Well-known N.B. woodcarver enters surfing sculpture in ice-carving competition
HALIFAX -- A New Brunswick man, well known in the region for his wood carvings, has put his skills to the test in Ottawa's Winterlude Ice-Carving Competition.
"I'm definitely the rookie... the competitors I'm up against are great, great guys that have been doing this for a long time," said Joel Palmer, who participated in Ottawa's annual winter festival. "For me, it's been about five years."
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the New Brunswick native had to participate from Nova Scotia.
"I was in Halifax and, at the time, the temperatures were a lot warmer than say up in like Yellowknife, so there's different challenges that each artist had to face being in different areas," said Joel.
Joel says, while he's used to carving in wood, different techniques are required when it comes to ice carving.
"Wood has a lot more resistance. You tend to have hidden objects or wood has its own imperfections, which is a lot different from ice. Usually, ice you can see the imperfections," explained Joel.
This year, the Winterlude challengers were tasked with carving out a winter sport.
"I selected surfing," said Joel. "It's definitely not thought of as something that's a winter sport. Most people think we're crazy to get in the water, and yes, we are crazy."
For those wondering where they can see Joel's surfing ice sculpture, they are out of luck.
"The possible danger of it falling onto someone and this and that," said Joel. "When you don't have an actual event sort of area, the sculpture itself had to be destroyed. So that night, or whenever we were done our final shooting with the drones and all that stuff, I had the pleasure of taking a big sledge hammer and smashing it."
The winner of the ice sculpting competition will be announced next week.