Upon preparing for Burning Man this year it was decided that it would be the most cost effective to build a Styrofoam yurt. Burning man is held every year in the Black Rock desert near Las Vegas where temperature can reach into three digits. The other main issue is sand storms or white outs and it’s great to have a place for shelter.
The cost to build one is roughly $450.00. The majority of that cost is the one inch plus Styrofoam sheets. To build a 12’ yurt you need twelve 4 x 8 sheets. The other main cost is the filament tape to seal the edges after the sheets have been cut to size. One of the main restrictions of Burning Man is to leave no trace so you can’t have any “Moop” which is remove all Matter Out Of Place like stuff that can get loose like Styrofoam bits and fly away easily with the wind.
We ordered the materials since not all of it was available from Home Depot and once we had everything it took three of us half a day to cut out the shapes and tape up the edges. Out on the “Playa” (the desert floor in Black Rock) it will be held down with rope and tent stakes and placed on top of a tarp. The Styrofoam does a pretty good job in keeping it somewhat cooler inside and it can be reused for next year.
We were recently asked to do a mural from an old tapestry that our client had of his mother’s that had been around for a long time. It had seen better days with an assortment of coffee stains and misc. damage on it. His girlfriend though it would be nice to reproduce the tapestry on their entry wall.
We were able to take the image and thru the use of Photoshop technology skew the image to fit the space which was elongated compared to the tapestry which was square. We then used a projector to get the basic outline of shapes on the wall and adjusted for the scale. After that the background colors started to go in, and then the detailing and the border. Our client asked us if it was possible to add in a little camel in the background somewhere and so we did. If you look real close, he is by the building on the right. We really enjoyed working on a project that had emotions attached to it seeing that our client was born in Egypt.
At the same time we did a finish on all the new built-ins in the library. A deep green and brown finish with antiquing was chosen. We also distressed all the new wood, which when the cabinetmaker saw what we were doing I’m not sure he was that happy seeing that he had spent so long making everything perfect.
We were recently involved in doing a makeover of a powder room in a beautiful home in Rancho Santa Fe. Upon entering the home you see the words “Le Petite Chateau” above the entry gate.
Seeing that the nature of this house was very French, my client and I decided it would be best to continue on with that theme in the powder room. The cabinets to start with were white washed oak and the walls were just white and there was a wooden framed mirror behind the sink. The first task on the agenda was to get rid of the white washed oak. My client chose to go with a distressed cape cod blue finish for over the existing cabinets. For the walls we chose a vintage grey French linen look with large stencils. This was accomplished by using a Venetian plaster and combing thru it to give it a grass cloth texture. Verses were chosen in English such as “Welcome Friends” that had meaning for my client and translated to French “Bienvenue Amis” and then enlarged, traced and painted freehand in various areas on the walls. For the mirror frame we painted it out white to match the trim in the bathroom and then aged it with grey to pull in the wall color.
This is a character we fondly called “Frobot”. Vulfie built him on top of a golf cart to take to “Burning Man”. He was mainly made out of polypropylene plastic with a metallic Mylar attached to that and this was all attached to a metal frame. The top had to come apart in sections in order to fit in the truck to haul it to the middle of the black rock desert which is where Burning man is held. It also had LED lights hooked up to it to make it glow at night. To see more of our other projects click here.
This was a base for the Saint Michael statue that we were commissioned to build because the statue needed to be raised about four feet in order to be seen properly. We selected a flagstone that worked with the colors of the surrounding area, and cut them to fit the space creating a sculptural pedestal for the statue to stand on. Click here to see more photos of the space.
Lately we have been making customs counter tops. This is a product that can go over an existing counter top with no demo required. It’s extremely durable and heat resistant and you can achieve a wide variety of looks and designs. This client wanted a faux marble look over her existing 4 x 4 white tile. To see more of our other projects click here.
We were commissioned to paint a piano shell for an electric keyboard for a band called “Mathew West”. They travel the country and they would carry a heavy wooden frame to go around the electric keyboard so that it would look like an old piano. The cost and the weight of this got to be a little much so instead they hired www.casextreme.com to make a light weight shell for them and then we were to paint a piano facade on that so that from the audiences perspective it would look like a real piano. To see more or our other projects click Here.
On this project we were to create an interesting tropical design out of custom designed Saltillo tile that was to be attached to a retaining wall. We first started out with a drawing of the design that we wanted and drew it out to scale to fit the thirty-three foot length wall. We then drew full size individual patterns of each leaf design that would be going on the wall out of poster board and cut them out. After that was finished we took all of our patterns and went down to Tecate, Mexico, to a Saltillo factory and our helper started rolling out the Saltillo clay while we started laying out our patterns and cutting them out of the clay. At then end we had some 400 pieces cut since we did run into size limitations when dealing with the Saltillo clay. We then imprinted a few with some designs like dragon flies and then they were fired in the kiln. After they were finished we brought them back to San Diego and began laying them out piece by piece and slowly adhering them to the wall. It was like a giant jigsaw puzzle. We ended up making a few modifications along the way because of the sizing, and then we sealed it and grouted it all with a similar colored grout. To see more of our sculptures click here.
This was a fifteen foot conference table that we ended up doing on-site after hours at a television studio. It took approximately eight guys to move it. We ended up building ourselves a little plastic bubble to work in, and we could only work when they weren’t shooting for a broadcast which was mainly at night. After priming and base coating it, we sprayed on three coats of the metallic soft blue finish and then top coated it three times to protect it even though glass was placed on top of the finished piece. To see more of our furniture pieces click here.