We had a fantastic time at Maker Faire 2008!
You had to navigate through the World’s largest Mouse Trap Game, walk through the Neverwas Haul and step through the puddles of Diet Coke and Mentos to get to us in the back of Steam Punk land, but if you know anything about the projects I just named, you know the journey would be enchanting and totally worth the price of admission. The Propane Fountain and the Flaming Zen Garden were huge crowd favorites because as far as we could tell, out of all of Maker Faire these were two of the very few devices you really could play with and do what you wanted and both used fire!
The Flaming Zen Garden allows people of all ages to draw pattens in the sand and watch as the flames illuminate the pattern they just created. So often in society when we create drawings, it’s a hands-off affair. In general, galleries do not like it if you add new lines to their Matisse. I would not compare the Flaming Zen Garden to a Matisse, but people always seem amazed that the designs they see in the Flaming Zen Garden were created by the person before them and that they could create any design they wanted.
The Propane Fountain combines water and fire. People change the shape, color and sounds of the fire in the fountain by sitting down at a small school desk and turning knobs. Anyone can create exploding green flames, a tall flame column, a hypnotic fire. For that time, the participant becomes the fire artist. But sometimes Wally Glenn will get into the fountain and start manipulating the flames you create with his bare hands. It becomes a duet between the artist and the flames, conducted by the participant.
We really hope we can bring these fire art pieces to more festivals in the near future. We will be presenting a new fire art piece at Burning Man 2008. We hope to see you there.
In closing I really wanted to offer my gratitude to all of the help provided by Jack Schroll and Germ of Mostly Mustangs. I appreciated all of the help Claudia, Amani and Germ offered as docents so I could play with the fire and work with the crowd. A huge thank you to Karen Cusolito and Dan Das Mann who despite setting up tons (and I do mean tons) of art around MakerFaire, they took time to help me get my display up and running and safely back in it’s home. Also Jonathan, Tish and Joesph Pred and all of the Maker Faire staff were a pleasure to work with and I look forward to working with them again.