” which debuted at a regional Burning Man event, Burning Seed 2015 out in the Matong State Forest, 5 hours from Melbourne.

Her next adventure took her to The Town, a small community based music and arts event in the Strathbogie Ranges over Easter Weekend April 2015. She delighted the crowd, illuminating and warming the dance floor each ‘poof’ that was fired off.

Hamoa will make her next appearance at Beautiful Darkness a winter solstice event happening June 25th 2016 at CERES in Brunswick East, Melbourne.





Build the fish!

I made a timelapse video of the first three days of the build which is taking place in our backyard. As you can see the structure is starting to take form, I’ve been doing a lot of cutting, bending and shaping of the metal. So far the most challenging part has been working on the central structural beam. Because I want to be able to take the anglerfish apart and split it into front and back sections I’ve had to mirror the curves that I’m making for the front and back supports with two different pieces of metal. In order to attach them together I’m making  metal tabs from flat bar cutting them into smaller 40mm section and then drilling holes through the tabs to fit bolts.  All of this is taking quite a bit of time but I’m enjoying it and I’ve been very thankful for the few weeks that I spent working on Xylogphage with the Flaming Lotus Girls because I got a lot of experience working with a scale model, bending and unbending metal to help fabricate the curved roots that were also designed to be split apart.

You can support this project by visiting my Pozible page!