Snow sculpting

Some versions of this blog are headed with one of my snow sculptures – a guy on a chaise longue with a beer. Today I went to see how the pros do it. But we’ll start with my first-ever sculpture in 1987.

I was visiting back home from California and it started snowing. The friends I was staying with (my old housemates) were out and I sculpted this little guy on their front steps. They took a picture with their daughter when they got home.

I once sculpted a bike for a contest. Bicycling magazine wanted a picture to know why you needed a new bike. I said I was worried that mine would melt. I didn’t win.

Beach scenes became a favorite, since snow looks like sand if you use your imagination.

I’ve been wanting to do one of a family playing on the beach with the kids making sand castles, but I no longer have any of my kids’ old swimsuits to dress them in. Since I only think of it in the winter, I can’t get to a thrift store to buy them, since they’re not stocked.

I’ve tried a few gargoyles and lions on the newel posts, but I like this guy better.

Now let’s see how the pros do it.

Detail from figure above
Rear view of selfie above
Detail of mouth above (note uvula)

For fine detail, it helps to start with a compressed block of snow. I start from nothing and build up. The pros start from a block and carve.

While digging through an old hard drive to find a couple of pictures, I came across this poem. I don’t know when I wrote it, because I just fixed a typo so it shows today’s date. Since it rose to 9 degrees (-13 C) today, it seemed like a fitting time to stick it in here.

You call this cold?
You must be new here.
Shit, it ain’t been cold here 
in twenty, thirty years.

It stopped bein’ cold ‘bout the time
they invented wind chill.
Ya ever notice they invented wind chill just before
they started talkin’ ‘bout
Global Warming? 
That’s so you wouldn’t notice 
it wasn’t as cold anymore.

Cold is when the diesel 
turns to jelly
and trucks won’t start
so there’s not deliveries until
at least noon when the sun might warm up 
the fuel 
enough to flow.

Cold is when you blow your nose
and the snot freezes 
before it hits the ground.
Cold is when your fingers and toes turn white and
get numb
so numb that if you take off
your mitten
and bite your fingertips
you don’t feel anything.

Cold is when your glasses don’t fog up
they ice up
and you have to scrape off
the ice with your fingernail if you want 
to see.

Cold is when the wind 
makes your eyes water 
and the tears freeze on your eyelashes
so you 
clink when you blink.