Gilly & Fire in the Snow

This week I’m in Breckenridge, CO for the International Snow Sculpure Championships and Fire Arts Festival, assisting my good friend and collaborator Orion Fredericks with his latest creation Gillaptourous Corvus, aka “Gilly,” a 14ft tall fire breathing sculpture made from cold-forged and tig-welded stainless steel. This is Gilly’s first public appearance and the location is unlike any I have ever worked in before.

Fire art? In the Snow? At first it seemed absurd, but on second thought, of course! What a perfect juxtaposition of opposites, and who doesn’t want warmth when it’s cold outside? But then…. the more I thought about it… the more anxious I became. Working in sub-freezing temperatures… wondering how the lack of oxygen at high altitude would effect combustion… and then there’s the frozen propane tanks.

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Creating Live VFX for the Exploratorium

At my job (www.obscuradigital.com) we’re filming live practical visual effects that we’ll be projecting onto the new Exploratorium building in San Francisco for the Grand Opening on April 17th and 18th.

So basically we’ve set up about 6 different scale models of the new building and we are doing different crazy things, such as melting wax or growing crystals, and them filming that effect. The footage will then be 3D projection mapped onto the actual building. It’s gonna be nuts. If you are anywhere near SF on those nights you gotta see it. Two nights only!

Here’s a shots from the production:
exploratorium_wax_full-smaller

more pics after the break

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Tom Sepe: Portfolio

Here’s a preview of the print-on-demand book I just made of my art. It’s meant to be like a portfolio, but right now its really more like a coffee-table style retrospective of the last ten years. I’ll probably trim it down and go with a smaller format for use as an actual portfolio.

I designed the book in Apple’s professional photo editing application, Aperture (which is kind of like iPhoto on steroids.) But for the next version I think I will go with Blurb.com and do a full re-design using their software.

(for best results click on the view “full screen icon” on the lower right)


Get the Whirlygig to the Museum

I really fantastic opportunity has come my way: to display the Whirlygig Emoto, my steampunk motorbike, at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation in Waltham Massachusettes. Steampuffin.com is hosting a “Steampunk Form and Function Design Competition.” The opening night is Oct 22nd 2010.
I’ve never had any work in a museum, most of the projects I’ve worked on have been large-scale sculptures or art cars, so this is a very cool thing that I’m super excited about!
However, niether the museum nor I have the funds to ship the bike!

Well that’s where community comes in: I’ve started a fundraising campaign on kickstarter.com to raise the funds to ship the bike. Here’s the catch though: if I don’t meet my target goal of $3000, then I don’t get a single dime from anyone. That’s right. It’s an all-or-nothing kinda deal. As of today I’m a little over a third of the way and there are only 8 more days ’till the campaign ends!!!

I hope you’ll consider clicking on the link and donating.. even $5 – it all adds up!

Thanks for your support!

The Infinitarium – In Progress Timelapse

Here’s my latest: A timelapse video I just edited of The Infinitarium we are building at Big Art Studios in West Oakland. I’m one of six artists leads building 18 giant over-sized plants out of scrap metal. I’m in charge of building five giant willow trees – each tree will have over 1,200 feet of salvaged steel cable! We have a small army of incredible volunteers showing up everyday to learn welding and build BIG ART!

Directing artists Karen Cusolito and Dan Das Mann designed and envisioned the Infinitarium, a massive interactive sculpture garden that will span an acre and will include state-of-the-art lighting controls and user-controlled pyrotechnic flame effects. It will be a larger-than-life magical botanical garden and will travel to many events and festivals, premiering at the Electric Daisy Carnival, Sand By The Ton, Outside Lands Festival, Burning Man, the PDX Bridge Festival and many more. http://theinfinitarium.com

I’m using a hacked Canon S1is digital still camera and a kit-made 7.4v power supply (kit from Adafruit Industries) connected to a 12v deep cycle marine battery and combining photos and video from my iPhone as well as a mini DV video camera.

Canon S3, 7.4v power supply
My Timelapse Camera Rig

Special thanks to Phil “pEEf” Sadow for assistance with setting up the Canon hack and for the 2nd camera.

WORC- Rocket Video Tease

Wow I just got back from a fantastic weekend in Tahoe with the West Oakland Rocketry Club (WORC)

here’s a little video tease shot with a Casio EX-FS10 at 400 frames per second of my X-Patriot missile:

4 “D” motors. cardboard tube, foam-core fins, whiffle-ball nosecone, perfect paint job. no recovery method. Tahoe WORC trip 2010. Shot with Casio EX-FS10 camera at 400 fps.

stay tuned for the rest!

Get the Egg

Last week I helped Michael Christian pick up the “Egg” from the Reliance powder coating in San Leandro:

Unfortunately they couldn’t fit the sculpture into the powder coating oven and had to paint it by hand. This was less than ideal for a number of reasons – mostly, Michael said, because he could have bondo-ed the weld seams faster than the grinding of the seams necessary for powdercoating, and as a result obtained a smoother finish. ANother important lesson learned is that there is now a metal-to-metal bondo that contains aluminum – which means you can use it in the powder-coating process!

We then took the egg over to the new NIMBY space in Oakland, which is HUGE! It will be exciting to see NIMBY 2.0 evolve….