Lessons in Ice Carving On A Winter Visit to Saskatoon
If you visit Saskatoon in winter – especially in late January when the annual PotashCorp Wintershines Festival is on, there’s a good chance you can get a lesson in ice carving.
I was lucky enough to learn a few things from Saskatoon’s premier ice carver – Peter Fogarty – who runs a business called Fire and Ice Creations.
Peter Fogarty with his ice carving saw
Before we got going with my lesson in ice carving Peter shared with me some interesting facts.
Did you know?
- That most ice carvers come from the hospitality industry?
- That it takes four days to make the ice Peter works with?
- That there is a North American ice carving circuit?
- That -5C is the ideal temperature for carving ice because it has the most elasticity?
- That it’s possible to carve 60,000 pounds of ice over 10 days? (Peter did just that.)
- That Peter won the People’s Choice Awards at the 1988 Winter Olympics?
- That the tools used in ice carving are sharp – so sharp that carving ice is literally like cutting through soft butter?
Ice carving is a heck of a lot of fun. After only minutes of playing around I could see the allure of working on a big piece.
Here’s Kee Gawah, an ice carver from Sweden – who was invited to Saskatoon to participate in the 2013 Wintershines Festival – taking you through some of the steps in carving ice.
Kee starting in on an ice block with a chainsaw
At work with the dremel
The chisel that cuts like butter
Me having fun with the dremel
Using a torch gives the ice sculpture that wonderful glassy effect
Peter Fogarty does say that an ice carving is living art – and you have to enjoy the moment in time.
I would agree.
Have you ever had a lesson in ice carving?
A big thank you to Tourism Saskatoon for including ice carving in my itinerary.
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