George Ettenheim putting finishing touches on his shoelace sculpture.
A few years ago we were fortunate to have sculptor extraordinaire George Ettenheim working with us as part of the Imagination Atmospheres team. George has created for several local, regional and national theming companies as well as being an in-demand freelance sculptor of all types of artistic projects.
At the time, George was new to the area and was looking for artistic opportunities. We had just started working on a project for CenterPoint Church in Concord New Hampshire and seized the opportunity to have George add his creative input. The theme was a cartoon Main Street in the church’s newly renovated children’s wing. Main Street themes are always a blast, especially when you have the freedom to explore more unique shop concepts. So far, we had a pizza parlor, hardware store, cinema with lighted marquee, plumber, ice cream shop and the usual post office, bank and fire department.
When planning the theme I had somehow miscalculated the number of shops to be included on Main Street. We were one short and were quickly running out of time. I decided a shoe store would be a fun shop, especially if we could do a shoe sculpture with the sign. I wondered, though, what the shoe store door would look like. There needed to be some sort of entryway to the shop and it needed to be something creative as well as humorous.
I had an idea but I was afraid it might be too complicated and too late. It seemed to me that shoe laces would be the perfect entranceway to the shop. I drew up a quick sketch and took it to George. I was hopeful but not expecting anything much could be done at that point.
I handed the sketch to George. “What are the chances we could make something like this happen?” George looked over the sketch thoughtfully. “Let me see what I can do,” he said.
A couple days later I came in to the workshop and there was George sanding the last bit of roughness off his shoelace sculpture. I looked it over in amazement. It was exactly like my sketch but so much better. George took the essence and the vision of the sketch and created a sculpture the way I wanted it to be but couldn’t exactly vocalize. It’s what great artists do. I couldn’t wait to present the sculpture to the client.
During the time George worked with Imagination Atmospheres, he created many of our most iconic pieces. We were lucky to let him sculpt for us. One of the best part of Imagination Atmospheres is working with creative artists and watching their input help create an environment that comes together as a whole piece of art. Like a symphony made up of many musicians or a theatrical play with a company of actors and technicians, creating themed environments is a collaborative art. Our talented artists have been our driving force since the beginning.