Special Event Design

Geared Up

Joshua Hoegh from First Baptist Church of Elgin in Elgin, IL brings us this stage design for their series titled “Acts of God”.

They were inspired in part by the Steam Punk Stage Design from Potential Church.

The concept was based on the fact that each gear, in and of itself, is nothing special. But as a whole, when all of the parts work together, they achieve a larger goal. So it is with God’s work in our lives—the details may not make sense on their own, but there is more at work than we could ever imagine.

They built the trusses from 8′ 2X2s and the gears were cut from styrofoam. They created “stencils” for the gears out of hardboard, which made cutting the gears much quicker and more accurate. If you’ve ever used a hot knife on styrofoam, it cuts like butter—so the hardboard stencils allowed quick and accurate cutting.

The gears were then primed and spray painted 3 different metallic finishes. The primer was absolutely necessary, as Joshua found out that spray paint (quite literally) eats styrofoam. The primer allowed a sealed barrier between the material and the spray paint.

For added depth and dimension, he not only mounted the gears at different levels, but he then (in a last-minute “ah-ha!” moment) decided to spray paint the hardboard stencils and mount them to the back of the trusses. It didn’t matter that they weren’t 3-dimensional, as they simply laid a backdrop to the mounted gears and helped “fill out” the aesthetic space of the stage.

Shout Outs

James Gabhart: James helps with creative brainstorming and conceptualizing, and then draws up all of the plans so that the team knows how to get it from “vision” to execution.

Build team:
Joe Wait
Bill Duzet
Floyd Cork
















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Flakes a'Falling Chandelier and Band Shell

16 responses to “Geared Up”

  1. Dawn Mari Ashley says:

    Wow, just wow, you guys are simply awesome!!!

  2. Kristin Curtis says:

    Those are amazing! Do you still have the gears?

  3. Maris says:

    Where did you get the gear stencils

  4. Deb Richards says:

    Our church is doing this for VBC where did you get the stencils for yours, could you send me the link?

  5. Sherry Oliver-Lemon says:

    Good Afternoon,
    I was wondering if would be possible to send me the stencils for the gears that you have created?

  6. Heather Downing says:

    I would love a copy of the gear stencils if it is available!

  7. Dawn Mari Ashley says:

    This is the scripture that comes to mind…Romans 8:28 (KJV)
    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

  8. Kathy Ramsay says:

    This was awesome, could you send me the stencil for the gears

  9. Kathy Ramsay says:

    This was awesome, could I get the stencils of the gears

  10. Pamela says:

    Floral paint does not have ether in it and will not eat up the Styrofoam. Any of your paint that has paint thinner in it will eat the styrofoam. You can also use electric knife to cut Styrofoam.

  11. Paula says:

    Did anyone get copies of the patterns for the gears? If so, can you send me a copy?

  12. Adam B. says:

    For those than are trying to make the gears, a good alternative to the foam used in the pictures, is pink insulation foam, sold in 8×4 sheets at lowes or home depot. You CAN spray paint it, but you must stand at least 3-4 feet away from the object and use light coats. There is a rapidly evaporating solvent in spray paint that will dissolve the foam. If you stand far enough away when you paint, the solvent will evaporate before the paint hits the foam, provided you are using light coats.

  13. Elaine says:

    I would love templates of the gears. I would pay for the templates.

    • Marco says:

      I just wanted to say that too, that’s how I make large stencils
      Greg Crawford asked: How did you make the stencils?
      Projector and tracing? yes

  14. love the design. We have steampunked our entire building. Large gears are great. How did you make the stencils? Projector and tracing? Did you find a stencil source? Any help would be appreciated.

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