Vessel in "Triathalon of the Art World" buoyed by geofoam from the Karuna House

EPS foam remnants are upcycled into winning kinetic sculpture, “The Kingfisher”.

To super-insulate the Karuna House we’re building the structure on top of a layer of EPS geofoam (see this post for more).  And while we ordered carefully-planned custom pieces for the job, a few scraps were left over when we finished laying Karuna’s foundation.  So Hammer & Hand’s Karuna project administrator Shelley Martin put out the call and began searching for a worthy home for the salvaged foam.

We were delighted to receive this answer to Shelley’s call:

“Hello,  Our family builds and races a kinetic human-powered vehicle and we would love to have some of your foam to keep us afloat during the water part of the course. We participate in the Kinetic Sculpture Race that is part of the DaVinci Days Festival in Corvallis and this year we were honored to be asked to also race in Arcata, CA over Memorial Day Weekend… this year’s machine will be needing some extra flotation. Our plan is to have a 12 ft. long kingfisher with moving beak and wings to dazzle the parade watchers. Yes, our teenagers do this with us willingly!

“If you can help with the flotation we would appreciate it … Thanks for considering us.”
– Darla

Why, it would be an honor to help keep the good ship “Kingfisher” afloat!

Darla’s family picked up the foam from the jobsite in their Volvo wagon and then set to work constructing the kinetic sculpture for the two 3-day races at DaVinci Days in Corvallis and the Kinetic Grand Championship in Humboldt, California.

The events were evidently a triumph for “The Kingfisher” and crew.  Here’s an email we received from the skipper:

“Hey Shelley, Just wanted to follow up on our promise to send you some pictures of your scrap foam in use. One picture is of our family staying afloat and traveling through Humboldt Bay in Eureka, CA over Memorial Day weekend and the other is of us racing about a mile down the Willamette taken from the bridge in Corvallis… that is your foam under us. We were quite dry and appreciated it!

“We did very well, got lots of awards and had a great time.  Thank you so much!”
— Darla

Congratulations to “The Kingfisher” team!  Check out the video (below) of the land portion of the Humboldt race.  “The Kingfisher” shows up at about 1:50 in the clip.

– Zack

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