Our dream: making a trebuchet

Our dream: making a trebuchet

Our dream... a trebuchet

Our dream: making a trebuchet

Karren-project 2005

A project by the cultural centre of Sint-Andries, Antwerp

An initiative to create more art in the neighbourhood

We decided to build a trebuchet

September 2005

The three engineers

And so we are ready to begin

I (Alan), Maarten & Hannes gather together and grab the stuff from home which we need for our cool project. Rope, wood, rubber band and not to forget one apple.
With a little help from my sisters our construction will go smooth and perfectly.

A mid-size and mobile trebuchet in the making.

What is a Trebuchet?


  • (UK) /ˈtɹɛbəʃɛt//ˈtɹɛb.jə.ʃeɪ//ˈtɹɛb.ju.ʃeɪ/
  • (US) trěb’yo͞o-shet/ˈtɹɛb.juˌʃɛt//ˈtɹɛb.jəˌʃeɪ/


trebuchet (plural trebuchets)

  1. A medieval siege engine consisting of a large pivoting arm heavily weighted on one end. Considered to be the technological successor to the catapult.
    Medieval trebuchets were capable of launching 90 kg projectiles over distances of more than 300 metres, making them more powerful than most pre-modern types of catapult.

The project and why the trebuchet

The project itself

Every participant received a wooden beam and a set of bike wheels to create whatever they had in mind. Together with artist Dirk Lenaerts we started to built our dream trebuchet. We were teenagers and eager about playing computer games like Age of Empires II as we were bored of studying and crazy about war stuff alike.

We played with our miniature catapult and trebuchet while firing plasticine balls towards the opponent’s fortress. It was a hell of a good time, I will never forget the image of those bloody sacrifices from wood and plasticine spread all over the floor in my room. It was a big mess every time, but we loved it.


The creative process

The creative process

We used just wood, lots of nails, rubber band, steel wire, a cogwheel and paint to finish the whole trebuchet itself.

But as it was the intention to put something into the “spoon” of our trebuchet we had to build another cart for the balloons Yeah, you read that right, we used balloons as ammunition. And it was perfect weather to shoot water balloons to Antwerp’s citizens, hahaha. We just had a blast. We really enjoyed ourselves that day and we even shot balloons to our mayor.

The engineering

The engineering

We used just wood, lots of nails, rubber band, steel wire, a cogwheel and paint to finish the whole trebuchet itself.

But as it was the intention to put something into the “spoon” of our trebuchet we had to build another cart for the balloons Yeah, you read that right, we used balloons as ammunition. To be more precise water balloons because a balloon wouldn’t fly far.

We used the cogwheel for the winching mechanism, we could easily pull the lever downwards, which had to be winched by rope and held under tension with help of the cogwheel mechanism.

The action

It’s time for some action… and fun

It was a perfect day to shoot water balloons to the citizens of Antwerp, hahaha. We just had a blast. We really enjoyed ourselves that day and we even shot balloons to our mayor. Luckily it was warm that day and everybody didn’t mind the little water we threw at them.

Here’s a video to show you the result.

» Written by Alan who goes under the name of twin-rhino | Published on March 28, 2018


Alan’s strange habit

Alan’s strange habit

Fainting, that's easy

My strange habit

Alan’s strange habit


What the heck is this, you wonder?

Well, it’s an MRI of my right knee.

X-ray of my left hand.

What is this strange habit of mine?

Here’s are some old stories.


At school I was the queer person, the odd fellow who knew how to faint while attending class.

Here’s THE beginning!

It started during a biology lesson in primary school. As far as I know this phenomenon started here.
No, it is not about botany or anything related to similar studies. It is about the human body or the study of animals.

During this class my teacher was talking about the human body, and a class lasts 50 minutes! I don’t remember it exactly but it didn’t take long before I passed out. At first my body warms up, then the colour of my skin starts to disappear and becomes pale. My face pale white like an albino, burning from internal heat my body becomes heavy, I slowly lower my head to the desk in front of me. The teacher shouts my name, I can barely hear her from afar. She comes closer with a question at her tongue. Students turn their heads, strange thoughts in everyone’s head wondering what the matter is all about. Some laugh, some talk, some just stare at me. For me it’s already too late, my eyes are rolling and the process started. My arms are heavy like concrete, I don’t know, I don’t feel anything anymore. It’s too late to reverse everything. My teacher is hopeless, my friends approach me in a hurry, meanwhile I already passed out… I don’t know how long it took to be back alive but people overran me with questions while my ears are still asleep. Lucky me, haha. I stopped a class of biology.

I will most likely never know the reason of this phenomenon whatsoever.


There is this film about a man sentenced to death in an American prison called Dead Man Walking. Horrible film, terrific. I can’t handle this kind of stories, not a single one. It goes way to deep into my brains until I explode.

It just happened, okay!

Imagine a ballroom with 15- to 16-year old students and their teachers all together watching this movie and I’m one of them. Seated at a table with my beige-coloured Kipling satchel beneath it. I was the outsider during those years at school because of this satchel and my social minorities. I didn’t care much. I had something different to care about and I had some good friends too. It wasn’t that bad after all but I still have to deal with this special thing for my entire life. Which doesn’t come in handy if people talk about those things. You’ll see me slowly walking away or not paying attention to the conversation, most likely I won’t interact with them until they change the subject. Despite I would really love to hear it, I refuse myself to interrupt the conversation and ask to change subject. I just can’t because I don’t dear.

So, to come back to my story, yes, I passed out at the end of the movie while the prisoner was being executed. It was simply too much for me.
Head on the table, hands supporting my face, pale white skin, hot body. Always the same story. A friend right next to me wondering what I was doing showed me a strange face. My head teacher laid me on the ground and my feet on the chair. I was out for a minute and noticed that the room was almost empty except for some friends of mine, my head teacher and the director of the school.

Yep, that is exactly how I introduced myself as having a weak for biology, violent films and too heavy stories.


It must be their smell, their many corridors filled with horror and blood, their many advertisers with huge posters hanging at the wall. Every step I take is another mistake but I really have a reason to be there and I simply cannot return to safety. I just need to be fixed and checked by a doctor because I don’t know anything about my own body. Yes, it’s true and pretty sad but it is like this.

Interesting, but annoying!

My friend Hannes at Sanatorium du Basil

September 2015, a beautiful trip to the top of the Italian Gran Paradiso. A well succeeded adventure but it was a little bit too much for my knees. Read about this trip here: The Gran Paradiso. I injured my knees and a visit to the hospital was in need because the pain didn’t want to go away.

After many visits to the doctor they had to make a scan of my left knee and when the results were known I had to visit my doctor again.
It was a workday and I came by a rental car from my company. I still had to drive to Breda as I was currently working there during a project. So, I entered the hospital, awaited a signal from my doctor in the waiting room and not much later he arrived and called my name. He explained the results from the scan and in the meantime my body was starting to warm up. How crazy is that, he just said some things about my knee and I already feel that I’ve heard enough. He couldn’t finish anyway because he showed me the scan on his computer screen and then I gave up and passed out. When I woke up I noticed two nurses around me and they put me on a bed in the same room. It was so weird.

My doctor still had to finish his speech and said that he had to remove the medical plica, a little part in my leg. But no bone or anything else was damaged.
30 minutes later he sent me to the planning to make an appointment for operation and the two women in front of me were talking about steps I had to take before they could start. While signing papers for my room and so on I passed out again because of the information they gave me. I ended on a bed for a second time in less than 30 minutes. Different nurses approached me to check my heart, if I took drugs, if I was drunk, if, if, if, …

Half unconscious I told them to stop, open a window and leave me alone for a sec. They didn’t believe me at first because there were special cases that took too many drugs and died here in the end. Lucky for them it wasn’t the case and the fresh air did me good. After a few more signatures I could finally leave the hospital and carry on to my work.



Body Topics

Veins are mere highways.
Transit for blood from the heart,
heartache dispersal.

» Written by Alan who goes under the name of twin-rhino | Published on July 10, 2017