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Tips for snow sculptors

Rolling snow into large balls is great for making snowmen. But if you'd like to get more creative, think 'blocks.'

Small blocks can be made from milk cartons or other waterproof boxes. Pack the snow tightly into the box, then dump it out in a big lump. The blocks can be stacked to make snow forts or igloos. (For directions on making an igloo, check out this website: www.benmeadows.com/Resource Library/igloo.html.)

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Real igloos are made by cutting blocks from deep snow and stacking them in a spiral, but you can also build one out of snow blocks you form.

A large garbage can is useful to pack snow into a larger block. Once the block is slid from the can, you can carve it into a shape. Stack blocks together to make a bigger sculpture.

To carve the blocks, use snow shovels and spades to remove large amounts of snow. Switch to spoons and butter knives for the final touches. (In competitions, snow sculptors use sandpaper for a smooth, final finish.)

If the snow is too dry and won't stick together, moisten it with water from a spray bottle.

To make a sculpture, sketch it first. You can even outline it on the side of the block of snow. Work carefully. Be patient. Don't worry if you chip out a little too much snow. It's pretty easy to pack a little snow back on.

And don't forget about props! If you build a snow car, for example, try using some colored paper plates for hubcaps. Sticks make good windshield wipers.

What would you use for headlights or door handles?

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Snow-sculpture photos:

www.themoens.com/Photos/ Events/snowSculpture/ overview. htm

Sculptures from previous international competitions in Breckenridge, Colo. Other photos show how the giant blocks of snow are made.

www.zehnders.com

Zehnder's Snowfest in Frankenmuth, Mich.

www.stanwagon.com

Minnesota team member Stan Wagon has posted more photos of this year's competition in Breckenridge.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society