The 2015 DRAGON SMELTER BLOG IS HERE: It’s Burn time again !!

SunriseDragon&theManDan has gone to the playa a week ahead of the official start of Burning Man with his forward crew to set up the DRAGON SMELTER and his gifted COIN /PENDANT MAKING operation as well as the DRAGON SMELTER CAMP. He’s had a lot of trouble getting through to us because of both the location and the fact the Playa has had dust storms. So here is the daily blog until Dan gets back with both pics and commentary.

Sunday September 8th

Last Night the MAN took longer than usual to fall…..Dan got video as well as pictures…….. still can only get phone calls out…..the TEMPLE burns tointe and tomorrow  Black Rock City 2015 starts to deslove back into the dust from which, like a magnificent returning phoenix, it arises each year.

Saturday September 7th

  Got a phone call before sunset from Dan…. things at Dragon Smelter Camp are going as planned …..theBigggg pour was a great success as all of the molds came out….not one failure……… Tonight the Man Burns

Friday September 6th

No call got through ….Today was the big pour day for Dragon Smelter Crew

Thursday September 5th,

Finally Got another cell phone call from Dan at the end of the day…..  DUSTY CONDITIONS STILL BUT   a hundred Black Rock Scouts (kids, tweens and early teens) came to the smelter today to learn about “leave no trace” recycling and to make a coin each……..phenomenal all things considered……..the smelting continues as the playa citizenry continue to bring aluminum

Wednesday September 4th.

Black Rock City remains in dust storm conditions.……Dan got a phone call through….  they are they are still holding sand casting work shops and plan to do the biggggg pour of the sculptures on Friday! Dust or no dust the coin making operation is still more popular than they can accommodate . Dan said he has one of the most amazing crews he has ever had as nothing deters them and they are dedicated to fulfilling their mission with the Dragon Smelter…..HATS OFF THE THE DRAGON FLOWERS!!!!!!!!!!


Still no transmissions from Dan and now his phone simply goes to voice mail………. as I said when he finally gets through to us there will be plenty of pics and commentary.




Internet has gotten very problematic ……….this is all I could get through today….. tomorrow is the fist day of BURNING MAN 2015.  Our camp is in order, the casting and coin/pendant operations are ready for action………All the Dragon Flowers (dragon crew members) are ready for this momentous event to once again begin!

Wish you all were here too……..from a fully formed BLACK ROCK CITY 2015

                                           Love and Respect     Danny Mac

 First Fire Effects 2015- cropped

      The first fire effects of 2015… seen through the receding Haboob at sunset-                                                                                             Dan on the deck

SATURDAY AUGUST 29TH  We are n the middle of a dust storm… Now been going on 4 hours…biiiiggggg “white out”. We had to take down some of the walls of our work shade structure…huge winds…just have to wait it out!!!

8:29 on the playa geodesic dust storm refuge

Here we are inside a Geodesic Dome partying in the dust storm with our neighbors “Vamp Camp”!

Couldn’t do much work today in the white out conditions. Sunset everything cleared and it has been a beautiful night…Black Rock City is now REAL.
Our camp is full and installations are INCREDIBLE…
Will have major pics. tomorrow …………………
Tonight we were invited to dinner as a whole crew to “Feed the Artists” Camp.
These folks were established back 2010!!! Very cool people…their mission is to feed artists and their crew when they are too exhausted to feed themselves during build week!
gourmet food!!

feed the artist camp-calderon 2015

In gratitude I made this fire cauldron for them along with this dinner gong 5 years ago…

feed the artist camp chow bell?2015


Bugs and other life forms surround the desert but last only  hours in it.
The weather here this year at BM has been relative kind so far.

So, OK every time I go to Burning Man I feel like I’m Bilbo or Alace taking a journey of chance, danger, expanded consciousness and enlightenment!!!
It also has a feeling of “going through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole”.
The Black Rock Desert sits at almost 4000 feet above sea level but it was at one time, 80 million years ago, in the time starting with
Pangea extending through the Jurassic, 300′ under an inland Ocean. Giant ancient alligators, sharks, ichthyosaurs’s swam its waters above our heads where we now make our camp!!!
The ancient inland sea spread out hundreds of miles northeast in what must have been an amazing water way! Mountains surround the black rock desert but the desert is so extensively flat that it falls off like ocean horizon line and locals refer to the edges of the
Black Rock desert where it runs into the surrounding mountains as the “Shoreline”.
You can still see the real ancient shoreline etched into the mountains in some
In the winter there is often up to 3′ of snow covering the ground. Melting in the spring, the snow water creates a huge mud swamp until it sinks into
ground where it packs down the mud into a super deep crush which is almost impossible to dig up by hand!
Summers and Fall in the BR Desert at marked by heat during the which can reach 110 degrees and then drop at night as low as 32 degrees. Winds are a huge factor! They can reach up to 80 MPH, spawn mini tornados and cause huge dust storms which last last for days. Torrential warm rains happen too briefly creating a mud bath but the desert is an extremely dry claimant in general and it sucks moisture out of your skin. Walking on the “playa” in bare feet over a period of hours will cause your feet to dry out

So WiFi is getting more problematic here but I will Keep trying…
ON THE DRAGON…yesterday we put some new teeth into the head of the Dragon, finished all the electrical for the poofers, did a soap test on all the propane lines and
connectors, hooked up the igniters, cleaned her good. What is left is the lighting electrical.
New teeth are particularly cool!!


THURSDAY AUGUST 27TH: Morning over the desert! Thursday the 27th!
Black Rock City is still coming into existence….lots of wide open spaces still but there is now a steady stream of vehicles coming into the city.
Saw some huge semis too…rich 1%ers working people to set up their camps!!!
Cops are showing up too…some speeding for no particular reason…speed limit in BRC during “build week” is 15 MPH…drops to 5 MPH during “burn week”…this is not only for safety but also to keep the dust down…cops usually don’t observe this speed limit even on non emergencies!!!

dragon smelter crew members2015

So today was a bit of a struggle…massive winds…not overpowering like last year but still gusts up to 50 MPH…so we struggled with putting up the work structure sunshade for our coin opps gifting…progress was made on the DS during the day though.
We put in all the propane connectors which now only leaves the remote to be hooked up then the fire effects are complete on the DS and we can start shooting Fire effects in the air!  Below is today’s dragon at sunset picture!

8:25 sunset and the dragon

TUESDAY, AUGUST 25TH:So OK… First full day at BM….
Crew has fairly much by passed traveling fatigue and we began building the camp…I also recruited our first volunteers at 9 am…I managed to get the Dragon “opened” with their help!!! The “metal” wings fold down and there are metal feet that fold out to support the wings…its easy to do but it take 4 people to do it safely because the wings are heavy!
Anyway these guys were blow away by the Dragon so I told them they should see the Dragon when it is fully open. They didn’t know what I meant
so I asked them to help along with two of my crew…I safety directed them all step by step…the Dragon was opened in less than five minutes with the deck platform fully useable!!!
They were truly impressed!
Most of the day went like that we got a lot of work done including set up of a 24’X 20’x 8′ sunshade for our kitchen/ lounge area, 1/2 effected another one 12′ X 20’X 10′ sunshade for our coin Pressing operation!
We did some work on the Dragon itself putting blinking safety lights on it and establishing the propane accumulators in the head and the tail.
The best work we did was establishing the public gate to our camp… Image of two of our camp members below, Sequoia and Stykes posing at the opening…all for now, more blog tomorrow!!!


MONDAY, AUGUST 24TH    7:57 PMWe left San Francisco at 5 AM in the morning and by 10:15 AM entered Truckee and stopped for Breakfast. Crossed the California /Nevada border by 12:30 and went for the traditional Dragon Smelter Crew swim in Pyramid Lake Then on the road again to the “Land of Dreams” ………..the Playa. the dragon 8:24:15

We made to the Playa and had the Dragon in place by sunset. Above is the very first picture of the Dragon  2015……the Dragon at sunset on the Playa…..after all the hard work we are finally here!

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