As always, our Decatur Makers community rose to the challenge of designing & creating an interesting build for the Decatur Wine Festival held Nov 8! Busy with our Kickstarter campaign and Maker Faire Atlanta in October, we didn’t have much time to plan but it all started with some emails bouncing ideas around in our curious community.
When we got together for a live brainstorming session about 10 days before the big day, we decided on two projects: a giant ‘bunch of grapes’ on the vine, and a carnival style photo-selfie station where you and your friends could ‘stomp your own grapes’ in a wine barrel.
The Grapevine was constructed using tree branches for the vines, bamboo poles set in concrete for the upright supports, and 100-plus green and purple punch-ball balloons for the grapes.
Our Vino-Stompin Vat consisted of plywood for it’s circular base and barrel staves, a PVC pipe for a center safety pole, and over 1000 baseball-sized, toy plastic balls being our multi-colored grapes held within the cask barrel. After two more evening ‘build’ sessions our sculptures were ready for the big day, or so we thought.
The morning of the festival we arrived and started to build. The wine stomping barrel display came together without a hitch. However as we got to the final stages of putting all the grapes on the vine skeleton, the balloons randomly started ‘popping’. Before we knew it we had lost 30-40 of our big ‘grapes’ and our vino cluster was beginning to look pretty shriveled. It seems those mail-order punchballs we purchased weren’t as tough as they were ‘back in the day’. Luckily a quick trip to the local department store’s party section yielded a fresh supply of beautiful succulent grapes.
Upon their urgent return it was all hands on deck applying another 80-100 purple & green balloons to save our super-sized sculpture from looking like a famine had hit the Decatur Makers’ vineyard. After that bit of nervous excitement the finishing touches were completed. Our big grapevine looked healthier than ever now – with it’s new mixture of balloons of varying types and sizes, ready for the interaction and delight of our local wine afficionados.
It’s always fun to work on these projects for the City and other community events. We get to meet and collaborate with new creative people, bring our collective ideas to fruition, and then put them out there for others to enjoy. We get to show the public what the spirit of the emerging ‘Maker movement’ is all about.