The art of ice carving

Jan 10, 2018
Hector Pietra-Santa works on the Winterfest banner carving.

Camden — Although the Midcoast is no longer hosting a sanctioned snow carving competition, the more solid tradition of community ice carving for Winterfest is alive and well. Deadline for teams to sign up is Friday, Jan. 19. NOTE: THE ROSTER IS FULL

Winterfest week will kick off Saturday, Feb. 3, with Community Ice Carving in the Camden Amphitheatre, adjacent to the downtown library. Ice carving teams can sign up by contacting Camden Public Library for an application; forms are available online, but the number of ice blocks is limited.

Cost of the application is $60, which pays for the 300-pound ice block. Applications should be returned to Cayla Miller at the library. They may be scanned and emailed to; or mailed or dropped off in person at 55 Main St.

“It’s surprisingly easy with the right tools,” said master carver Tim Pierce. “The ice is extremely fragile but extremely strong, it’s soft to carve — but doesn’t last very long!”

Pierce will give an ice-carving demonstration Sunday, Jan. 28, at 1 p.m., outdoors in front of the library.

Pierce serves as a consultant for all carving designs prior to the festival, providing advice on whether a design will work in the medium of ice. He and his colleagues will rough out each team’s patterns into their ice blocks in preparation for the community event. Participants are welcome to bring their own tools; note that chainsaws and open flame are not allowed.

Camden Winterfest 2018 is a weeklong celebration of winter with outdoor and indoor activities, beginning with the ice carving and culminating with the Toboggan Nationals. For more information, visit Camden Winterfest on Facebook.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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