There's never any mistaking when July hits in the Burning Man art community. A new fervor takes over everyone and the energy is absolutely electric (if not insane). I've sat down to write this a dozen times, never to start before being pulled into another task. So here goes... 

We leave for the debut install of The Space Whale in under five weeks, and there is still so much work ahead of us. But this is our final hour, and we absolutely love it.

We have an entire humpback whale stretched across our build space now, and it's getting a bit crowded in here! Only a few pieces remain on our list for the internal structure.

As the steel structure nears completion, the crew switches mainly to glass panel production. A new wave of volunteers, and much needed energy, have joined in to help cut glass and manufacture the 1800 triangular panels that will cover mother and baby whale. 

Since the glass work is less specific of a skill set than the welding, we are able to broaden the invitation to help to a much larger part of our community. This is not only vital to the completion of the project, but really fun for us as a teaching and outreach opportunity! Dozens of new friends have appeared at The Generator and the glass working station is buzzing like a hive throughout each week.

And how does it look?

We are absolutely stunned. Even in their temporary cardboard outlines the stained glass panels are breathtakingly beautiful. The combination of Android Jones' signature style with the classic beauty of stained glass is SO. COOL. 

Each piece of glass was hand selected by Matt and other crew mates from Uroboros Glass in Portland Oregon. The many glass artists and enthusiasts who have been stopping by consistently praise Uroboros as the makers of the finest stained glass in the country. I wish I could do it justice in photos.

The first piece to cover was the mother's fluke, which houses a spiral galaxy of shining stars and deep sea colors. Once we had the test panels complete we turned off the warehouse lights and marveled at the finished image that arose from the tiny pieces of glass we had painstakingly placed by hand.

Each of these projects has a handful of striking moments when we realize that what we are making is magical... this was definitely one of those.

So for the next four weeks we will continue making magic, while trying to keep our heads on straight. The clock is ticking and we are forever feeling behind on our work. But every project hits us with this summertime stress, and we probably wouldn't know what to do without it.

And amidst the madness there are many reasons to celebrate. A big one is the successful completion of our fundraising campaign on Hatchfund. We SURPASSED our stretch goal for a final amount of $27,260!! If you are a donor and you are reading this now, THANK YOU! This project is possible because of all of you.

Our Hatchfund donations will directly fund our final glass order as well as the lighting and sound equipment for inside the whales. We will continue our fundraising efforts in order to feed our amazing crew during the installation on playa!

 

Stay tuned for a few more sneak peaks of the stained glass art, and for updates as we pack up and head for the playa!

 

Until then, all our love from The Space Whale Crew!