Patron Art

The Tiki mask and caffeine halo let me know it’s name! Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai! What that means is everything is now amped to Black Swan level!

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha-apai volcano erupted this last January. It was the largest explosion on the planet ever recorded by instruments. It was an undersea eruption from a pre-existing caldera at the perfect depth to vaporize the entirety of the underwater caldera and direct the force of explosion through the Troposphere and into the Stratosphere. This was unique from all prior volcanic eruptions, which usually push sulphur dioxide and other particulates into the lower atmosphere and can result in cooling, NASA’s recent report shows that instead this eruption “may” cause warming. The Stratosphere is waay up there, and generally very low water density only as micro-ice crystals. I wondered what the huge volume of water vapor injected into Stratosphere might do, and if any past studies had been done.

Turns out (academic publication is linked below), just the increasing amount of CO2 in the Troposphere is enough to cause more water vapor in the Stratosphere, of such significance that it should be considered a distinct “individual physical entity controlled, at least in part, by essentially different mechanisms than tropospheric water vapor, we conclude that the Stratospheric Water Vapor (SWV) feedback is of sufficiently large amplitude to deserve dedicated attention”.

The authors conclude: “We wish to emphasize that although the SWV climate feedback calculated here (“here” is the lowermost stratosphere (LMS), which is mainly located in the extratropics, and the key region of emphasis) is small compared to global mean estimates of the tropospheric water vapor feedback from the CMIP5 models, it is of the same order of magnitude as the multi-model mean surface albedo feedback (0.3 ±0.1 Wm−2K−1) and the cloud feedback.

When the researchers say extratropics, they mean the mid-latitudes. This is the area where up to 95% of the forced heating is expressed, and happens to align nicely with the extreme spike of temperature and rainfall across the northern & southern hemispheres. The water vapor may persist in the Stratosphere for up to 10 years, as an anomalous forcing event. Bonus, it strips away at the ozone layer as well.

After the eruption it took just a few weeks for the stratospheric Polar Vortex of the northern hemisphere to collapse and split. This article from last spring summarizes the phenomena, and predicts this summer’s heat. NASA published their satellite findings of the eruption in early August, so the warming agent that collapsed the polar vortex was considered an anomalous spike- maybe not so anomalous?

Researchers have updated that the “shotgun blast” of water vapor extended all the way through the Stratosphere and into the Mesosphere. The ice-vapor clouds that form in the Mesosphere are called Noctilucent: this year saw the greatest noctilucent formations in 15 years or more, and NASA can only speculate as to why. NASA’s current guess is “I dunno… rockets?”.

Yesterday’s seamwork is ready to affix. 45 degrees in the shop with hail and gropple and rain, with the garage door open for ventilation- after 3 hours I’m freezing up and need to make a run for more epoxy glue, then back for another 3 hours in the much nicer 53 degree afternoon.
I pull from this stack of prior seams as well, as I like the wavy tapered edges. If I did another round of seams, I think I’d have them perfected… not … gunna .. doit. Or so I say now.
80 percent seamed, all but the bottom most portion. The red at L is the reflection of the redwood deck, it shows up in all the images- and indicates how reflective the Orb is.
Crabapple blooms.
Orb is entirely skinned in ocean; new oceania was created yesterday and firmed up overnight.
South pole with pole.
Another 8 hours of art time are absorbed into the Orb…
I added two transparent “windows” today as well, cutting the fiberglass ball and skinning with clear & color panel created yesterday.
Layered edges with the new window panel overlayed giving a sense of depth.
The edges around the door are cleaned up, and skin-thin at top to allow paper to be slid inside.
Center is a clear-edged seam cover from a trove created yesterday. All too wide, and most are not color-correct; so a do-over tomorrow, then wait til Saturday before they are ready.
Kwanzan Cherry is just starting, and will be slowed by a 3 day rain/snow storm.
The flat ocean plates are rounded, fitted, and affixed.
So many triangles, and one circle.
The next trick is seaming all the gaps as on the R side vs the unseamed L.
So many gaps. Is seems that I’ll seam similarly tomorrow as I did today and yesterday. (the pins aren’t doing anything- it was a failed try…one of legions)
I also need to make more ocean.
Orb has disallowed a week’s worth of ideas so far, but we seem to have reached a turning point.
Each triangle is a unique objet d’arte.

Orb is sphere; Orbisphere.
Base is wire-wheeled, wiped clean with acetone, and spray-painted.
Orbisphere spindle. The new variety of resin should arrive tomorrow…then artin’ can start.
Apres-snow tulips in cold sunlight (with Weeohknee).
The xeriscape is ready for Easter Sunday.
Sleeve pipe is affixed to the top 1/2 of the globe. I connected the halves into the whole globe with fiberglass, but had to pull it apart as it was heading toward a fail- the halves are now curing out before I try again tomorrow.
Magic magnet door is in place. Missives can be slipped into the gap.
Door open.
The door can be shut from further missives by the little circle held in place by, you guessed it, a magnet.
Meanwhile, Spring!
Chilly spring day with snow on the way…

I have an experimental project that needs to be completed/delivered by May 3 for an event. The project has a small budget, that may just cover media costs; but it is a mad science of media use in a manner not intended for the media (casting resin), so my kind of fun. The ask is …

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View from the sidewalk on Wilmington.

Installation day started off raining and chilly, just how the fish like it. With two handy fellows helping (Jed, who helped install the last group, and Mike) things got started at 8am and finished by 3pm with time off for lunch at one of the restaurants on the plaza. A solid day of digging and lifting heavy things, but all are in the ground and everyone is happy.


Swimming alongside the concrete current.


Follow their lead to the next fish.


Enter the plaza and these singles stairstep up the planter beds.


Lower single swimmer.


Upper single swimmer.


The pair take a bead on you as you leave the plaza.


The swim around the base of a tall tower.


The fish like their new digs.


Out on the big plaza, bridging the Hidden Hollow trail on Parley’s Creek.


Parley’s Creek is just past the sunny bit of lawn at the top of the image.


They swim just within the boundary of the plaza.


Heading toward the curved public bench.


Linking the curvy landscaping to the riparian trail.


The blue concrete connects the pair to the singles under the tower.


The plaza is so big, the fish become invisible from the far end; good thing there are fish at this end too.