Monday, February 25, 2008

Iced Nova

Ode to Glowing Minerals

The ice has an almost phosphorescent quality in the daylight.

We like how the ice looks as though it is spilling out of the wheel well.

Souvenir Seekers

A few "passers by" stopped to make a snapshot in front of the Frozen Car.

Artic Defibrillation Paddles

To buff out uneven ice we used irons, a trick we learned from the local snow statue experts. Notice the rainbows in between the wires. They were formed from the sun coming through the ice crystals. We think the irons look like defibrillation paddles.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Working Under the Eclipse

Our goal is to mist the Nova into a sheet of white ice. Tonight we worked under a full lunar eclipse. We had hoped to make some photographs but the galactic event was hidden under clouds.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Moon & Car

Here is a shot from below ... The rest of the week we're touching up the ice on the car to get it ready for its final images before departing from MTU. To begin winding down the adventure we're planning a few talks & saying au revoir to our new friends in Houghton.

Wildlife/Forestry Contribution

John Bauer & Jason Sawyer, both Forestry majors, carry off the lumber from the tank which will be recycled into various community projects. John Bauer is the officer of MTU's Forestry club.

Mary is explaining the concept behind the Frozen Car to a group of sledders who were passing by the library Sunday afternoon. She is holding an iron used to touch up ice on the car.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Minerals & A Miner

Evening light in front of the library. All final details should be finished by the end of this week.

Sid Holman worked in an iron mine in Negaunee until it closed in 1971. He still meets with his fellow miners once every two months for a group breakfast.

Sydney & Sarah @ Work

Once again Wonder Girls Sydney & Sarah return to put their finishing touches on the base. Great work girls!!

And the Walls Came Down

One last shot of the walls before they were pulled off the following morning.

Walls being dismantled by the local work release program.

Sarah & Sydney stopped by to work on the Frozen Car. They like working with us filling in the gaps by adding in a few crystals here and there.

Last night we were treated to a Husky Hockey game. (MTU 5- Duluth -2) Tom Merz, Economics Professor at MTU/former Mayor of Houghton, Sue, Blizzard the Husky Mascot, Mary and Glenn Mroz, President of MTU.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Founding Fathers of Houghton at Work

The recent donation of ice has given the project a new identity. The look of a geological formation continues to address culture and nature in terms of mining natural resources and technology's impact on the environment.

Eric Peterson, Mayor of Houghton, Tom Merz, Ex-Mayor of Houghton and Scott MacInnes, City Manager of Houghton, work together hoisting 250 lb. blocks of ice into the tank.

Last evening we addressed the City Council members to inform them of our project. We thanked them for their generous donation & explained how their contribution was a defining pivotal experience adding a deeper layer of meaning to the Frozen Car. The city of Houghton is immersed in mining culture. Adding harvested ice has brought this cultural element into the piece. Scott MacInnes is on the far left and Mayor Eric Peterson, the far right.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ice- The Weather Mineral

Unexpected occurrences have resulted in new directions for the project.

Stanley J. Dyl II

We were introduced to Stanley Dyl, Director of Advancement and Planning at MTU's Mineral Museum, who answered our questions thoroughly. He seemed to understand the new concept for the project in terms of the connections between minerals and industry. He told us the car was comprised almost completely of mined minerals. Copper for the wiring, iron ore for the steel, cadmium for the paint, chromium for the bumpers. He pointed us to the Iziko South African Museum for an illustration. Click the car below to go to the site:

Stanley points out the area in Michigan where our harvested ice originated.

Exploring Nature's Masterpieces

At the Mineral Museum we studied various crystal formations with particular interest in how crystals formed on different minerals.

Pastys with Bob

We met Bob Pizzi. He was in town from San Francisco doing research for an oral history project on copper miners. His grandfather was a miner and he told us about a Woody Guthrie song about Calumet miners. The area is rich in mining history and he brought us information about MTU's Mineral Museum. The Museum is literally around the corner from the Frozen Car site. Bob took us out for the local delicacy "Pasty." On the way to lunch Mary discovered a wheel snowflake. At this point mineral formations and our project began to fuse in our imaginations.

After lunch Bob dropped us off at the Museum. A slab of native copper sheet is at the right. It comes from the White Pine Mine in Michigan.

Ride w/ Scott MacInnes

Scott took us on a little tour of Houghton/Hancock during the blizzard and to show us more ice.

Ice Delivery Redux

Mark Zenner, Director of Public Works for Houghton, delivered harvested ice to the site again. He and Scott MacInnes loaded some of it into the tank to bring up the levels. We almost hated burying the ice, as it was so beautiful. This led us to consider how we might use the ice differently.

Houghton Houses in Winter

Over the past few days the project has taken some new directions.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Some changes ...

Buster stopped by with a few bucket loads of snow to pack under the car.

Scott MacInnes had harvested ice delivered to the tank today.

Later this evening Vinnie came by to see how things were going.

After dinner we came back to find Bob meditating at the site. Later we looked at the webcam and he was on top of the car.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Winter Carnival All-Nighter

Tony Sturgeon and Michael Brush, both Computer Engineering majors are in front of the Frozen Car with Sue having a good time during the evening festivities that continued until 7 AM.

Overnight Misting Results

The night before last we tried an experiment to see what results we'd get from setting the mister on top of the car overnight. We were thinking the ice would travel down the sides and fill out the tank after a few nights but we are now debating the aesthetics.

Since the car is primer black and steel, heat conducts itself differently by day and night.

Will Cantrell

Physics Professor Will Cantrell gave us some "ice advice" from a molecular point of view yesterday. The most important thing to keep in mind is heat transfer, he said. Dissipating the water, cooling it before freezing it would help immensely. We were led to him by a student who passed by the site the other night & suggested we contact him.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Time & Temperature

This evening we sprayed two inches of water in the tank.

With current temperatures it may take approximately two days to freeze.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Live Webcam Now Operating

Good news this morning! Scott Shannon informed us the webcam is now operating for the duration of the project. Clicking the image above* will send you straight to the site. After you've checked out the Frozen Car you can also explore the sidebar for views of the Winter Carnival statues created by MTU students & the cross country ski trails on campus. Added Bonus: Time & Temperature in Houghton at the bottom left of the page.
(* Note: If you go to the page & there is no image, just refresh your browser as there can sometimes be a problem with how the browser caches the pages.)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Encountering problems …

Leakage- What to do?

Holes … more evidence of water escaping …

We walked to Jim’s for groceries and to ponder a solution. We didn’t quite know what to do in the face of our problem. The image of the Frozen Car we carried in our minds was beginning to melt!

The next day was beautiful

However for us it was a calamity … water would take forever to freeze and our efforts would soon be wasted if not destructive to the fragile base. One of our trusted friends back home, Rebecca Kamen, gave us an emergency phone consultation and advised us to truly collaborate with nature.

We Are Now Night Owls

Reversing our sleeping schedules to comply with Nature … we started to build up a solid crust during the coldest hours & allow puddles to freeze as they spread. It is a delicate matter balancing the spray/freeze ratio.

20 minutes of spray & 30 minutes of freeze. Eventually this should give us the thick platform for pouring we are seeking. We wish we knew when “eventually” was & are definitely at the mercy of Nature and the Unknown at this point.

In between misting from the library.

Friday, February 1, 2008

7:30 AM 02/01/08 Phase II Complete

At 7:30 this morning Andy Niemi arrived with his crew to place the Nova perfectly in its freezing chamber. In just a few minutes the crew had the Nova mounted & hoisted into the box. It was perfectly choreographed by Andy and it happened without a single glitch.

Arrival of Nova from the Motor Pool

A motorcade of maintenance vehicles arrived with the Nova in tow with Andrew Bolthouse at the wheel. It had been cleaned prior to its arrival.