February 4th, 2017. Theodore Wirth Park – Minneapolis.
A week after my successful sculpt at the St. Paul Winter Carnival Amateur Snow Sculpture Competition I was excited about the Loppet event. 3 hours shorter (5 hours) and a couple cubic feet larger (4’x4’x8′) and working alone – I knew this was going to be a challenge.
Planning. My strategy going in was to create a family friendly design that utilized as much of the snow block as possible but still had a degree of difficulty that would be noticeable. I start with a 2d sketch and then create a miniature out of clay. These were used as guides as well as visual aides for spectators while I was busy carving.
The Carve. This snow was tough. Somewhere between snow and ice, it was not easy. The best tools for this job were the 12″ draw blade and short handle spade shovel. Working from the top down making rough cuts, slowly chipping away.
With the snow conditions and limited time – carving in detail and filling in exposed pockets was rushed and couldn’t be completed. I was able to borrow a smoothing tool, a joist plate on a stick. I’ll have to add that one to the toolbox.
The finish line. Overall it wasn’t my best work, but I put my best into it. Judging by the crowd I could tell it was a likeable sculpture. Out of 10 teams I was placed 4th by the judges.
My favorite part of the day was meeting some really cool people and making new friends. I’ll be sure to stumble back next year.