HALIFAX - Gordon Sparks says he likely wouldnât have discovered his newest hobby if it wasnât for a snowstorm and a machete.
© Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper
Snow sculpture and tattoo artist Gordon Sparks poses for a portrait by his latest work
Sparks, a local tattoo artist, has been making large snow sculptures since last year when a client cancelled their appointment due to the rough weather.
He shoveled the driveway and then decided to re-create his dog, Harley, out of snow after looking at the huge pile heâd built up.
âI went outside with a machete and a spatula and I went to town. I just started chipping away at it, but not really being too serious,â Sparks said.
Now after every storm, Sparks digs out his tools and shapes the snow into artwork, with âold man winterâ as his latest project.
Sparks said the neighbours have been so excited that many changed driving routes so their kids could see how each project is going on their way to school.
âI keep it up. I like seeing everybody happy about it, and itâs all good vibes,â Sparks said.
Sparks said heâs learned a lot about how to manipulate snow with water, slush and weather temperatures to create different textures through trial and error.
He uses everything from his trusty machete, to woodcarving tools and spoons, to get the finer details on his chilly artwork after sketching what the piece should look like.
âEach sculpture I learn something different, and I learn something new. Itâs kind of like âEureka there you go,'â Sparks said.
Depending on the size, sculptures can take anywhere from 20 to 80 hours.
Sparks said his work is getting more attention, and was approached by the Oval to create a polar bear sculpture before Friday afternoon.
Starting on Wednesday, Sparks said heâll try to finish the Oval polar bear in about 15 hours, and has an 8 x 8 foot box of snow heâll be working with.
âIâm super pumped. Itâs super cool,â Sparks said, adding that heâd hoped to do a sculpture at the Oval for the past year.