Brunyfire Gets Airborne…..

Selling up the dome home, purchasing a ‘box in the burbs’; up to the ears in plaster dust and wood shavings; renovating one room at a time and getting to know the new neighbourhood has been Brunyfire’s existence for the past 6 months. So – long overdue for another clay cooking pot trip to add to the ever growing collection in The Boathouse on Bruny Island.

This time, a pre dawn departure from beloved Tasmania and it’s off to Mexico………IMG_0060……and to Oaxaca in particular to join up with a tour to visit and to participate with, traditional potters from around Oaxaca City. This trip (found for Brunyfire by good mate and travel buddy Wendy) was inspired by Eric Mindling’s book, ‘Fire and Clay: The Art of Oaxacan Pottery’. IMG_0354Using up a stack of accrued frequent flyer points, Brunyfire not only managed to use up points for the Hobart/Melbourne/LA and return leg of the journey, but still had enough points left over for an upgrade to Business class on the outward bound section of the trip.

This was quite the first hand experience and one that will find travelling back in the cattle class status of economy on the return home, quite a let down! Travelling business class was all personalised wait staff, cloth napery, metal cutlery and ceramic tableware – personalised menus, copious amounts of free alcohol, ones own sleeping pod with more press button body positions available than the karma sutra – and – free pyjamas with toiletry kit……IMG_0062After the sum total of over 15 hours flying time, Brunyfire was able to hole up in the somewhat seedy environs of the Hilton hotel in Mexico City airport. Whilst the current facilities of Mexico City’s International Airport; officially Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez, look pretty jaded, its plans for its future, look stunning.

With an international design team comprising Britain’s Norman Foster, an airport consultancy team from the Netherlands and Mexico’s own Fernando Romero, Mexico City looks to gain an architectural icon for the future of international acclaim.

Drawing from Mexico’s own cultural iconography, the Mexican coat of arms……..


……..that depicts a golden eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus whilst devouring a rattlesnake – was chosen as the basis of the new airport design. Putting these elements together in a more symbolic representation, the cactus garden at the front of the arrivals hall is intended as an open welcome, embraced by the circular road that snakes around it. 76953482-CBD7-4BF0-A6EA-A802E068ADADThe opened shape of the roof structure is intended to evoke the image of the eagle’s open wingspan as it’s about to take flight. The cavernous space within the airport itself came about through the simple concept behind creating a catenary arch, a device well known to those potters who have built a catenary arch kiln. By hanging a loose chain of a certain length from two fixed points and letting it hang upside down to form a naturally graceful curve, then, in the case of the airport roof design, permanently ‘stiffening’ the structure by building a series of straight lined triangles to create a self supporting skin that then requires fewer internal support structures. A89B3C60-B1D7-46F5-9840-34A23522DFA5Such is the power of geodesic geometry!


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