September 14, 2014

Robot uprising - S.W.A.T.bot - 042205

My good friend and neighbour Greg put me to the challenge this week.  Our neighbourhood Ramsay was hosting a Beakerhead event for the kids, a robot uprising and scavenger hunt.
We got a box from Mrs. Kim from the Alberta corner store and hit the dollar store for supplies, the challenge to build his son a cardboard robot costume.
He taped up the box and gave it a good healthy coating of trembled silver spray paint and gave me the bag of supplies to get cracking. 
There is one thing I know about my little friend Navan, he loves police stuff and hopes to be one when he grows up. I came up with an idea that should get him really excited, I am making him into a robocop of sorts what I call the S.W.A.T.bot.
I got lots of lights from the Dollarama, red and blue ones that blink like cop lights and a cool safety one for roadside assistance, this costume will be extra rad halloween night!
I cut the bottom out so he can get in from the bottom. I cut a flap for his head to come out of and two for the shoulders. I put on small pie tins filled filled in with some foam from my old bedding. Luckily it fit perfectly.
I did a little detail work and added some stencilled black lettering. Greg painted his boots silver and got the awesome helmet form his mom's place.
There were tons of cool kids in their home made robot costumes ready for the uprising. I got a few good ideas from their collective creativity.
After a performance explaining the goals for the robots, the gangs of robot kids broke off into groups to venture out to find the "pneumatic liquids" hidden around Ramsay.
I visited my best friend and brought his little one up to check out the end of the event, he figured out how to turn S.W.A.T.bots power on and off.
Sooo cute!
I decided a reflection picture would do it justice. I'm going to add a few more features before Hallow's eve. I'm excited about my little creative project and I look forward to it lighting up the night when he goes trick or treating. I wish I made one for me too :D

September 11, 2014

Art on hold for harvest - HARD APPLE CIDER

It may seem like I have been laying low since my last course ended at ACAD, but I have been knee deep in projects. The one I'm featuring here is HARD APPLE CIDER. 
I needed about 100 lbs. of apples to fill the required volume needed for my primary fermented.
We shook the tree over tarps to collect the two different types of apples on my neighbours 100+year old trees.

I filled multiple buckets and cleaned the apples. Some were the larger type which were a lot easier to process that the many tiny crab apples I had to clean and core.

I had my little system going and just sat myself down and chopped while watching Netflix. Doing this by hand is slow going, using a press would be much better but I didn't have one and we had to deal with these apples before the snow hit the next day.

And that is the real impetus behind this emergency harvest.  It created a lot of compostable materials (left bucket).

Once the apples are cleaned, cored and chopped I put them into the juicer and slowly but surely I gather it cup by cup and store it in a large stainless steel container in the fridge.

All these leftover bits and waste from the juicing bits found a happy home in my compost.

Like the energizer bunny, I keep going and going, I think the time is worth putting into it, by the time the final cider is done, I know I'll be happy.

later on I hit the wall, I'm sick of crab apples, but I have to keep going. "Dig deep Bunny."

With 23 Litres ready I filter the juice further by pouring it thru a strainer into a sterilized primary fermenter(bucket).
I have what I need to make the cider. I let it sit with half a teaspoon of Potassium Metabisulfite(K2S2O5) as a sterilant to kill any natural occurring wild yeasts, bacteria or fungi that may have come in with the harvested fruit. Then I add cinnamon, mace, allspice berries, french oak, lemon, brown and white sugar and a bit of dextrose and give it a good stir.  The next stage is I measure the specific gravity and put the cider yeast into the primary, now we wait for the yeasts to do their job.


















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