Last week we had our winter carnival at work. For the whole day on Thursday, everyone got together and played different sports and competitions. There was the usual hockey tournament (I’m from Canada so that’s mandatory), as well as outside ball hockey, tug-of-war, log sawing races, a small relay race, and a few other quirky games.
I put my name in for the snow sculpture competition they were running. Basically, we had three days to come up with a plan for the sculpture and get it done by the end of the day on Wednesday for the judging on Thursday.
I didn’t get any pictures of the start, but we built these these big frames out of plywood and 2×4’s to make an 8’x8’x8′ box. Then we filled them with snow using a tractor. There were five teams in the competition this year so that took a couple of people almost a day to finish. Using a tractor to fill and pack the snow down made it almost like ice. It was really dense and hard to cut.
The funny thing about this whole thing was we didn’t have a lick of sculpting experience among anyone on the team. We all just sort of winged it as we went. We decided to do a phoenix with flames around the sides and the back. On top of the flames we made a globe.
You can see that the flames we put around the sculpture are sort of different on each side. Each person was basically working on a side and seemed to have their own style of carving in the snow so they all ended up looking a little different.
We ended up only using two of the three days to get the sculpture finished. Some of the other teams were struggling right down to the last hour of the third day. Our team consisted of mostly construction and mechanical tradespeople so I think we had a leg up on the other teams right from the get-go.
The head of this thing sat around 6.5′ and the wings were 8′ tall. I find the pictures don’t let you get a grip on the size of it all that well, but it was pretty big.
What we did to try and blend them together on the second day was we all switched sides and worked on a different persons flames so our styles sort of blended together. Also, by the end of the second day, most people on our team sort of left to go take care of their actual work so I stayed back and tried to blend it all together a little more.
I think the other sculptures put up a good fight, but in the end we were victorious. I didn’t manage to get any photo’s of the other sculptures because there were sort of spread out all over the place. The only time I saw them was when I was driving by, and that’s no time to be taking pictures.
I’m really satisfied with how it turned out. Considering we had zero experience and the snow was solid, there is a lot of detail in the sculpture that the photo’s don’t really pick up. As you walk around the sculpture you can see in among all the flames. The earth is carved down quite deep below the flames so it gives it more of a ball look when you’re standing up close that you can’t really tell from the pictures.
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