Friday, October 16, 2009

SF Decompression Showing

Our favorite G#&* Gnome made it out to Decompression last weekend.Limited to only his propane effect the General nevertheless delighted the street party with blasts thru his hat. Maybe next year the fire inspector will let the gnome try to torch the 20the street Go Gee-Gnome!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Great News! The word on the playa is we hit a 'Gnome-Run'. The Gnomes were well pleased with the offering of the Gee-Gnome Project and the human gee-gnome will be further developed. Our DNA was picked up for version 0.3b and at least a 30 year commitment for enhancement. Evolution can continue and we can all breath a sigh of relief and concentrate on more pressing issues, like what a robo-gnome might look like. Well there is no place like gnome and as we all dust off and straighten out the messes we leftess on the way out I would like to THANK all of YOU, loyal Gnome Fanatics and Friends who made all this craziness possible. So Thank You and the Gnomes thank you also. Stay tuned for photos and videos and possible Gee-Gnone appearances.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gnome, gnome, and away!

The Gee-Gnome is (mostly, kinda) completely ready to go! After many long hours, much laughter, tears, beers, deaths, and births (well, those last two happened somewhere in the world), The Gee-Gnome Project has gone from a cute idea into an incredibly cute reality. In a few short hours he will begin his mystical, dusty journey to our most favorite desert. The gnomes look forward to seeing you at GnomeHQ, that being 5:00 and 200 feet out from the esplanade, all next week.

And remember, if you're having trouble finding such a cute, little project, wait until nightfall, stay real still, listen very closely, and then walk towards the giant geyser of multi-colored fire!

Drive safely! Obey the speed limits! Leave no trace! And, most importantly, have a great time on the playa!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Garden Party pics and Thanks!

Skot Kuiper's Photos of the Gee-Gnome Fundraiser are on facebook for those inclined towards the social networking.

Many thanks to all that are helping get us the funds we need to bring the Gee-Gnome to the playa, fully fueled, and salted for maximum gnomastic showing! The generosity shown has been amazing, we still are running a bit short so please consider donating. The Gnomes thank YOU!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fundraising Success!

Thank You Thank You Thank You to everyone who made it out to the Shipyard and spent some time with the Gnomies and helped up raise some cash for the project. Much fun was had and as you can see by the gnome indicator to the right we are moving out of the red. Extra special thanks for those who couldn't make it but still donated via the paypal. If you have pictures from the party please let me know and I will post them, till then this is what the gnomes have provided.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Please, Donate. Do it for the Children.

...and by children, I mean teamGnome. Who knew that Gnomes ate that much? We children certainly didn't. If you can't come to our fundraiser tomorrow, Sunday August 2nd (see blog post below), show us some love and please hit the donate button to the upper right of this page. We need to get the little gnome pointer thingy towards the green, at least that is what my accountant is telling me. Gnome donation is too small and certainly gnome donation is too large!
The Gnomes and teamGnome will be eternally grateful.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Foundry In Action!

Here are some (crappy quality phone-taken) pictures of the foundry in action! Check more out on my flickr!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Garden Gnome Party at the Shipyard, Sunday August 2nd, 1 - 5 p.m.

For immediate release several weeks ago:

teamGnome and The Bay Area Gnomish-American Cultural Coalition request your presence at the First Annual Gnomish Garden Party Fundraiser to support the Gee-Gnome Project in its final push to the playa.

teamGnome will be taking a short break from our joyful frolicking toils in the sunny East Bay to have some food and drink with our friends and supporters. We will be engaging in garden party games with a gnomish and industrial twist, showing off our new aluminum foundry with molten metally goodness, and shaking it gnome style (similar to human style, except smaller and cuter). Peer behind the infrequently pieced Gnomish Aluminum Curtain into the our workshop and
learn of the secret gnomish technology and lore.

Skip Sunday Brunch and come on down to the Shipyard! We will be BBQ-ing delicious gnomish delights, both meaty and veggie, and imbibing highly alcoholic gnomish brews, the traditional spiced gin concoctions, as well as the usual, less daring, beer and wine.

This is your chance for very limited Gee-Gnome tag and swag, so bring yer gear and walk away with our logo!

Help us help the gnomes help us,
Garden Party Fundraiser with the Gnomies!
Entrance Free (Donations Encouraged)

Sunday August 2, 1-5 pm
The Shipyard
1010 Murray St Berkeley

Enjoy food, drinks, music! (Donations Encouraged)
Meet the artists! (Donations Encouraged)
Make a gnome hat/get a gnome brand! (Donations Encouraged)
Garden Games (Donations Encouraged)
See live molten aluminum casting! (Donations Encouraged)
Music by Duane, his band, and DJ iPod and His Ruben's Tube (Donations Encouraged)
Win Valuable Prizes (Donations Required)
Contribute to the Gee-Gnome project so that we will continue to
evolve! (Evolution Encouraged)

We encourage donations and donations are encouraged.

blue flame

blue flame
Originally uploaded by sandwichgirl
Fire Arts Festival. The débutante Gee-Gnome showing off her new blue flame, now with extra new blueyness. We rolled out some new colors and had four good days of playing with our new toy. Thank you Crucible for the chance to show the Gee-Gnome in the Bay Area, you are truly friends of the gnome.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gnome Face

I wanted to give you a look at my gnome face. gnome ...gnome.... gnome, well you get it. This is the first stage of the modeling made about two weeks ago. We have subsequently cast the plaster molds and have made plaster positives. We are still working on coping with the size of the sand molds necessary for this casting (400 lb sand boxes are kind of hard to throw around) and so the work continues. Thanks for the support you all gave us at the Fire Arts Festival where we had four full nights of successful gnome shots and are still around to talk about it. Watch this space for photos of the brand new colored flames we tried out as well an invite to the Gee-Gnome Garden Party on August 2nd.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

FAF Run Up

We have been gnoing gnomey to gnet ready for the Fire Arts Festival where we will be showing the Gee-Gnome Project. Meeting the Oakland Fire Department this afternoon to get clearance and the Festival is Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Come out and support the Crucible and your local Gnome makers!

Thanks to the members of TeamGnome for coming out to install the piece in West Oakland last night:

and remember there are many moods of gnome. just some could be: surly, stabby, damnit, cantankereous carnfabberish, angry, peeved, mutterous, pissy, gnawy, shouty, slightly murderous, steamed, and boiling.

Have you experienced any more? Let us know.

Happy Belated Blog Post!

Gnomeit. If anyone that wasn't there and didn't hear we did:
1) Make it to Fourth of Juplaya
2) Arrive with all our insides bits to the Gnome and associated services
3) Assemble and test the Fire Shooting parts of the Gnome.
4) Test various nozzles, pressures, and shooting techniques
5) Break Down, Pack, and Drive back the Gnome guts back to the Bay Area.
6) Have fun while doing it.

So Happy Belated Fourth of Juplaya to all of you and to all a good night.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Desert Arts Preview

The Gee-Gnome Project will be presenting at the Desert Arts Preview tonight!

Burning Man 2009 Desert Arts Preview - Annual Artist Lecture Series
Thursday, June 25, 2009

In the "Grotto" community meeting room @ Sports Basement
1590 Bryant St. (at 15th St.), SF, CA 94103

Starts at 6:30 and Peter and I are scheduled to talk 8:35-8:45.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Casting Gnomes

The Gee-Gnome foundry fabrication has been finished and tested and after some fine tuning (actually coarse tuning followed by the fine kind) it was found to be just peachy. We can melt about 65 lbs of Aluminum in one charge and a winch tilts the whole furnace about the pour spout and boy is it exciting when the molten metal comes splashing out at you. Next stop, Gnome Face!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

the Tank of our Dreams

Royal Welding called, our ASME certified pressure vessel is ready! Sure it cost more and we didn't figure on the sales tax and delivery cost and undercoating charge and phitzavalves maintenance and the chrome polish contract but it is ours dammit! At least it will be once someone goes and picks it up. Road trip to Fullerton anyone?!?!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


So our proposed Fire Arts Festival showing was approved by the Crucible powers that be. Ka-Ching! We still have to get the contract passed and signed, but all looks like go for lighting up the Oakland night sky with un-earthly gnome glow. The gnomes are pleased.

Pictured here is Peter with his tight packaging of the gnome heart; it is two, count them, two pneumatically actuated ball valve solenoids, along with the purge valve solenoid, and hammer arrestor, all in packed together most sweetly. I am not sure why Peter looks like this, maybe the flash brings his smirky coyness.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Okay, so I have a bad TLA habit. TLA is a NASA TLA for "Three Letter Acronym". We have a Request for Proposal (RFP) in to the Fire Arts Fest (FAF). If this gets approved the GeeGnome will have four nights in Oakland showcasing its fire blast capabilities the week after live testing Fourth of Juplaya. This is good news for all the gnome gnuts that won't be going to the big dusty this year, as well hopefully allow funds for the ASME rated pressure vessel we still need to finance. So fingers crossed and hopefully the fine folks at the Crucible will see the merits of this important work!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gnome Plumbing/Regulators/Solenoids ordered! The moon and stars aligned, the checks cleared, the flamingo entrails foretold it an opportune time on the commodities market as pegged to a basket of human and gnomic currencies...and the trigger was pulled. Next comes the screwing....together... of the parts. In other fantastic news Rockstar Margret used her superpowers to obtanium us 100 gallons of MeOH from the Coachella fuel dump. Oh happy day indeed, The gnomes will be drinking lAMbruSCO tonight!

Friday, April 10, 2009

JDV has returned from Top Secret negotiations with the Gnome representatives at an undisclosed location in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. Wait does that count as disclosure? Anyway lets just say nobody puts Gnomie in the corner.

Monday, March 16, 2009

BRC LLC Contract Signed

yes, the rumors are all true, team-Gnome went to the bmOrg HQ Friday and signed on the dotted line . Red Hats were worn. Courtesy beverages were consumed. We hammered out the gnomenclature and discussed all the hoopties that we will be jumping thru to get our gnomey hands on fat stacks of BM cash. Thank you Crimson and DaveX for being gentle on our first time, you really did make us feel special. But I hear you asking, "what does this mean to me, the rabid fire-gnome fan?" Well, mostly that if you go to the big dusty this summer you will get to see the geegnome firing with frightening regularity 'All-Week-Long'(tm); thanks for asking you self-centered git. Once that first check clears we will be off to market for casting supplies, so if you want to see how a 5 foot high, 350 lb almunium gnome is made, well... so do we!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Gnome is Funded!!!

Despite some stops and starts, I can happily say that The Gee-Gnome Project will receive a grant from Burning Man! This is great! It means that the chances that our gnome will explode in a huge fiery ball have gone down dramatically, whether you like it or not. It means that we can make a more beautiful gnome. The gnomes demand it! It means that we'll have a nice, big, fat fuel budget to burn up all week long at the playa! Thank you Burning Man! I hope that you're as excited as we are!

While The Gee-Gnome Project is funded, if you have ever worked on an art piece, or gnome someone who has, you'll gnome that there is never enough money. So! You should start looking forward to a kick-ass fundraiser now. Ain't gnome party like a gnome party!

Team Gnome WTF? Dinner Party!

Team Gnome was going to have a dinner party to celebrate a couple of things, but due to the current economic climate, we had to just hang out and have fun together. It is out gnomish way. Here are a couple of pics of Team Gnome repping our hats that the lovely Margaret has made for us!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The gnomes are among us!

Our first real life gnome, brought to us by Josh! YAY, he shall sit on my TV until our first gnomist meeting where he shall magically appear!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Gnomius Grantious

Here is the grant application that Team Gnome turned into the Burning Man Org. Plus, of course, the amazing bios that can be seen in the previous post. Let's hope that The Man realizes just how important this project is to the future. The future of the fire-shooting gnome world.

Like what you see? Give us money! Hopefully BM will give us some money, but if you've ever worked on a project like this (well, not quite like this) you'll know that it's always more expensive than you think it will be. And look forward to Team Gnome fundraisers!


“Good things come in gnome packages.” Old Gnomish Saying

Gee-Gnome! is a sculptural representation of a garden gnome, surrounded and protected by a flamboyance of pink plastic flamingos, the gnome’s “long time companion”. The gnome itself is 5’ tall and 2’ wide, cast in aluminum to create a realistic depiction of General Gnomius the Great, who won the Battle of Sparkly Forest Land against the mighty Dwarven Army in 762 GE (Gnomish Era). The entire installation is surround by a white-picket fence, 20’ X 20’, to protect the gnome from both over-eager followers and hostile heretics.

During the day, lacking any gnome stools under which to hide from the hot mid-day sun, Gee-Gnome! will primarily rest, silent and still. Occasionally, when Burning Man participants get too close, disturbing him from his slumber, Gee-Gnome! will shake with displeasure. However, heat lethargy (gnomes are particularly prone to heat stroke) prevents further escalation.

Once the sun goes down and the heat dissipates across the playa, Gee-Gnome! slowly awakens. At first he appears docile, burning with an inviting ambient flame. But gnomes are quick to anger (it is well gnown that Gnomius the Great had a terrible temper). Suddenly, Gee-Gnome! shakes and jumps up and down with fury, unable or unwilling to control his pent-up rage. No longer oppressed by the daytime sun, his anger quickly escalates, with steam shooting out of his ears. At the pinnacle of his tantrum, his hat breaks open, releasing a jet of multi-colored methanol fury 70’ into the star filled sky. Once the cycle of anger is vented, the gnome returns to his deceivingly docile form. Until next time….

The Truth

“The truth, the gnome truth and nothing but the gnome.” Judge Wapner

This is the gnomtic gnknowlegde. The human genome (or more correctly gee-gnome) is a product of gnomic design. Revealed to us through deep study, brain trauma, and the ingestion of certain esoteric vapors, the constant and unwavering power of the garden gnome to influence natural selection through unnatural means is now clear. The garden gnome is an ancient and proud race, a trans-dimensional anything but garden-variety critter. The cat in Schrödinger’s box was a gnome. And that gnome fixed the game. Throughout evolution, or more properly gnevolution, gnomes have been the invisible hand that is on the invisible rudder that drives the invisible double-helix paddleboat wheel upon which all gnomes dance their merry gnomey jigs. And dance they do. Gnomes, everywhere present due to the ever presences of toadstools (which are gknown to gnomes as gnome stools), have pushed and pulled the fates to create the life they choose for reasons only they gknow.

It has been proven by previous travelers that the garden gnomes are not pleased. A gnomic dalliance with flamingos, going down a dead end pink plastic path with a non-human species, has left the gnomes behind the proverbial concrete wheelbarrow. The happy (and dumb) human race, left to its own devices for a measly four decades, has undone hundreds of thousands of years of careful guided gnevolution. The gnomes are not pleased, even if they feel a bit guilty about the whole thing. If we can make the gnomes happy with us again, the de-gnevoltuion can be arrested, booked, and made to serve hard time.

We must make our peace with the gnomes, who are sorely disappointed in us, and our choices. We can have change, for hope, Yes We Can. For the gnomes gnow gknow that we gknow that they gknow that we gknow. And that makes all the difference in the world. In order to make the gnomes feel better at Black Rock City, a city where most toadstools have been dried and ingested, the gnomes must have a totem gnome, a gnome of fire. The gnomes desire this, and with September being Gnomish-American History Month, the time is ripe. Yes the gnomes, neither master nor slave, but free agents working with humans for humans towards humans is probably a stupid and dead dream. And yet dream we must. The fate of the whole stupid human race depends on it! Please help us help you by helping Gnomes, at least a little. I mean come on, its 2009 and we don't even have a stinking jetpack yet; or an extra opposable thumb, or a brain chip implant, or nothing. We have to evolve, if not for us at least for the children. Think about the children.

Thanking you in advance for the grant,

-Team Gnome


“Never work with children or animals. Or gnomes. Or gnome children. Definitely not gnome children, cause they’re animals.” W.C. Fields

Phase 1- Right and Ready:

Once the sun goes down on the playa, an ambient propane fire will be lit inside Gee-Gnome!, flickering out of his red pointy hat. This ambient flame will burn invitingly all night. The gate within the 20’ X 20’ white picket fence will be open, allowing participants to enter and warm themselves with the heat of the fire. Several members on Team Gnome will be present all night: two within the fuel depot (a 20’ X 20’ red picket fence), and at least one within the white picket fence to explain the historical significance of Gnomius the Great (to the ignorant) and to ensure the safety of all participants.

Phase 2 - Shake and Bake:

Frequently throughout the night Gee-Gnome! will become angry and begin to jump up and down and shake side to side. This display of fury is controlled via a picnic control basket, within Gnome Central. Members of Team Gnome, and deserving participants, will be able to activate this display throughout the night by pressing the gnome stool button labeled “Shake and Bake”. Participants are in no danger from Gee-Gnome! at this time, and will be able to remain within the white picket fence.

Sometimes Gee-Gnome! will be able to control his anger, calm down, and return to his docile state.

Phase 3 – Tea Time:

Occasionally Gee-Gnome! will be unable to control his anger, and after his “shaking and baking” fit, vaporized water will shoot out of his gnomey ears. This show of rage is also controlled via the picnic control basket, within Gnome Central. Members of Team Gnome, and lucky participants, will be able to activate this display throughout the night by pressing the gnome stool button labeled “Tea Time”. Participants are still in no danger from Gee-Gnome!, and will be able to remain within the white picket fence.

Even after this extended fit of rage, Gee-Gnome! will often be able to calm down, and return to his docile state.

Phase 4 - It goes to eleven:

Randomly (exactly 3X per night), Gee-Gnome! will loose all control and his anger will fully escalate. All members of Team Gnome are Gnomic Ambassadors (trained gnome handlers) and are able to recognize the warning signs of an imminent full-blown gnome-rager. At this time, the gate will be closed and all participants and members of Team Gnome will exit the white picket-fenced area and distance themselves.

After an extended period of “Shaking, Baking and Tea Time”, the red pointy hat will split open (Phase 3 ¾ - “Ten”) and methanol fire, colored with Gnomish Alchemy, will shoot upwards of 70’ into the night sky. This climactic show of fury is also controlled via the picnic control basket, within Gnome Central. Only members of Team Gnome will be able to activate this display by pressing the gnome stool button labeled “Eleven”.

Phase 5 – Puff the Magic Gnome:

Once Gee-Gnome! has blown his lid, and seemingly calmed down a bit, members of Team Gnome will re-open the gate and participants will once again be allowed to enter the white picket-fenced area.

Don’t be fooled! Gee-Gnome! is still angry and, while his hat remains split open, propane “puffs” (solenoid-controlled accumulator flame effect) will shoot 10’ into the air. This display of anger is also controlled via the picnic control basket, within Gnome Central. Members of Team Gnome, and sufficiently worshipful participants, will be able to activate this display by pressing the gnome stool button labeled “Puff”.

After an extended period of time, Gee-Gnome! will calm down fully, his hat will close and he will return to his fully docile state. Until he is angered once again.

Physical Description and Specs

“A gnome is a gnome is a gnome.” Gertrude Stein


Gee-Gnome! is a realistic reproduction of General Gnomius the Great, standing on top of a steel rectangular platform, 1’ high. He will be 5’ tall and 2’ wide and made of ½” thick cast aluminum. Gee-Gnome! will be cast in 6 pieces total: the hat will be cast in 2 pieces (right and left sides), the head and torso will be cast in 2 pieces (front and back sides), and the legs and feet will be cast in 2 pieces (front and back sides). The hat will remain in 2 pieces, as it will open and close during the performance. The 2 pieces of head and torso will be welded together, as will the 2 pieces of legs and feet. The 3 sections (legs and feet, head and torso, and hat) will then stack on top of each other (and over the plumbing infrastructure described below) and be mechanically attached.

To cast Gee-Gnome! we will set up a small foundry at one of our workshops (Shipyard Labs in Berkeley or NIMBY in Oakland). The foundry will have a tilting crucible furnace that will pour into sand molds of the various Gee-Gnome! parts.


Picnic Control Basket:

All the mechanical and plumbing systems described below will be controlled by gnome stool buttons within a control box that greatly resembles a traditional picnic basket, primarily because it is a traditional picnic basket. ON/OFF buttons will be used to control the vaporized water and propane puffer systems. A three-way toggle switch will control the hat opening system. A joystick will control the kinetic system, and a fire button on the joystick, along with a potentiometer, will control the timing of the fuel and purge modes for the liquid methanol flame effect, with the aid of a small microcontroller in the picnic control basket. We will have multi conductor wire running the 50’ between Gee-Gnome! and the picnic control basket where a car battery will supply 12v power to the system.

Mechanical Systems:

“Shake and Bake” Kinetic System:

The sculpture will be attached to the steel platform via two linear actuators, one attached to each of his feet. When the linear actuators move one at a time, Gee-Gnome! will shake side to side, when the linear actuators move together Gee-Gnome! will jump up and down. The linear actuators will be controlled via the picnic control basket, using the buttons labeled “Shake and Bake”. The plumbing for the propane puffer and methanol shooter will be attached to a stand-alone tripod support and the sculpture will be placed over the entire plumbing system. Note: the sculpture and plumbing systems will not be attached directly to each other, to help avoid any damage to the plumbing system.

“Tea Time” Vaporized Water System:

Interior to each ear is a modified paint spray gun rig. The reservoir for the spray gun is filled with water each day for the coming night’s performance. The “Tea Time” button in the picnic control basket triggers a solenoid valve, which allows pressurized gas to flow to the spray rigs and vaporized water is ported through the gnome ears. This flow can be enhanced with a “steam whistle” to give the classic kettle’s ready sound.

“Ten” Hat Opening System:

The 2 pieces of the hat will be attached to the head via two linear actuators, one attached to each of side. When the linear actuators move, the two halves of the gnome’s pointy hat splits open and fall to their sides. The linear actuators will be controlled by the picnic control basket using the button labeled “Ten”. A safety interlock in the control system will keep the button “Puff” or “Eleven” from being triggered while the hat is closed.

Plumbing Systems:

“Right and Ready” Ambient Flame:

Gee-Gnome! will have an ambient propane flame inside his hat that will burn from dusk until early morning. It will invite participants into the white picket fence area, to warm themselves from the cold playa night. This ambient propane flame will also act as the pilot for the methanol shooter and propane puffer effects described below.

“It Goes to Eleven” Liquid Methanol Flame Effect System:

Hidden inside the body of Gee-Gnome! will be a liquid methanol flame effect. A metal tripod will support the plumbing infrastructure. The tripod will be attached at its top to the ¾” cross within the flame effect, and to the metal platform at its bottom.

Inside the fuel depot, methanol will be mixed with various metal salt colorants and poured into a 10-gallon ASME-rated pressure vessel, under ambient pressure. The pressure vessel will then be closed and the methanol pressurized to 250 psi with nitrogen gas. The pressure vessel’s ¾” ball valve will then be opened, filling the ¾” ID high-pressure, chemical-resistant underground hose with the pressurized methanol. Shooting of the liquid methanol flame effect will then be controlled by the button labeled “Eleven” inside the picnic control basket, within the fuel depot. Pressing down “Eleven” opens the ¾” normally closed methanol pneumatically actuated ball valve, releasing a stream of methanol which is then instantly and fantastically ignited by the ambient propane pilot. Once “Eleven” is released, the ¾” methanol actuated ball valve closes again and the ¼” normally closed nitrogen purge solenoid opens, automatically, releasing high-pressure nitrogen to blow out any methanol remaining in the line. This will repeated, at every show, until the 10-gallon pressure vessel is empty of methanol. We will have 3 shows per night, at approximately 9PM, 11PM and 1AM. We will burn kerosene, instead of methanol, at one of the 3 shows each night.

"Puff the Magic Gnome” Propane “Puffer” System:

Incorporated into the plumbing infrastructure described above is a propane “puffer” (solenoid-controlled accumulator flame effect). Inside the fuel depot, a propane tank will be connected to ¼” LPG rated underground hose that is attached to an accumulator tank hidden inside Gee-Gnome!. Opening the propane regulator and ball valve will fill the underground hose and accumulator with pressurized propane gas. Puffing will then be controlled by the button labeled “Puff”, within the fuel depot. Pressing down “Puff” opens the ¾” normally closed propane pneumatically actuated ball valve, releasing a stream of propane gas which is then instantly ignited by the ambient propane pilot. This will be repeated many times, throughout the night, until we empty the 25-gallon liquid propane tank.

Site Layout and Fuel Plan:

All propane and nitrogen tanks, as well as methanol and kerosene drums, will be stored in our red picket fenced 20’ X 20’ fuel depot.

The propane fire effects of Gee-Gnome! feed from 2 X 25 gallon propane tanks within the fuel depot. The ambient fire will be fueled by one of these 25 gallon propane tanks via 50’ of ¼” diameter LPG rated underground hose. The propane “puffer” will be fueled by the other 25 gallon propane tank via another length of 50’ ¼” diameter LPG rated underground hose. The liquid methanol flame effect of Gee-Gnome! is fed from an ASME rated 10 gallon pressure vessel within the fuel depot via 50’ of ¾” diameter high pressure, chemical resistant underground hose. The fuel in the pressure vessel is pressurized using nitrogen gas from a liquid nitrogen tank, also in the fuel depot, via 20’ of ¼” diameter LPG rated hose. This same liquid nitrogen tank also feeds the nitrogen purge via 50’ of ¼” diameter LPG rated underground hose. Both of the ¾” normally closed pneumatically actuated ball valves (for the liquid methanol flame effect and the propane puffer effect) are piloted by nitrogen gas from a liquid nitrogen tank, also in the fuel depot, via 50’ of ¼” diameter LPG rated underground hose that splits into two once inside the sculpture. All the plumbing hoses and electrical lines will run through the same underground trench from the fuel depot to Gee-Gnome!, passing into the sculpture through a hole in the platform.

On-Site Plan

Transportation & Installation:

Due to its small physical scale, the transportation and installation of Gee-Gnome! will require very little heavy machinery support. The installation will require only one trench roughly fifty feet in length.

  • August 25th: Our survey and unload crew arrives at Black Rock City. We will survey the site to lay out the installation, trenching plan and fuel depot.

  • August 26th: At this time the fuel tanks are placed and fenced off with the 20’ X 20’ red picket fence. Next we mark the trenching plan for the underground plumbing and electrical lines. After trenching, the underground plumbing and electrical lines are laid in the trench and the trenches are closed.

    Trencher: 1 hour, Wednesday August 26th

  • August 27th and 28th: Install 20’ X 20’ white picket fence and erect the gnome, as well as place pink flamingos. Complete installation of plumbing and electrical systems. Re-test functionality of all solenoid valves.

  • August 29th: Perform a water test of the liquid effect.

  • August 30th: Do a walk-through of the installation with the Fire Safety Team in the afternoon. With their approval, test the liquid and propane effects in the evening.


On Monday, September 7th we excavate and remove our fuel and electrical lines, as well as removing the fencing. By the end of Tuesday, September 8th we will have finished loading the installation for shipping, and Wednesday, September 9th will be spent removing any remaining debris from the site, and restoring the playa to normal.

Fire Safety:

Our Fire Performance Safety Team Liasons are Caroline Miller and Rosa Anna DeFilippis. They will meet with the Fire Performance Safety Team for a walk through of all effects and fire tests before allowing participants into the Gee-Gnome! installation.

All our gas supplies have ball valves at the source, for quick shut-off, and are located at least 50’ from any open flames at the installation, within the red picket fenced off fuel depot. All propane systems use LPG regulators, LPG rated hose and crimped hose fittings. Our liquid supply has a ball valve at the pressure vessel, for quick shut off and control. The pressure vessel also has a pressure relief valve and will be ASME rated for safety. The liquid effect will use only fuel rated components and lines.

Fuel will be stored at the DPW fuel depot and will be delivered to the site each day in preparation for the evening’s performance. All of the fuel on site will be stored within the red picket fenced off fuel depot and will be monitored by members of Team Gnome during the performance. Four ABC fire extinguishers will be on site for the entire night, 2 within the red picket fenced fuel depot and 2 within the white picket fenced area. Both fenced off areas will also contain coolers with wet towels and a burn kit will be on site.

Gee-Gnome! will run on several levels of fire safety awareness:

Level 1: This will occur during the day on the playa. “Shake and Bake is the only active effect, and therefore requires no supervision from members of Team Gnome.

Level 2: This level of fire safety will be active for Phase 1 – “Right and Ready” thru Phase 3 – “Tea Time” and for Phase 5 – “Puff the Magic Dragon”, will require at least 3 members of Team Gnome to be present (2 within the red picket fence of the fuel depot and one within the white picket fence), and will occur throughout the night on the playa.

Level 3: This level of fire safety will only be active for Phase 4 – “Eleven”, will require 5 members of Team Gnome to be present (3 within the red picket fence of the fuel depot and two outside the white picket fence ensuring people keep a safe distance), and will occur 3 X every night.

Artery Support:

  • In and out passes

  • 8 early arrival passes

  • 1 vehicle-driving pass

  • Usage of heavy machinery trencher

DPW Support:

  • Refilling propane tanks throughout the week.

  • Storage of liquid fuel at depot

  • Trenching.

Leave No Trace:

Gee-Gnome’s! central structure is entirely composed of steel and other metals. The white picket safety fence is made of wood, but is sufficiently far from any flame effects that there is no chance of ignition. The gas and liquid flame effects are emitted from orifices sufficiently far from the ground so as to eliminate any chance of burn scars. During the event the site will be MOOPed each morning.

At the end of the festival, we will remove all machinery and art: pull out ground stakes, refilling our trench, and scouring the entire installation and surrounding area for debris and MOOP to ensure that we Leave No Trace. As Team Gnome is composed of veteran Black Rock Citizens, leaving no trace is important to each of us.

Project Management Schedule

“Gnome wasn’t built in a day.” Old Gnomish Proverb

March – Planning & Purchasing:

  • Make scale model of the gnome

  • Order and purchase materials

  • Finalize and locate fuels and minerals required

April – Initial Production:

  • Begin production of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems

  • Set up for casting

May – Continuation Of Production:

  • Begin fabrication of sculptural elements.

  • Continue production of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems

  • Plan night safety lighting, purchase and test units

June – Completion Of Initial Revision:

  • Complete working version of mechanical, electrical, ignition, and fuel systems

  • Test plumbing and electrical systems using water in place of fuel

  • Complete initial revision of sculptural shell

July – Initial Testing & Final Revision:

  • Complete test of plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems in the Black Rock Desert

  • Finalize all systems after testing

  • Finish sculptural elements

  • Coordinate installation, de-installation, and performance schedule

August – Preparation For Burning Man:

  • Pack and load project for transportation

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Shout Out To My Gnomies!

In case you didn't get through the Gee-Gnome Project grant application, Team Gnome consists of an all-star crew of veteran Burning Man artists who will combine their pure kick-ass-itude to make a mother fuckin' awesome gnome for Burning Man and a juplaya event.

Rosa Anna DeFilippis is the Queen of the Fuel Depot and Goddess of the Grill. Enjoying fire when it is cooking one of her delicious meals or just looking fucking awesome, she rules with iron tongs and a steel spud wrench. A leader amongst the Flaming Lotus Girls, she has decided to pursue projects smaller and cuter this year. When she is not busy curing breast cancer, her passions include cooking, trips to the opera, and travel. As a part of Team Gnome, Rosa Anna will be half of the Fire Performance Safety Team, Plumber, Lead Buyer, and Top Chef.

John DeVenezia is an accomplished sculptor, fluid dynamicist, and poker player. Armed with an understanding of sculptural aesthetics, the ability to lift, carry and wrench anything, and with a keen understanding of the feelings of fluids, John has been an invaluable member of the Flaming Lotus Girls for many years as well as Egeria, Fire Fountain in 2002 and 2003. As a part of Team Gnome, John will wear many hats, all red, tall, and pointy, including Methanol Coloration Specialist and Show-Flow Director.

Caroline Miller, a.k.a. Mills, is a long time Flaming Lotus Girl leader, bad ass plumber, propane junkie, and a connoisseur of wine by the case. As an Englishwoman, hailing from Manchester, Mills is already one-third gnome and has worked as our liaison to their proud people for this project. She will be half of Team Gnome’s Fire Performance Safety Team, as well as contributing to plumbing, metal fabrication, and everything else, for she cannot be stopped.

Josh Hunter is a fresh DJ, successful business owner, extremely skilled carpenter, and owner of A Big White Truck. After being press-ganged into Flaming Lotus Girlhood by Mills in 2006, Captain Crazy Pants, as he is known, has made invaluable contributions to numerous Flaming Lotus Girl Projects, receiving the Most Valuable Girl award in 2008. Josh is Team Gnome’s Transportation Czar and Lead Climber Of Things, as well as a member of the metal fabrication and plumbing teams.

Margaret Long is a fucking rockstar. Having worked with Dan Das Mann, the Flaming Lotus Girls, and being a super-star Space Cowgirl (we refer to her as Das Flaming Space Lotus), she has brought so many beats and art pieces into Black Rock City that she’s going to have to start paying import taxes soon. Equipped with amazing welding prowess, heavy machinery skills-to-pay-the-bills, and legs and verves of steel, Margaret will be an invaluable member of the metal fabrication team and Bringer Of Funky Fresh Beats.

Becca Maglathlin is a scientist by day, artist by night, and rester never. Becca’s amazing energy working on the Flaming Lotus Girl’s Mutopia in 2008 earned her the Rookie of the Year award, and she will have no sophomore slump. Looking to once again dive into a project, and being unable to say no to the unbearable cuteness of gnomes, Becca was a natural for Team Gnome and will put all of her skills to work, from metal fabrication to gnome chasing.

Rebecca “Hot Metal” Anders can make anything out of metal. Period. Ms. Hot Metal was instrumental in the foundations of this project, as her rock collection was used to barter with the gnomes for their secrets of evolution. As a long time Flaming Lotus Girl leader, longer time Black Rock Citizen, professional artist, and lover of all things cute, Ms. Hot Metal would not be kept away from this project. Having worked on more Burning Man art projects than can be counted, she will be a major part of Team Gnome’s fabrication team.

Peter Youngmeister has had a long time passion for fire and gnomes. His passion for fire led him to the playa many times, working with Interpretive Arson and the Flaming Lotus Girls. His passion for gnomes has led him to sit in the forest for many long hours conversing with our gnomy friends and learning their secrets. Peter is excited to work with a small, talented group on a project that is physically small, but very large in terms of height of flame. As a part of team gnome, Peter will be Project Management Dictator For Life, as well as contributing to the plumbing and wiring teams.