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Ice Carving in the Winter Wonderland of Stowe, Vermontphoto

Being a pastry chef and in the world of food, I get opportunities to use my creativity in ways that are a different form of art.

I’ve always loved pastry because of the beautiful desserts that can be made and art that can be made out of food. In my journey to pastry though, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to learn a very different sort of art too, ice carving. I have Chef Richard Alford and The University of Akron to thank for that. 

Ice carving has been a part of my life for about six years now in the winters, and I’ve been able to continue that yearly by being a part of Stowe Mountain Lodge

Everyone always asks me, “how did you get into that?” And I have to respond, “not easily.” I started ice carving through the ice carving club at The University of Akron. My first few ice carvings took me a while to be able to see the 3D image in a 300 lb block of ice. I distinctly remember trying to carve a penguin that turned out looking like a circus bear. 

Eventually, the light bulb went off and I started to understand the ice more. In a nutshell, first you take away any ice that isn’t needed or isn’t part of the carving. That ice can be used for a fusion onto another part of the sculpture to give it height or bring it out of its typical block. 

Then, it’s time to shape the carving so it’s not in a block form which requires turning square sides into more of a round side and turning a block shape into an actual shape that resembles what you are attempting to carve.  Mainly, it just takes practice.  I was lucky enough to be able to carve and compete for two years through the college, and eventually compete on my own after graduation.

Now, continuing on a three-year tradition for myself, I’ll be carving again at the Stowe Winter Carnival.  I’ve been able to carve the past two years in this competition, carving the first year a circus lion balancing a cub with three rings on its nose, placing in second in the amateur division; and the second year “Batman” in a Superhero themed competition taking home first place in amateur.  This year’s theme is “40 Years of Rockin’ Stowe”.  What will I be carving?  Well, you will have to come see the competition this weekend to find out. See you out there!

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