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Temporary art works in snow
Trout Lake students carve snow sculptures for spring carnival

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, April 19, 2012

The next generation of potential snow sculptors were introduced to the art form in Trout Lake last month.

NNSL photo/graphic

Students from Charles Tetcho School stand with one of the snow sculptures they made for the Ndu Tah Spring Carnival. The young sculptors include, back row, from left, Willie Chonkolay, Deanna Jumbo, Branden Jumbo, Jada Lamalice and Faith Deneron. Front row, from left, Kaechoa Rocque-Jumbo, Shannon Jumbo and Edzea Rocque-Jumbo. - photo courtesy of David Madden

All 16 students at the Charles Tetcho School helped carve six snow sculptures in their playground. The students made the sculptures as their contribution to the Ndu Tah Spring Carnival, said teacher David Madden.

"It was a fun activity," Madden said. "I think in the end they were quite pleased with the results."

For most of the students it was their first attempt at snow sculpting. They got involved in every aspect of the process.

Divided into small groups, the students chose their own design. After shoveling snow into piles, the students left them for a day or two to harden and meanwhile busied themselves making drawings of how they thought their sculptures should look.

When it came time to turn their drawings into reality, the students used shovels and also raided the school's kitchen for any implements they thought would work. Spoons and spatulas were quickly put to work in the snow.

The result was a schoolyard filled with a turtle, a beaver, a bear, a snake, a caterpillar and a flower.

Deanna Jumbo, 12, worked together with Edzea Rocque-Jumbo and Adam Lamalice. It was Rocque-Jumbo's idea to make a sculpture of Franklin the Turtle, a children's book and television character.

The three team members worked together to carve the turtle beginning with the head and front legs. They then worked around to the shell and the back legs.

When their creation was finished, the students used green and brown tempera paint mixed with water to colour Franklin. Paying attention to detail, the carvers added a red baseball cap as a finishing touch.

"It looked good," Jumbo said.

In another part of the yard, Jada Lamalice, 9, worked with Branden Jumbo and Isaiah Kotchea to carve a beaver.

The team got the idea after seeing an example of a sitting beaver sculpture on the Internet. They, however, quickly decided to make their beaver lie down so it would be easier to carve.

Lamalice, who'd never made a snow sculpture before, said it was fun. After it was finished, the group coloured the beaver a browny-orange and gave it a black tail.

The students worked on their sculptures over the course of a few weeks during physical education classes and recesses. As each group of carvers finished, they would help the others with their snow creations, said Madden.

The sculptures were the subject of a number of compliments from community members who said the students did a good job, Madden said. The creations, which were finished by April 1, lasted for about a week before melting away. Students are already talking about making more next year.

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