WATCH FOR FALLING...
SPECTATORS MAY GET WET. THEY'LL DEFINITELY GET WOWED.
"Daddy! Daddy! Look at that! A chainsaw! Cool!"
As the artist I can tell you that the real beauty of ice and snow comes through with each smooth, skillful stroke of the finishing chisels. Light and shadow part ways in snow carving. Facets of refraction reveal themselves through the ice. The unique life of each piece emerges, one stroke at a time.
But it all starts with the CHAINSAW'S ROAR!
It never fails. The most intricate, beautiful details of all my life's work can't hold a chisel to the lure of the stream of snow flying off of the end of the chainsaw as block after block of waste material is cleared away revealing the shapes of what's to come.
Power tools trump finesse and precision. Just watch for falling...stuff. Even carvers sometimes! (Hey - it's slippery when you step on it!)
ART AS ENTERTAINMENT
Not even one hour into my carving career I realized that there's more to this than just the finished piece. This frigid medium is a performance art unmatched in all but the most out of control group of preschoolers in the paint flinging booth. The power tools herald the attention of guests and passers-by and enchant them with sprays of snow, chunks of waste smashing to the ground and details emerging with every cut.
Combine this with a fun loving, witty team that loves convincing little ones that they can take bits home to put under their pillows and you have an engaging performance that leaves behind a work of art to remember it by.
Sadly most events require the finished piece to be...well...finished when the event begins. But for those special opportunities where we get to carve while the guests arrive an absolutely unique experience awaits. And it's catching on. Several festivals where we used to provide finished art for the event dates have changed tack so that we can be on-site with the tools cutting, grinding and shaving to the delight of all who attend.
Don't worry. My juggling act is still a little rough around the edges so I leave it at home.
PROBABLY BEST TO PLAY OUTSIDE - AND THEN COME IN.
THIS STUFF MELTS
And I think that's our favourite part of it. Each piece teaches it's own lessons, has it's own charms and maybe it's own mistake or two. But nobody needs to know...it'll melt away before you know it and we can take what we've learned to the next one. And the next one. And the next.
Honestly though - this stuff does melt (shocking I know). It's probably best that we play outside. But don't worry - we can come in when we're done making messes. And then, once lovingly nestled into it's well-fit drip tray we'll say our goodbyes and leave with only memories. Bittersweet. But we won't cry.