In This House We Do…

Over the last couple of years there has been a bit of a mission to renew the art work in our community houses. Living in one of the biggest and busiest community houses we own as a church means that there is plenty of wall space to fill.

Living ‘community’ means there are loads of different types of people and personalities all jumbled up into one house. You have quiet people, noisy people, funny people and grumpy people, but most of all you have a forgiving people.

This piece of  ‘art work’  describes my household perfectly as we do all these things 🙂

How it was made

Having made a few bits and pieces with a router before I know that the easiest way to get the words where you want them is carbon paper.

So after putting the text on each piece of wood and trimming them down to size I set to work.

Once all the routing was done the next job was sanding, staining and oiling…. Quite possibly the longest bit of the job as you have to leave it to dry between each coat!

Then it was decision time. The original plan was to place them straight onto the wall… However after much debating we decided it would be best if it had a backing board so we could get it off the wall again if needed!

The Backing Board

This was actually made out of some old solid oak flooring (Which can be bought new at TBS Building Supplies)… so it weighs a ton, but looks nice 🙂

Husbands are handy! I may know how to use a router but I have no idea how to do all this bit.  Ben was the brains behind the backing board and actually getting the thing up on the wall!

The Frame

Joz at Good Timber made this gorgeous waney edged frame which just sets it off nicely, and this is the end result 🙂
Sorry for the poor quality photo, I really should get into the habbit of going and getting the camera rather than just using my phone!!

Behind the scenes – The Stone Mason

One of the joys of RAW (Real and Wild – a Christian youth event) is that it encourages creativity in a wide range of areas (stage props, music, décor, outreach, workshops etc).

I’ve particularly enjoyed being given a theme, and then making an original video about it – in 2010 it was the call to “cross the line“, and in 2011 it was “deep”. Watch the video below to see what result came of some musings on “deep”:

When planning this I wanted to film something being made (yeah it was as simple as that) and then Levi came along and said he can carve stone. So somehow it came down to him chipping away to create the RAW logo. The filming took place over three nights, as Levi had to work during the day whittling down the stone around the letters, and then the night time work was the artistic shots as he pretended to be grafting away.

The RAW logo being delicately carved out of stone

The RAW logo being delicately carved out of stone during the day

The camera work took place in a cattle barn (minus the cattle obviously – though that would have added an excellent soundtrack). The rig and props were simple – a table, a block of stone, and a couple of par cans set apart to create lighting depth on Levi. It seems the simpler you have it the more effective it can look. We first tried it with one par can and it didn’t quite work as you can see…

One par and just a shapely silhouette

One par can and just a shapely silhouette

So with two lights, a stone mason, some tools, and a big lump of stone we were set. One thing I’ve always wanted to do is film using a boom camera. Unfortunately they are very expensive so whilst helping out a farming friend of mine I realised his telescopic reach truck (made by Manitou) would be ideal. And it was.

The custom made boom - a 6 metre reach Manitou, pallet, camera, tripod, drape, perspex screen, and lots of gaffa tape

The custom made boom camera – a 6 metre reach Manitou, pallet, camera, tripod, drape, perspex screen, and lots of gaffa tape

It worked surprisingly well as the extending motion on the Manitou arm was quite smooth. In fact retracting the arm was even smoother so I filmed some sequences backwards (i.e. backing away from the stone) and then when I edited it I simply reversed that clip. Also a big thanks to the superb Manitou driver – an all round inspiration and artistic genius.

A superb still from the video - no photo-shopping just the original image

A superb still from the video where the camera goes through the stone dust

The editing side was hard work, but helped by the accidental discovery of what really added to the video – the voice-over guy. I was snoozing away in a meeting and then out of nowhere this deep, rich, humble voice woke me up. Aidan (who probably wasn’t dozing) and myself both instantly thought William’s voice would be excellent for a voice-over, and he was eager to help.
The video below is a quick collection of clips when we were filming.

Once we had finished the filming and the video was played at RAW, Stevo and Levi both thought it would be a fitting send off for one of the main leaders, James, who’s endeavours had led to the event taking place to start with, to be given the stone in a surprise presentation. So he was proudly honoured with it on the final night to much fanfare (well it would have been like that if the music had actually played – doh!).

The only stoning that's good for you

The only stoning that’s good for you