At a wedding party in Germany, it's usual to spend the time between dances watching or doing sketches. These performances all relate to aspects of the bridal couple's lives and involve costumes, singing, parodies, and inevitably lead to laughter among the guests.
The idea for Bettina and Stephan's wedding's show came up easily, since Stephan is a forest official: wood had to be involved. The German expression "Nägel mit Köpfe machen" which means "to fish or cut bait", to decide something and just do it without fiddling - and literally "to make nails with heads") seemed very appropriate for choosing the person you want to share your whole life with.
So we decided to organize a duel: the couple would have to hammer nails into a trunk. The one who would need the lesser amout of trials until the nail would be fully into the log would win. Afterwards, the guests would be allowed to follow their example and compete against each other throughout the afternoon, aside the main stage.
First we needed a trunk that was big enough to stand on its own, and high enough to allow adults to hammer on it without bending down. It should still be light enough to be hauled up into a vehicle, and later somehow transported into a hall. We found one quickly at a neighbor's (hey, we live in the country!), sawed the best part and took it home.
The log showed natural and man-made scars, patterns and holes. Seeing them, I decided to make the most out of this setting. Decorating the trunk would make it more interesting during the hammering pauses.
I wanted to carve symbols of love and brand their outlines to provide an effect of perspective. It was also important to leave the trunk in its natural state; it should stand for forests and their wild beauty. Etching went well, but finding a source of fire was more of a problem: I was working outdoors and a light wind would blow off every candle's flame. Finally, I was given a soldering iron, which did the job, even though the pencil could have been smaller.
After a few hours of work, I could count the following elements
- an owl (test design), standing for wisdom and long-lasting love
- two places with small hearts
- one bigger heart-shaped part with entangled rings, symbolizing marriage