Monday, July 25, 2016

1 Weeks Worth of Work in 3 Weeks

It took 3 weeks to add up to a weeks worth of work, but we had 3 weeks of adventures to share this week. If there is one thing the desert is good for, it's Rockhounding. All the quartz on the property got me thinking about tumbling rocks which lead to looking for interesting things in nearby locations. Now we're hooked!

Arriving for the work day after sunset was not ideal, but a day searching for Glauberite crystals next to the Salton Sea was. (except for the 110° heat)
Mothership hovering behind Goat Mountain just above the Integratron. 
Lighting up the dome for a night plaster sesh.
1st patch of the 2nd coat of plaster. 
Progress is her middle name!
Left over fireworks are a nice break.
Glauberite formations from Bertram Mine, Imperial County, Salton Sea, Ca. 
Glauberite specimen, uncleaned, right outta the ground. 
Simple, excellent Glauberite specimen 
Super Large Glauberite specimen. Many Glauberite specimens in collections are not really Glauberite, but rather other minerals that formed a pseudomorph over the Glauberite. a Pseudomorph is a crystal consisting of one mineral but having the form of the one it has replaced.
Surprising amount of energy and progress after this long hot day. 
Getter Dun!

Rough Jasper-Agate from Gem Hill in Rosemond, Ca (Mojave) 
Same Jasper-Agate from another angle
Red Jasper-Agate with (not so) common Green Opal.
Jackpot common Green Opal with bright orange/ red Jasper!
No mo Rockhounding, we gotta make some REAL progress today. But so far so good, it's nice to see the work in the light of day.
1st time troweling! Raquel is a natural. 
To faaast!

Mix Master Rock 
Here I am, Rock you like a Hurricane babaaay!
You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here! 
5 minutes later on the east side of the sky, wispy clouds appeared, turning a boring sunset into an amazingly beautiful after party.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Interior Shminterior - Plaster begins inside the dome!

After an awesome 4th of July weekend, I'm glad to report that some plaster work was accomplished on the inside of the dome. After some recommendations from the Alumni, we decided to use plastic cement in a 20% mixture with the Earth (sand) we have on site. This mix was very sticky and a bit more forgiving. This translated to more plaster ON the wall instead of the floor (still the ground). The floor is still raw sand and that means ants WILL come out of the ground even inside and bite your (my) knee. :(  ...  :o So the goal is to plaster the inside walls as quick as we can so we can pour the floor. Then we can get to the real fun... This whole dome was built as an excuse to decorate something like Luke Skywalker's Tatooine farmhouse. But actually it WILL have lightsaber LED wall lights. It will also have a marine themed floor to match the "stained glass" marble window above the front door.
Sticky mix 
Plastic Cement 20% 
We've done 1/3 of almost 1/2 of the first layer. Well, at least in between the rows.
This scaffold is what makes time trav- er, exterior plaster possible. 1.21 jiggywatts?
Stripe likes to chill upside down. I hope to keep him safe from my plaster disaster. 
After a bit of plastering, we took off to enjoy our National treasure, Joshua Tree National Monument.
This is a landscape unlike anything else on Earth. 
This spot is 28 miles from the Solstice (turtle) (volcano) Dome.