Our magnetic planters have finally been finished and installed (temporarily) along the alley that runs behind our headquarters. Consider yourself cordially invited to take a planter or two and move them to some other space in the city in need of a micro-garden.
We’re doing some field tests of our magnetic planters with some plants in them. Basically, we want to test to make sure the soil isn’t drying out too quickly and we’re also checking to see how well some plants respond to transplants. Above, you can see there’s a wire around the planter that helps it to keep its shape—some of the planters without a wide edge on either side are more prone to open up really wide at the top, which makes it difficult for the soil to fill the planter uniformly. Without it, the soil eventually sinks and adding any more soil would risk making the planter too heavy for the magnet.
Michelle’s running these tests, checking on the plants daily and testing a few varieties of planter shapes in preparation of the installation of all of our planters sometime in the next week or so.
Josh and I spent some of the day in the heat collecting some interesting flowers and plants to transplant for our magnetic planters project. Overall, it was fairly successful, as we did learn quite a lot about transplanting, but we’re still going to be looking for some more plants to finish up this stage of the project (hopefully) in the next week or so.
We finished putting soil and seeds into the magnetic planters and set them on a sunny window ledge to start germinating. We figured the planters would stand a better chance at surviving (and staying in place longer than just overnight) if there were some wildflowers starting to grow.
We also went to the downtown space and started brainstorming, but I’ll make another post on that later.
Friday afternoon turned out to be more productive than I thought it would. We finished embedding all the magnets we have, which means we have 25 planters either done or drying and ended up with 3 installed on various surfaces to see if they survive the rain this weekend.
If they turn out, I’ll order some more magnets, but in the meantime we’re still working on stencils (the BCL stencil above was just a test), and we should be able to get the rest up in the next week!
Owen over at Windsor Visuals also already made a great post on Friday’s Office Hours, and some of his photos are included in this post as well.
Danielle and I spent Wednesday afternoon making some more planters, patching up some of the planters made last Friday, and adding magnets to other planters. Hopefully by Friday these will be dry and ready for departure from my studio.
I’m anxious to see these up (and this project finished, many other things to do!)
The new model for our Magnetic Planters—basically just using a paper mache technique. Darren figured this one out, and after some testing, it looks like this is the strongest and easiest planter we can make! We did more research last Friday to get to this point, but we’re happy to have come up with a really workable solution.
After taking a week off, Broken City Lab Office Hours started up again with a focus on getting a number of the shells for the magnetic planters completed. It was a really productive meeting with some more welcomed new faces and a whole bunch of planters now ready for the next step. It wasn’t all fun though, we lost an invaluable BCL member—Mike’s blender.
The rain held off, so today was a good day to get out and do some field tests for our magnetic planters. We just stuck around the neighbourhood, but did a general test to see what surfaces were magnetic. Unfortunately, the street signs that I had anticipated being a perfect surface for these are not magnetic, but chain link fences are, along with some other random surfaces.
We’ll continue with research on making these planters this week, but also start to think of what we can stamp / stencil / draw onto the flat surface of these.
This short film was shot by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt at the NASA Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, California, USA. I do not think this project needs any description from me, so I’ll present you with the link to the main site where footage can be found. The following is a summary of the goal of this project.
“The secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries . All action takes place around NASA’s Space Sciences Laboratories, UC Berkeley, to recordings of space scientists describing their discoveries . Actual VLF audio recordings control the evolution of the fields as they delve into our inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent ‘whistlers’ produced by fleeting electrons.”