Greg Springer from First Christian Church in Norfolk, NE brings us this organic, storybook stage design.
For their series, Roots, they decided to build a tree growing out of a Bible and up through our ceiling.
They constructed the basic trunk with a slight flair at the bottom by making a cross frame out of 2×2’s. They wrapped the frame with chicken wire to give it a basic round shape and used crumpled chicken wire to create the roots. Then they wrapped the whole thing with thin plastic painters plastic. (Leave the plastic a little looser and allow some wrinkling as it will accentuate the look of bark later.) Next, one of their church members who does spray foam insulation for a living came in and sprayed the 10 ft tall tree. (Professional foam is more dense and doesn’t expand at the ridiculous rates like gap filler in a can, and sets in about 5 minutes.)
Then they sprayed the tree with latex paint using a middle pallete brown color as base and then a shade lighter and darker for highlights. The tree weighed about 40 pounds and was hung on a pulley for ease of install. They added some fake leafy branches at the top for effect.
Greg used his Nikon DSLR and took high res shots of an old bible, pages, and edges. Then, using Photoshop, he editted them to make them fit together seamlessly. They had the prints made at a local print shop on a vinyl material. Knowing the dimensions of the images, they built a very light 2×2 wood frame to the proper dimensions and simply stretched and stapled the prints to the frame. They added a ribbon and pieces of polystyrene foam painted black to create a cover. The bible weighed about 20 pounds.
This was a simple use of some willow saplings from a river bank that they bent to shape using floral wire and some camo paint. They added some other branches to fill them out and hung them with fishing line.
It took 10 people about 80 man-hours to create and install.
Cost: About $200 – the spray foam was donated.