Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Collages and Colors ~ Decorating A Temple Cheaply

It's probably no secret that, over the last three years, I have put thousands of my own dollars into my temple and outside sanctuary. But it's also true that not everything in my temple is expensive. In fact, some of the decorations are handmade beautifully. It's as well important to remember that while these decorations are comparatively cheap, they are not low class or trashy.

Part of being in a minority religion is having a crafty and inventive nature, and over the course of the last thirteen years, I have found many unique and widespread ways to do that. Admittedly, there's been a lot of trial and error in terms of figuring out what works well, what will last, and what is not tacky or impoverished looking.

One can usually perfect this practice by considering their own personal talents and hobbies they enjoy. One of my own artistic expressions has always been collages and colors, like in the picture you see above, of various Gods and ancient Greek stories. The work is a beautiful array of ancient Greek spirituality, theology and mythology. I didn't create the piece because I needed it or even for a specific purpose other than to add to the decorations of my temple.

Now before you say that you don't have the money for all of the art supplies needed to make collages, you don't actually need much. This one costs around $10 to create. At my local used or discount bookstore, I found a 8.5 x 11 hardcover book of the Trojan War for around $5, and in it were the pictures you see here. And a good thing about these images is that the author of the book likely did not create them, which means they are public domain or creative commons. At any rate, if the pictures are only being used for your personal temple or shrine, there's no copyright violation at all.

The way the collage was made included every part of the book. After I went through and carefully cut out images I wanted, I also cut off the front and back cover and taped them together in the middle. This provided a hard board for the collage without having to spend money on buying individual frames, it also just looks much better than a poster frame. The interior of the cover even has some of its own relevant imagery, which works well if you don't manage to cover every single space with the pictures. Finally, I took a simple $1 glue stick (not liquid glue) and pasted the images on the board (also covering the tape). The collage was then placed on the wall with simple stickpins and decorations strung from them. You can also use a decorative chain or necklace, anything that will stay and add to the beauty and uniqueness of the collage and help cover up those pins if you prefer.

For someone who may live alone and have little money, I can imagine this being a great alternative for the center piece of a shrine. Images are not just about statues alone. They're about a point of focus during worship and sacrifice, an addition to helping you connect with Gods and Heroes.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

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