Surrounded by Thorns

Jesse Eells from Hope Community Church in Manitowoc, Wisconsin brings us this cross wrapped in thorns.

They used two different diameters of noodles. The thicker of the two (3 1/4″ diameter) were used to run up the center of the cross and the thiner (2 1/2″ diameter) were used for the other two strands of thorns. They notched the ends of the noodles and attached them with contact cement along with tape until they were dry. Then they wrapped the cross with the long noodle pieces and and used a heat gun to help form them so they would hold their shape.

They marked where the thorns would be attached, took pictures to document for reassembly, numbered them so they would remember the correct order for reassembly and then dismantled the piece. They cut the thorns out of the same noodle diameter with a band saw, shaped them with a hot knife and then finished them with a heat gun. The heat gun really worked well to create a smooth surface. They attached each of the thorns with a piece of wire and caulk (pl300). Then they painted them.

Once they were dry they reassembled the thorns around the cross using their pics as a reference.

The whole project cost about $60 in material.

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10 responses to Surrounded by Thorns

  1. Susan Jensen May 1, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Very cool idea!

  2. This is a beautiful piece of art and for only $60 I hope other churches try it out. The lighting design is great too.

  3. Are these the “noodles” used in a swim pool? Excuse me if I’m incorrect. I love the way this looks, really brings “the cross” home, with this image being so visible.

  4. OMG!!! WE want to this for our church but, we’re having a really hard time finding a heat knife to shape the thorns do you have another suggestion??

    • An electric knife might work. I use mine to cut styrofoam for many things. You can still find them at thrift shops, if not in stores. For small detail work, I’d use an old woodturning iron and tip. Just clean off the melted stuff while still hot so the wood artist doesn’t use it on you.

  5. What kind of paint did you use to paint the noodles? Very creative!

  6. I love this and thanks for sharing the construction pics. Until you painted it, I kept thinking Dr. Seuss on steroids. But painting and the lit installation makes it look dramatically real.

  7. What kind of paint did you use? This is so cool.

    • did anyone ever reply about the paint? Regular spray paint has acetone which melts the noodle. I’d like to know what works. Please! thanks

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