Photos: The process behind the International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breck

Categories: Art

snow_sculpture_queen.jpg
Carl Scofield
Teams working into the evening during the 2011 championships.
We're in the middle of "Stomping Week," the lead-up to the International Snow Sculpture Championships hosted each year by Breckenridge. The Riverwalk Center is being adorned by giant blocks of snow to be hand-carved into works of art by numerous teams from around the world; the sculpting will begin on Tuesday, January 24, finished on Saturday, January 28, and will remain on display (weather permitting) through Sunday, February 5. Keep reading to see some photos and an explanation of how the sculptures are created every year.

snow_sculpture_work_begin.jpg
Carl Scofield
Artists start with twelve-foot-tall, twenty-ton blocks of machine-made Colorado snow.

Snow is blown into molds, and volunteers stomp it down (hence the term "Stomping Week") until the mold is full of a compact block of snow.

Teams are required to submit a proposal; if it's accepted, they then work on the sculptures during the allotted time. No power tools are allowed, so everything must be hand-carved.

snow_sculpture_work_1.jpg
Carl Scofield
Team Wisconsin/Milwaukee drew on Greek mythology for their 2011 piece, "The Gorgons Head."


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