Sunday, November 8, 2009

Singing Christmas Trees Construction

The huge Singing Christmas Trees are under construction at the First Baptist Church. The structures are 45 feet high and will be used as bleachers for a chorus of 250 singing ornaments when all the work is complete. The steel girders of the structure fit together in an intricate pattern and the planning that goes into the construction is mind boggling. Scaffolding was put up first behind the trees which allows easy access for the workers. The vertical supports had to be wiggled into place by teams of men working in unison. I felt a little uneasy when I was on the stage. While the vertical steel girders were being fit in place they could conceivably fall forward. One worker shouted "If it falls be sure to push it towards the scaffolding."
Bill Keller wanted to see what I was working on. He explained that he and his father had been working on the trees since they were first assembled in 1980. "Building these trees has been something of a family tradition." He said. The trees had been on hiatus for 3 years but today they are back and better than ever. Bill and his father were bought back as consultants. His father can be seen in the sketch sitting on stage.
Jeff Atkisson took me to a back room where he has a miniature 6 foot high version of a tree setup and he is using an audio editing computer program to set up the lighting effects on the trees. This process is inspired and amazing!

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


Peachtreeart said...

So how much time do you have to do these? Very detailed and interesting to look at!

Thor said...

I tend to take about two hours to do a sketch like this. Give or take.