BUCKFIELD, Maine — Two Maine performers who gained international attention with their geysers created from Diet Coke and Mentos candies have spent more than a year working on their next act: Cascading waterfalls and spinning wheels using nothing but sticky-note pads.
In their quest to explore how ordinary items can do extraordinary things, Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz found themselves roaming the aisles of an Office Max with clipboards, buying up paper clips, erasers, ring binders and other everyday products.
They took them to Fritz’s home, a former Grange hall on the outskirts of Buckfield, and began experimenting in “the lab.” In time, they turned their focus to sticky-note pads, spending days on end studying their Slinky-like qualities before stumbling on the promise of an act.
The final product is a three-minute video, produced in Hollywood and sponsored by sticky-note Post-It manufacturer 3M, Office Max and Coca-Cola.
The secret to their success is grunt work, the pair said.
“You spend a lot of time just poking and poking and poking and poking,”’ said Voltz. “You say, ‘I’m just going to be so stubborn; I’m going to keep doing this until I find something cool.”’
A video of the new act premiered Friday night on the ABC Family network and on the pair’s Web site at
Grobe and Voltz became Internet celebrities in 2006 with a video showing them dressed in white lab coats and goggles, plopping Mentos into bottles of Diet Coke to create geysers. They’ve performed on the “The Late Show with David Letterman” and the “Today” show and have given performances across North America and Europe.
For the new production, 3M signed on as a sponsor while Grobe and Voltz were still working on the act.
When the Post-It manufacturer asked how many pads they wanted, Grobe quickly guessed 4,000. Two weeks later, a tractor-trailer arrived with 46,000 pads on three pallets. The company wanted to make sure they wouldn’t run out.
“They were happy to share,” Grobe said. “I think we got enough to line the road from here to Boston.”