Ice-carving teams to get tips from a master
Camden — Tim Pierce, the Samoset Resort's executive chef and master ice-carver, will demonstrate ice-carving in front of Camden Public Library at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19.
The demonstration will be a how-to session for teams planning to enter the ice-carving competition at Winterfest Feb. 1. Pierce, who has offered the demo since Winterfest began in 2001, said he covers basic ice-sculpture techniques, including how to use hand tools, what to wear (make sure you have something dry to kneel on) and how to take a design from paper to finished carving.
Pierce will offer design tips, and will do some preliminary chainsaw work for teams that submit their designs to him ahead of the competition. He said only hand tools are allowed in the library amphitheater on the day of the carving, for the safety of all carvers.
Teams, which can be a single person or contain as many as desired, start with a 300-pound block of ice 10 inches by 20 inches by 40 inches. It usually takes two to three hours to complete a carving, Pierce said. It costs $50 to enter the competition, and applications are available at the library.
Regarding design, he said, “Simple is always best.” Of course, some carvers are more experienced than others; for example, the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship always enters a team. But Pierce said novices can do it too. He recalled a team of Girl Scouts whose sculpture was a big cookie.
Teams are issued a six-pronged shaver, which is provided by the library. Other tools carvers use include chisels, saws, battery-operated drills, hot water and rasps.
Pierce himself has won awards for his ice sculptures, and also judges the annual competition at the Stowe Winter Carnival in Stowe, Vt. He takes part in the Wentworth Invitational in Jackson, N.H., each year.
He said he enjoys the creative possibilities of ice-carving, and likes seeing how a sculpture changes as it melts. He also likes the fact that ice can be shaped relatively quickly, compared to more durable materials like wood or stone.
For more information about his demonstration or the Winterfest competition, contact the library at 236-3440.
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, ride her ATV and play word games.