Monday, April 24, 2017

Greco-Roman Decor: Statues

Both Greece and Rome were full of statues...statues of gods and goddesses, statues of prominent individuals, statues of animals, etc. When Paul visited Athens he spoke to them about the many idols they had and tried to point them away from these false gods towards Christ.  In his letter to the Romans he dealt with the issue of whether a Christian could eat food that had been sacrificed to idols.

Of course, statues are generally too costly to buy just for a week at VBS. But there are other ways to include them in your decor...

Borrow Them
You can often find garden and statuary shops willing to lend out their statues. And of course you can ask your church members for loans of any garden statues or suitable figurines they may have.  

Rent Them
Wedding and party rental companies may have statuary and columns that you can rent for a reasonable price.

Make Them
Below you can find a few method on how to make a "faux marble" statue.

But before we go on, a disclaimer...

3D Print a Statue

Photo by Emelie Howard

The statue above was printed on a 3D printer.  Depending on the size of the printer you can even print much larger pieces.  Here is a list of just a few of the statue plans available (I believe most of these are free/open source).  You can find other items, like Roman helmets, costume items, styluses, etc. too.

Make a Plaster Statue

 Jefferson Park Baptist in Charlottesville, VA. Photo by Sherri States.

Here's a very inexpensive way to create a Roman Bust, . The statue above is a styrofoam wig form mounted on a lid box with two coat hangers to hold it in a place, an old white T-shirt and cloth wrapped around covered in plaster of Paris. You can find a full tutorial on how to do this here.


You don't have to stop with busts. Anything can be covered in plaster to make a statue. The horse statue at right (also by Jefferson Park Baptist) was made by

Actually, you don't have to stick with white either. New research has show that statues in both Greece and Rome were originally painted! Centuries of exposure wore off the paint, so that what we find today is white marble...but 2,000 years ago the statues were actually quite colorful.

Whether you want to go with the traditional marble look or try for some authentic color, is up to you. You can also make a similar affect with paper-mache and paint.

Here is an example of how one church made a a duct tape form for a plaster torso...

You can see how well this comes out on top of a column.   The method looks pretty self-explanatory, but there's a step by step tutorial here.  You would want to make sure to have a good disposable layer between tape and skin (here it looks like they used a t-shirt or cloth of some another example I saw plastic wrap used).  I'm pretty sure they had to cut him out of that, and then tape it back up and fill it with paper or some other filler before plastering.
(Thanks so much to Michelle Barrera for these great pictures from Teaching Word Faith Center  in Fort Worth, TX!)

One last method which I don't have any photos for, but which is really cool, is to use spray foam for a statue medium

Recruit a Human Statue

Dayspring Baptist Church, Waco, TX

Another fun idea is to have a human sculpture. Other than make-up and clothes, there's no cost involved, though it does require a volunteer.

Two ladies from our church did an excellent job as human statues. You can see one of them in the picture above. They covered their hair in a white cloth, wore a white tunica, and covered all exposed skin with white stage make-up. You can find some tutorials on how to make 1st Century Roman women's clothes here, and men's clothes here.

Most of the time our statues stayed perfectly still, but once in a while they would break their pose a little to interact with the kids in a subtle way. The kids just loved this!

I have also seen a version where the actor wraps a column around him to make himself into a human "bust." You can find the tutorial for that here.

Draw a 2D Statue

 Photo by Michelle Barrera, from
Teaching Word Faith Center  in Fort Worth, TX

A two dimensional statue can also be a nice touch, especially in a hallway or other space where you might not have room for a three-dimensional one (plus, butcher paper is cheep!).   If you don't want to hand-draw a statue, you can find an image of one online, put it on a 3D projector (ask schools for loans if your church doesn't have one), and trace a statue on butcher paper from the projection.

Make a Cardboard Statue

 Faith Baptist Church

I can't tell you how to make this, but I can tell you it was made out of cardboard.  It was too cool not to share. 

No comments:

Post a Comment