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The Venus of Winendorf

We have enjoyed making attractions for the Decatur Wine Festival for the past several years. But this year, we really raised the bar (or should we say the glass?) to a new height.  Our friends at the Decatur Arts Alliance suggested a steampunk motif with hacked up bicycles and robots. They wanted something visually interesting  that could move around the festival and serve wine.   We immediately thought of the great folks at Art120 in Chattanooga who have brought their awesome creations to Maker Faire Atlanta. We assembled a team and got to work.

The initial drawings and designs changed over time, but we soon settled on a buxom goddess who was the offspring of Bacchus and the Venus of Willendorf (yes, there are some Art History geeks in our makerspace, too!). Thus was born the Venus of Winendorf.

Patrick Crawford took the lead and was soon joined by Keith Devries.  Together they led a significant team effort to construct this most amazing project.  Chicken wire was formed over a wooden structure, and then the body was filled with foam.

Fiberglass was applied to create a the final shape and then the foam was carved out to allow an actor to step inside and become the Venus.  Lots of folks helped dress the goddess, and we even found an abandoned pleather couch to use for her boots and bustier.

We added cool details like a cow catcher, and an pulley-driven wine pouring system. The wizards from Art120 welded together an awesome double bike to pull things, and even created a custom trailer to carry the Venus and her throne.  The last minute preparations got a little personal…

The day of the Wine Festival, we were amazed at how great the Venus’ entourage looked!  Several teachers from the City Schools of Decatur helped us out as Steampunk wine stewards, and the amazing Deb Polston donned the giant hat and maintained the presence of a goddess for the entire festival (with no cup holder!).

Of course, we captured some drone footage of the event, too.

And at the end, several people enjoyed a Venus-eyed view of the Festival.

Thanks so much to everyone who spend so much time and effort on this project.  We raise a glass to you all!

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