Taratories Blog

Seasonal Symbiosis

A few months ago, our set crew started dreaming up our next set.  We design a new set for our church stage for each season.  Over the winter we had these amazing snowflakes constructed out of wood, and for our next one we were determined to find a way to recycle these wooden diamonds.  We came up with the idea of making the diamonds into stems and leaves forming the base of flowers, which was an appropriate design for spring.  (The person speaking here is my husband ;) )

We started playing around with materials to construct these flowers and tried out lighting parts of them in the prop room to test out how they might look.  We decided to add PVC pipe pieces that would hang behind the flowers in the background to fill in the space and add movement and interest to the back of the stage.  

I did a blog post about the construction of these flower tops back in February because they were such a unique element of this set.  The three elements of the wood, wire mesh, and PVC pipes, although very different kinds of materials, all came together to make a very cohesive and exciting stage!  

I just love the way that the pipes light up, especially against the black background.  This was our first attempt at covering the entire width of the stage with a black curtain to use for a backdrop and the results were stunning!  The black really made everything pop in dramatic high definition and really helped to transform the stage.  I think this set has such an exciting, contemporary, striking look and I just love the way it all came together!

Winter Set Design Plans

This morning our set design team met for a third brainstorming meeting to get some concrete ideas together for our winter set.  The brainstorming process is, by far, one of my favorite parts of the entire process.  At our previous meetings, our team began by discussing the mood that we want to convey in the service for that particular series.  We gather some words to express what we want our set to convey, and for this particular set we found the words crisp, cool, comforting, and exciting to be best suited for this set.  We decided to steer away from the set being organic in nature, and go with more geometric lines.  All of this was decided before this morning's meeting so we were already heading in a specific direction, but we still hadn't narrowed down what the set would look like yet.  I brought some geometric shapes with me that I had from home that I thought we could play with during the meeting and find inspiration from... 

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Our set design team has Pinterest boards for each set where we collect inspirational images to use as spring boards for our set designs.  This morning we all agreed that this image was just the look and feel we were going for.  We love the warm nature of the wood and the abstract nature of the snowflake.  We are going to add color to these "snowflakes" with paint and other materials which we will add to the inside of some of the diamonds.  One of our team members had the genius idea of giving each of the small groups (life groups) in our church the option to be a part of this set!  We will give them each a diamond that they can fill with various materials and work as a group to complete it.  This week I am going to be compiling a list of optional materials and colors that the groups can use inside of their diamonds.

This set is going to be a LOT of cutting, and a LOT of work!  When you are talking about doing something like this large scale, AND on two other stages, there is so much to think about and plan.  We have to figure out designs for the stages and get those designs into drawings on the computer to help us with measurements.  Then it is gathering all the materials, organizing the life groups that will be participating in this set, prefabricating the modular sections that will be installed, and installing everything, etc. 

We alway try to make the winter set something extraordinary due to the fact that it is will be experienced by so many people during a time that is so special to our church family.  I think this is going to be a set that people who step into our doors will never forget!  

A New Stage for the Set Design Team

Being a part of the set design team at my local church has been a great experience through the years and it is always changing and bringing forth new challenges.  Recently, our church family on Ghent Rd. purchased another church building that we are going to be using as an extension of Grace Church's Bath campus.  There will be a video stream of the sermon during the service there, and by doing this we will free up seats at Ghent Rd.  All this is very exciting as we officially open the doors on October 12th which is days away!  This now gives the set design team another stage to work on which will help set the mood of the service.  This is a new endeavor for our team which will bring a lot of new challenges for us to take on.

Yesterday was the first time we set foot on the stage as we tried to make a smaller, varied version of the main stage set on Ghent Rd.  Because of the reduced size of the stage at the extension, we had to scale down the size of the fabric tubes that we hung from the rafters.  Everything still looked so much bigger on this stage so we had to really scale down how much we put on the stage, etc. to keep it from getting too cluttered.  There were a lot of challenges and things to think through, but I know that in time we will get it all figured out just like we have on Ghent Rd.  The installation is not done yet, but it is definitely headed in the right direction!