Keeper Lit Designs
Keeper’s first trip to Burning Man was in 2001 where she discovered fire art. In 2004, she participated on the DPW crew in the metal shop, where she cut her first barrel out of an abandoned metal chimney. Then she worked on a large scale fire art project, Synapses, with Charlie Smith, collaborating with a team of artists in Los Angeles to create a regional metal piece. Later, Keeper attended welding and blacksmithing classes at Cabrillo College where she expanded her metalworking abilities. She has created many barrels over the years for beloved friends, both in Black Rock City and beyond.
We all have ideas about what constitutes the best things in life. Mine is being outside with friends sharing a warm fire, enjoying the stars, and eating off of the grill. Burn barrels fulfill these desires. There is always something to look at. The enticing fire breathes through a story told by images in 360 degrees. With some wood and a match, you have a lively conversation piece that you can simultaneously cook a meal on. My first Burn was in 2001, and I stood around a fire with total strangers telling stories until the sun came up. The lively fire kept us warm and animated, and when sausage was served as dawn was breaking, well, there was no better place to be. It became my dream to recreate that experience for many people around many fires in many deserts.
I love working with metal because of its permanence. Each cut is a piece of the final product; there is no going back. I spend months preparing designs, looking through hundreds of photos for inspiration, until I’ve pieced together a story that can be told through metal. In seeing other people’s barrels (and a couple of my own) fail over the years, I’ve learned how to work the cuts into stable negative spaces. I make short cuts with intricate details and balance open space with stitched lines to keep the integrity of the metal intact. Balancing the mechanics of welding, stable cutting, and creative design together create the challenge and beauty of the finished product.
Welcome home and enjoy the fire.