Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Visionary's Birthday

Today is our leader Nancy's birthday. Nancy really is the reason that all of these things are happening at STARworks and the start of this whole thing. Once I told her that she "birthed" this place and it kind of creeped her out. But really, she is the one that was crazy enough to take on this building and bring all of the money to our county to fund these projects. If it weren't for Nancy, the Central Park NC offices would probably be in some boring office building and STARworks would not be here. Wet Dog Glass would not have relocated here from New Orleans, and Eddie Bernard would be a building contractor and house remodeler. The Glass Lab would not be here providing the only community access glass studio in North Carolina and one of five high school glass classes in the country. STARworks Ceramics would not be providing technical assistance and making local clay bodies for area potters, or selling materials and tools. Our building, including the old school building would have been torn down, and the place where I am sitting would be in a field of weeds. The STARworks garden would not be here and there would be no place for the elementary school kids to come and learn about how food comes from the ground without chemical fertilizer and that worms eat our garbage. Our Biodiesel facility would not be around to produce fuel from waste products and provide a solution for local disposal of cooking oil. I could go on and on, but since I can't type, this is taking me forever. The short story is that Nancy was born today, and the world is a better place because of that.

Here she is mopping the floor in the kitchen, doin' it the STARworks way. Do Executive Directors do this at all Non-Profits?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Whiter Toilets come to STARworks

Our plumbing reroute is finished! Roger Miller and his crew just finished routing the entire building’s plumbing around the planned demolition area. This also helps us with the rust in our lines. After the guys cut the old five inch lines I got to look inside and all I can say is ewwwwww. Also there were some nasty rusted spots in the building that threatened to pop at any moment. Our water is much cleaner now and our toilet bowls look a little better. The pipe we used to run the new lines is two inch galvanized pipe from the old compressed air system in the building. We pulled about 500 feet down and it was really clean inside. We also had all of the valves and fittings we needed. Recycling material from our building saves us money, shipping costs and pollution and energy usage involved with forming metal.

Here is a nice blister just ready to give way if it is ever bumped. This pipe serviced the old bathrooms in the portico on the back of the school building.

Heres one from the basement of the school building, it supplied water to the offices in the front and our little kitchen. You may be able to make out the "W" from the word water and the direction of the flow, it's pretty dark down there.

Here are a couple from the basement where the big pipe comes from the town. This pipe is 5 inches wide. Can you see why the water is cleaner?

I'm not even going to suggest what this might look like.

Instead of going through the Wet Dog fabrication space, the new line is routed in the glass lab. I took a picture but the line is kind of hard to make out
amongst all of the other stuff on the ceiling. It starts just to the right of center top in this picture and goes the length of that room. It's much more impressive in person.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Central Park NC Annual Gathering a success, STARworks Blog, not so much

Wow, the annual gathering is over and now what will we do? Well I guess we will start by cleaning up. Actually the clean up began the day after and hopefully I will get the rest of the chairs out of the big room by the end of the week. I think we sold most of the STARworks beer glasses the guys made and we certainly ran out of beer. We had about 200 people for the party and almost one hundred for the Michael Shuman workshop. The tour was great, the most people I have ever had. I think people were the most impressed with the way we are reusing this building especially the reclaimed parking bumpers that make the raised beds in the STARworks garden. The guys from Wet Dog did a sweet job of turning my vague ideas and crude sketches into some gallery walls that really fit in the space. On top of that they helped me hang a pretty nice art show that’s showcases the work of some of the artists that work at STARworks and in the building. This event would not be possible without the help of so many talented people both paid and volunteer that busted hump in the weeks prior to make the gathering an awesome evening.

If you didn't see the span of time covering these last two blog posts, it's huge. My usual excuse is that I'm too busy doing stuff to blog about doing stuff, so that's what I'll go with this time too. After that I always promise myself that I will get better and then fail miserably. This is how all of my journals ended up as a kid too. About ten pages in I lose it. Now it's part of my job. Weird how that happens huh? Well I promise to get better, How many people actually read this any way? Hello? Is this thing on?