Sunday, April 24, 2011

The coolest moped part I've ever made.

Well, DEATHped is finally coming near to completion. The final missing pieces are in the mail, and I am just putting the finishing touches on the bike.

About three months ago, I started visualizing what seat would look best on the bike. I wanted it to be like a cafe seat but minimal, totally unique and sturdy. I started by making a small paper mockup about an inch long. I just sort of figured out what sort of folds I would need to do to make it work. Once I had a mockup, I disassembled the little paper seat and scanned it into my computer. I traced the template in Illustrator and extrapolated it to full scale. Then I printed out the template onto a cereal box, assembled the full size mockup, and tweaked and refined ad naseum.


It's really nice to be able to set a cardboard facsimile of a seat on your bike and scope out the lines and work it out. Eventually, I came up with a design I was happy with.

On Saturday I was lucky enough to get some time with Michael Mike down at the wizard lair. That guy is super generous with his time and skills and most every amazing moped project coming out of Seattle has his fingerprints on it. I filled him in on my plan and we quickly set to work.
First I transferred my template to the stainless steel.

Then I started hacking away with an angle grinder.

The Wizard himself began fusing the metal. If you look closely you'll see that he is actually absorbing the energy of the welder into his hand and welding with his magical fingertip.

After the welding was done I spent a significant amount of time shaping the tail section and this is what I came up with.

I'm pretty proud of it.

So this leaves me with only a couple more steps before I can declare DEATHped complete and ready to ravage. I'll be tuning the carb and clutch over the next couple of days and my final little bits should arrive today (monday). All that is left is to black out any chrome, (DEATH TO CHROME!) and take pretty photos for posterity. I'm very excited.

I just have to mention one more time that I couldn't have done any of this without the generous help of Michael Mike, Phil, Haulin' Colin, my supportive wife, and probably other people that are escaping my memory.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blueberry wine, the plague, and Los Angeles

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of art shows, motorcycle riding, and other fun things.
The Los Angeles Latebirds had a little get together down in Malibu and of course Rosanna and I simply had to attend. I didn't get many photos because I was so busy, so you'll just have to take me at my word that it was a spectacular weekend and I really love hanging with those fellas.
Flashback to a week before LA, my friend Sierra and I had been discussing doing a one night art show in her apartment. She's been doing these shows for some time now, she and her understanding boyfriend pack up most everything in their apartment, put it all in the closet, and host intimate art shows about twice a month. She's been calling it Vignettes.
So, like I said, Sierra and I had been discussing showing some of my work in the future and it became clear that the best time for both of us would be the night before I left for LA. That gave me just about a week to figure out what work I wanted to show and make about five new pieces. My art practice is pretty methodical, I usually have a pretty clear idea of my intention before I start creating, but sometimes it's good to have a deadline hanging over your head to stir the creative juices.
Here are some shots of the Moms on the internet. exhibition.
So the art show happened and it was great, and then we got to spend a wonderful few days with our friends down in LA, and then I got the plague. It started as a little cough and some congestion in my ears and eventually blossomed into full on 24 hour uncontrollable coughing. Oh, and pink eye. It was an awesome week.
After recovering from my various ailments, my friend Ryan and I racked our blueberry wine.
Here is dead-man-walking engaged-to-be-married Ryan with our batch of blueberries. When we began fermentation we combined some recipes and had a comedy of errors sort of day trying to get our ratios right. Eventually we came up with this list of ingredients:
9lbs blueberries
14lbs cane sugar
5 gals water
2 packets of Bordeaux yeast

As of the 13th of April our wine has been slowly fermenting away for 5 weeks and we have an alcohol percentage of 6%. We are shooting for around 14% so we're going to let it continue and hope for the best.

Here I am racking the wine.
Just look at that delicious ruby color of the blueberry juice. Yummy.
So in summary, life is pretty great! Spring is slowly teasing us here in Seattle, it looks like DEATHped might actually be completed this month, and I've proven that I can survive the plague.