Precious Nature

Precious Nature


Precious Nature was a sculpture based on an environmental theme and represents a group of children working together to raise a tiny bird back into it's nest.

Precious Nature was our first legitimate attempt at sculpture. We had worked on a sculpture the previous year which we were quite happy with, but it wasn't our design and we hadn't worked on it through every step from beginning concept through to completion. That honour went to Precious Nature, titled by our Art teacher and friend Mr. Currie (I've yet to find another more fitting title for any sculpture).

This sculpture allowed us to try out all kinds of new tricks and ideas in representing things in three dimensions. None of us had ever really worked in snow and perhaps we were quite naive. We developed many plans on the fly to help us and invariably the weather or materials did not cooperate. I have already written in these pages about how things can melt and you need to fix things, well this one melted almost to the ground, costing us several figures and several days work. The canal we were working on was even closed to the public because it was melting, though we continued working anyway.

Bertha and the Daves work to clean up the site.

This is where we originated our 'ice tube' technique, only back then, we used cylindrical shampoo bottles which limited our length to about 12 inches. From this success however we would go on to learn the lessons which made the horse possible 5 years later. I suppose we were lucky that it worked so well. There was plenty of experimentation with temperature and slush consistency, but none of us ever doubted we could pull off such a different type of sculpture (for snow, that is).

I'll always remember this sculpture for all the fun we had doing it. We even won an award for best team spirit which had never been presented before and never been presented since, so it must have been obvious we were enjoying ourselves. I learned more about team-building from this sculpture than perhaps anything I've ever seen since.

This sculpture was created in January and February in 1989 on Dow's Lake, Ottawa.
The sculpture won first prize in the High School category.


Click to view the "Precious Nature" photo gallery

Daily Updates

Note: These daily records were not taken at the time the sculpture was being created. Notes for calendars, receipts and record books have been examined to re-create the events leading up to and involving the creation of this sculpture.

89/01 - 89/02 - Snow sculpture construction.

No other daily records are available at this time.

A close-up of the boy putting the bird back in it's nest.