The 2022 Winterlude National Ice-Carving Championship is underway across Canada and we are excited to introduce our local ice carving team. Right now, Canadians from coast to coast to coast can enjoy world-class works of icy art and vote online for their top three favourite sculptures.
The team repping Manitoba consists of Larry MacFarlane and Tom Pitt who, as you will read, have been ice carving partners for 35 years. (It probably goes without saying, there's no need for ice breakers when they get together).
This past weekend, teams of two sculptors from ten provinces were given 15 blocks of ice (weighing 300 pounds each) and had 20 hours to carve a masterpiece inspired by the theme, Olympic and Paralympic spirit.
Between February 11-20 we encourage you to check out the competition and vote for your top three favourite sculptures.
Here's Larry MacFarlane with the delicate details about ice-carving.
How long have you been working with ice?
I've been carving for 40 years. I learned while taking my chef apprenticeship from a couple of Japanese ice sculptors.
What's the most challenging thing about ice carving?
The most challenging thing about ice carving is the variables. When it is warm outside the ice is soft. When it is cold outside the ice is as hard as concrete. The sun, humidity, and wind all have a factor on the ice. Learning how the ice reacts to the variables is the hardest part of ice carving.
What's the design process like?
If there is a theme for the competition, teammates get together and brainstorm an idea. From the idea a sketch is made. From the sketch, the next step is the block stack (like LEGOs). Then after the blocks are stacked the design is drawn on the ice with magic ink. Then the carving happens.
What's the most satisfying part of the process?
The most satisfying part of the entire process is when the finished sculpture looks like the sketch and the public appreciate the artwork.
Can you speak about this year's theme (Olympics/Paralympics)? How has it sparked inspiration for you and what does it mean to you?
Having carved ice at three past Olympics has been a dream. Being able to represent Canada has been phenomenal. We have come up with a truly Canadian-themed ice sculpture to commemorate the Olympics and Paralympics. We are carving the Great Canadian Curling Trials. A moose throwing the curling rock with a beaver as the sweeper.
How do you work with your teammate on the process?
My teammate Tom Pitt and I have been carving together for 35 years. We have travelled all over the world for competitions and exhibitions. We both know our strengths and weaknesses and decide which components we are going to do based on that.
How many times have you competed before and any notable wins/competitions?
Too many competitions to list. The most recent: 3rd place in Harbin, China 2019; 4th place in Gaeta, Italy 2019; 3rd place Winterlude, Ottawa 2019.
Why do you think this year's design for Team Manitoba should win?
We think that our sculpture best represents the theme, and the composition of the competition. As well as one of the best executed sculptures.
Show some local love to Tom and Larry and vote for "The Great Canadian Curling Trials" between February 11-20!