Day 2 (Wednesday -- Heavy labor to get the rough form)

Things went well enough today that we're not working in the evening. The shape is approaching what we want and we just need to work carefully now so that the loops all go where they are supposed to. The sun is a problem, yet the temperatures are not too bad. We haven't seen a cloud in several days. But in the shade, a cup of coffee will turn to ice. The snow block itself seems of the usual high quality and we are convincing ourselves that we are okay as far as structural strength goes.

We tried a funny experiment today: we bought a can of white spray paint, thinking that we would be able to detect its texture against the snow, and it wouldn't leave ugly stains. Surprise: White paint is silly when working in snow.

Our preferred method of removing big snow blocks is the tried-and-true method of drilling and sawing. Other teams use chains and I think they might be more efficient, but we get the job done. The hunk in the photo below is perhaps the biggest single snow block we have ever removed. Our method of getting these planes is pretty simple this year. We just knock them off at 45-degree angles, meaning that we marked points on the face and then drilled at a 45-degree angle to the face. Our small drill can get straight holes up to 8 feet or more in length, so the method works reasonably well. Well, actually, the next-to-fall hanging block did strike the bottom of the scaffolding behind it, bending some bars a little. The entire block weighs 20 tons at the start and during the first day and a half (Tues and Wed) we must remove 10 tons or more.


In the photo above you can see how we removed the bottom half first, and only then realized that the falling top half might damage a corner that we wanted intact. So we shoved some snow back to protect the corner. The photo below shows the big drop. We later decided we did not want the base after all!



Here Rich Seeley works on the top arch while standing on what will be the bottom swirl of the clef. Weather like this makes us think more of Hot Jazz than Cool. Well, if we work through Friday night we will be plenty cool as nighttime temps hover around zero.


By day's end the shape of our clef was emerging from the block. It does not emerge quickly and it is easy to get impatient. Now the key is connecting all the curves so that they match up properly. We are using spray paint and have to be careful to not stain the snow of the finished sculpture. As you can see, white spray point was not a good idea.

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