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IRON from SAND

From January into the end of May I filmed 6 bloomery smelts at The Crucible in Oakland, California. Iron oxide is extracted from sand and then put into a charcoal burning furnace which has a reduction atmosphere. Here the iron get separated from the oxygen and combines into a bloom – a blob of iron ready for further processing by the blacksmiths. The iron was used in an art piece which will be featured in the next video.

Marble Machine X Engineering Team

I’ve joined the Engineering Team for the Marble Machine X! Part of the reason I haven’t posted any videos on my channel lately is I’m spending much of my free time in the shop working on this part for Martin. I’m almost done and will be shipping it off to him soon. He’ll post a video installing it and at the same time I’ll post my detailed video of making it.

Dull Men’s Club

 

While I can’t say I can necessarily get interested in what some of these fellows are up to, it does speak to core ideas which I try to convey in my work – appreciation and gratitude.  So many of the technological wonders we encounter every day, even something as simple as flushing a toilet or endless glasses of clean water on tap, are truly amazing even though they are incredibly ordinary.  And that they are ordinary, dull if you will, is a wonderful thing itself.

 

 

Barbed wire served as telephone line for early homesteaders

Usually barbed wire (aka the Devil’s Rope) is decried as what divided up the West and brought an end to the vast open prairies.  In at least one case, we can see how it brought people together.

Early telephone companies found connecting rural homesteads too expensive so the farmers took matters into their own hands and used barbed wire to connect telephone services into their houses.  This resulted in Party Line style connection where everyone could hear whoever was on the line.  This was bad when you needed to have a private conversation, but useful to spread news, weather reports or the price of crops.  Sometimes it just helped people be less lonely.

The details are in this fascinating article.