Winter can be a tough season to get through, especially if you are the type of person who likes to get out of the house and find fun things to do. There aren’t always as many options in the winter, and even when there are things to do, they have to be pretty spectacular to be worth venturing out into the cold air! The later winter months in particular are challenging. Once the excitement of the holiday season has passed, the winter blues tend to set in, especially in January when days are still short and temperatures are quite often at their coldest. One activity you might want to look out for is a snow sculpture festival. Many communities have them around January, and they are a really fun way to spend an afternoon outdoors.
Snow sculpture is one of the most underappreciated art forms. It’s a challenging one to master – it’s nothing like making a simple snowman! Snow sculptors have to know what textures of snow they can work with, and sometimes have to mix water and other substances to get snow to the ideal texture for scupting. These sculptors also have to know what tools are appropriate for their sculpture. There are some fairly standard sculpting tools, such as knives and dowels, but because snow is pliable, it opens the doors to a number of different tools to shape it. Every snow sculptor has his or her own personal favorites, and many are quite unexpected. Textured fabrics, spoons, cups, and just about anything else can be used as a tool for snow sculpture.
One of the things that make snow sculpture so interesting is the fact there aren’t too many classes or opportunities for professional training in the art form. Most sculptors have to be self taught. This has an interesting and spectacular result, as every sculptor comes up with, as mentioned earlier, a really unique array of tools and devices used for sculpting. They also each have their own unique, personal methods and techniques for sculpting the snow. This makes the process really imaginative and inventive. Seeing finished sculptures is entertaining, but it’s nowhere near the experience of actually watching the process of sculpting take place. If your community has a snow sculpture festival, do your best to get there early so you can watch the sculptures being created. It’s a fantastically whimsical experience, and one that you won’t soon forget.
Even if you do miss the actual sculptures being created, don’t pass up the opportunity to see the finished project. These sculptures are amazing, and truly a thing of beauty. A talented sculptor can create pieces that are grand in size and very intricate in detail. You will be amazed that these masterpieces were actually carved out of snow. The best time of day to see snow sculpture is at dusk, when the setting sun is casting a beautiful array of colors on the snow, and the rising moon is reflecting its soft light on the masterpieces, causing them to twinkle and sparkle, and bringing them to life against the dark sky. It’s truly a magical experience, one that you must see for yourself in order to truly understand it.
There is also something to be appreciated about the temporary nature of snow sculpture. Knowing that the pieces of art are only there for a short time, and will inevitably melt away seems to somehow make them feel more special and more worth seeing. It’s easier to appreciate them, because you will feel lucky for having seen them at all. Knowing you can’t return any time you want to check them out again will make you really pay attention to the sculptures when you are looking at them. You will take in every little detail and examine every intricate aspect of each one. You don’t get many other opportunities to appreciate art on that level, so it’s an opportunity worth taking.
If the winter blues are starting to set in, and you are finding it difficult to get up off of the couch, look through your local community event listings and see if there is a snow sculpture show you can take in. It’s a wonderful way to pass the time on lonely winter days, and a fantastic artistic experience that you won’t soon forget.
- License: Image author owned
ISA Attraction’s snow sculpture feature enchants the young and the young at heart. Contact ISA for information on this and other feature attractions.