My name is Jean Marie Smith. I'm a resource teacher and artist-in-residence at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve in Goshen, Ky.
Four years ago I started stenciling Halloween images on hay bales as decoration for our Haunted Hike event, which raises funds to support our nature and education programs for children and adults. The hay bales have evolved from flat stenciled images to sculpted, shaded and highlighted images. My first 3D image was Frankenstein.
Hay bales are double-stacked and, depending on the size of the bale, can end up being 8-12 ft. tall. Base coats of paint are applied and then the real fun begins...pulling, tugging, and spray painting the hay.
Last year I did another version of Frankenstein, The Cat in the Hat, Lego Batman, and a Minion, in addition to our usual stenciled images. This year's Haunted Hike included a third version of Frankenstein (each bale is unique and dictates the finished product) and a Harry Potter and Hedwig arrangement.
Harry Potter is a double-stacked bale and Hedwig is a single with an inverted Papasan chair seat to dome his head. I like adding 3D elements to the bales, so I shop at the hardware store for unusual things to make embellishments.
At a friend's suggestion, Harry Potter's glasses were made from foam pipe insulation. It worked perfectly. The children love the hay bales and the pay-off for me is in smiles.