Church decorations created from big Styrofoam blocks

"I want them to feel welcome," said Jerry Cranmore of Beech Park Baptist Church.

When people walk into the church in Oliver Springs they are welcomed by a golden nativity scene.

"Mary and Joseph and the baby and if you'll look up above that there's the cross and the cross was always looming right behind the little baby that was born because that's why he came," she said.

Jerry Cranmore is a church member who helps with decorations. She's impressed with the items a fellow church member created.

"I've never known of anybody else doing it," she said.

Raymond Hovater is that church member and carpenter and artist who created figures out of Styrofoam.

"You just glue it all together, draw whatever you want on there, and start with a knife. Just start carving. You make a lot of mistakes you sand it down and do it over again and eventually you'll make it," he said.

He carved a horse out of a big block of Styrofoam then sanded it and carved it and sanded it some more.

"Kept on carving and sanding until you get it exactly like you want," he said.

He's built a lot of stuff including a lighthouse for the church's children's area. It's made of wood which he says is not as forgiving.

"Just working with wood if you make a mistake it's bad to do," he said.

Wood carving worked out all right for a train he made for the kids at church. But he's especially proud of the Styrofoam creations.

"I just wanted to make something that somebody else hadn't done out of Styrofoam and gold. My wife painted it all. She's good at that," he said. "It's not the best in the world but it looks pretty good I think."

After Christmas, the figures will go into storage until next year. And even though they're lightweight, Jerry Cranmore said, "We're going to find some men, we are."


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