The North Point Ministries team from North Point Community Church brings us these broken glass set pieces.
The look was designed to resemble a frozen landscape. The chandelier looking objects were meant to mimic giant icicles and the shatter boxes frozen ruins. The fabric was layered to give the impression of a foggy atmosphere.
These were essentially two giant projects in one. The first part of the puzzle was the glass. They started off by referencing the TV show Time Warp on the Discovery Channel and figured out that you can gaff tape three panes of tempered glass together and then carefully break the edge of the center pane by striking it with a pointed object like a nail or a pick. This causes the center pane to shatter into many different pieces while the outside panes and the gaff hold the overall square shape giving them the frozen look they desired. Of course all the glass had to be manufactured to size and shipped to them. Then they had to clean every sheet, tape, and finally crack the desired panes. This meant that each cube used 18 pains of glass. There were 43 cubes on each of their two stages. They also built Buckhead Church’s 37 cubes and Browns Bridge’s 84 frames at the same time.
The second part of the shatter box puzzle was the frame. Because the glass ended up being 3/8” thick when they taped the three panes together, they decided that they would use 1” thick MDF strips that would be grooved with a trough for the glass to sit in ½” deep by 7/16” wide. This would leave them with just over 3/16” of MDF on either side of the glass to hold the glass in place. Once they decided on using 1” MDF strips, they knew that to keep the glass boxes perfectly squared, they would need five different lengths of MDF. They ended up cutting full sheets of 8’x4’ by 1” thick MDF down to strips of 1” and 2” widths with varying lengths of 23”, 25”, and 27.” All these strips were then given the ½” deep groove with a router.
These two steps, the cutting and the grooving, resulted in over eleven 50 gallon trashcans full of saw dust and right at 3,300 fully grooved strips of MDF. From there they built a temporary paint booth and lined up all the strips 15 or so at a time on rolling carts and rolled them in to be painted black. They were laid out in the parking lot on tarps to dry and once dried flipped and ran back through the paint booth.
Once the frame pieces were done, the individual frames were put together with the panes of glass. They applied a thin layer of liquid nails in the groove of each MDF strip and then placed the set of glass panes into the grooves creating a framed shatter pane. This was screwed on each of the corners to hold the frames together while they dried. Once dry, six of the pains were glued and screwed together to create the cubes. The cubes were laid out across the stage in the predetermined design and structurally locked together using L-brackets. Touch up painting was applied after they were all in place.
The chandeliers were quite a bit easier. They started off having four different sizes of aluminum rings bent and welded by a manufacturer in Atlanta. Then they cheeseboroughed the rings together using a solid pipe across the back and two other smaller pipes angled towards the center. Once the structure was secure, they hung it from the ceiling using rope and pulleys and tied it off just over 8’ off the ground to assemble the structure before raising it into position. Then they started on the center ring and spaced the acrylic strands of crystal 4” apart all the way around with a jagged pattern to the lengths. They did the same thing to the other ring with offset patterns but kept the same distance between the strands. The center ring max length was 8’ long, the middle ring was 6.5’ long, and the outside ring was 5’ long. The fourth and outermost ring was attached on the topside of the connector pipes to give a 5” rise to the ring and allow the moving lights that they hung from this ring to sit slightly above the rest of the structure. This minimized the amount of the chandelier that the lights blocked while still allowing them to be a part of the design.
The fabric was actually made up of two different shades of the same fabric called icicle. They used the two shades in an attempt to give the look of natural gradients throughout the fabric. All of the fabric was cut at inconsistent angles and hung in such a way as to not reveal a design. This gave the impression of randomness. There were actually four layers of overlapping fabric inside the center area comprised of sizes around 18’, 15’, 12’, and 8’ lengths. The sides were hung in two rows comprised of 8’ and 5’ lengths. Each side of the proscenium was lined with 21’ lengths and above that were two rows made up of 7’ and 4’ lengths. The fabric was 58” in width but they hung them all at 40” wide to give them the amount of fullness seen in the design. Lastly, they added 3 strands of Christmas lights behind each piece of fabric. This allowed them to add them in to the design when they needed them and they disappear when they didn’t.
Total number of shatter boxes built for all stages: 123
NPCC East: 43
NPCC West: 43
Buckhead Church (BC): 37
Total number of frames built to create shatter boxes: 822
NPCC East: 258
NPCC West: 258
Buckhead Church: 222
Browns Bridge Church: 84
Total Number of sheets of glass used for all stages: 2,466
Total Number shattered: 822
Total weight of all glass used: 8 tons
NPCC East: 2.5 tons
36 Sheets of 1” MDF cut into 3,300 strips with ½” routed grooves
Approx. Total number of screws used: 8,300
Approx. 80 tubes of liquid nail
Approx. 7,500 feet of 1” gaff tape
11 gallons of flat black pain
1 gallon of Windex
1 gallon of wood glue
Approx 180 yards of fabric per stage
750 yards Total
Approx 1,400 grommets
Approx 8,100 feet of stranded acrylic crystal
Approx 3,000 linear feet of christmas light strands
NPCC East: 1,500 feet
NPCC West: 1,500 feet