Alcohol Still 101

On Friday April 10th (Good Friday) CRITTER held an all day intensive workshop on how to make a fractioning still out of a converted bathroom water heater.

A fractioning still can be used to create methanol and other forms of refined alcohol. We used polenta, but anything containing starch or sugar can be used in this process. Doughnuts=Vodka.

Still-building authority Allison Wiese came up from Los Angeles, and there was a whole host of fermenting, distilling, and everything before, after and in between. Really Good Friday! It was a huge activity, with lots of help from Joshua Warren and Melinda Stone in getting things together. We made our very own Fun Cooker while Allison's chugged along.

At the end we played "jump-the-flaming-measuring-cup", and “getting friendly with the neighbors”. More photos here.



On Saturday March 7th CRITTER presented Clone-Home, an afternoon open house plant multiplying workshop and cultural center.
People were invited to bring cuttings of their favorite plants to share and trade with others. A variety of cloning methods were demonstrated throughout the afternoon, from super simple cuttings to air layering, grafting and root divisions. We even had some tissue culturing going on.

Denise King from The Exploratorium was there as well, showing off some of her amazing plant cloning units, and coordinating the construction of a “succulent quilt” made from donated plants brought in throughout the day. This planted living wall will grow to become an organic tapestry in about a year, and was already very interesting looking on day one.

Clone-Home also offered a variety of other social plant experiences. We served Tissanes (fresh herb teas) that were made from some of the cuttings, had photo paper on hand to make prints of the transient parts, and MaryClare Bryyztwa, who created live interpretive flute music to clone by. More images here.