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Once upon a time there was a young lad called Jamie who was interested in all spheres of art.  He loved theatre, photography, painting, drawing and music. He then decided to become an environmental scientist and outdoor pursuits instructor because he also loved the great outdoors as well and sought inspiration from it.

However, one day whilst looking at the fjords of Norway, he met a sand sculptor.  In one morning this man had turned two blocks of sand into The Queen and Mr Bean; he was making an English tea party for a tea company. Jamie was amazed; he had never seen anything like this before.

“Is it really just sand and water?”

“What happens if it rains?”  He asked all the usual questions.

As the day waned, the TV and radio came and went, and finally the Sand Sculptor said to young Jamie:

“Would you like to have a go?” Jamie didn’t know what to say.  “It’s alright, this block here is going to be Prince Charles and I won’t be using the corner.  Feel free.”

Young Jamie was delighted.  He tentatively went towards the sand, took a tool in each hand and began carving away.  The sand sculptor checked up on him from time to time and gave a few tips here and there.  After a while he said:

“I’m very impressed with what you’ve done.  I think that you could become a very good sand sculptor one day.  If you are ever in Norway again and would like to practice in my studio in Oslo, then just give me a call.”

It was a long time before the young Jamie wrote to the sculpture.  But eventually he plucked up the courage and asked if it was still OK to visit.  The sand sculptor was delighted and said that Jamie could visit anytime.  So young Jamie travelled all the way to Norway to become a sand sculptor.  He stayed in a dusty old room with piles of sand, carving away every for days on end.  It was just him, some sand, and water.

After that Jamie’s whole world changed.  The sand sculptor introduced him to festivals all over the world where people made artwork up to 20 metres high!  Here there were hundreds of sculptors from many countries, some that Jamie had never even heard of.  Then one day young Jamie met a group of sand artists from the arctic who were also ice sculptors.

Beautiful Finland

Beautiful Finland

My First Ice Sculpture

The people from the arctic were all very friendly and one looked a little like and was the size of a polar bear. Young Jamie and the arctic people talked about ice sculpture for a long time. They told him how cold and beautiful the ice was and the ringing noises that it made when you cut it.  The one like a polar bear could see how amazed Jamie was and asked:

“Would you like to have a go?”

The summer past and gave way to autumn.  It had been one of the best times of Jamie’s life as he had done and made things that he did not think were possible or within him.  However, his journey had only just begun as in the winter, he found himself on his next adventure in the land of Santa Claus. Here he encountered a winter wonderland landscape he thought only existed on postcards.  Young Jamie and the ice sculptor that looked like a polar bear, drove in his little white van through miles and miles of pine forests bending with the weight of the snow.  Finally they came to a wide open space with no trees.  The Ice Sculptor stopped the Van and looked over at young Jamie.

“Take off your seatbelt.” He said.  Jamie looked puzzled.

“Take off your seatbelt because we are driving onto the ice….” The enormity of what they were to embark upon suddenly dawned on Jamie.  His puzzled expression turned to anxiety.  “…If the ice breaks then you can get out of the car easier.” Said the ice sculptor

“But what if we can’t open the door?” retorted Jamie.

“Well then open the window.”

“But the window is electric, it might not work!”

The ice sculptor began to shuffle in his seat and move his feet, but it’s not easy when you’re the size of a polar bear.

“Can you lift your feet to the window?”  The young Jamie raised his feet up and put them against the windscreen.

“Good.  If we go through the ice, the door doesn’t open, the windows don’t work, then lift your feet to the window and break the glass….I’ve had to do it before.” With that, the ice sculptor started the engine and they drove onto the ice-covered lake.

Excavating ice

Excavating ice

They stayed there for three days and cut blocks of ice out of the lake with a huge chainsaw and then pulled them out with a tractor.  They then stuck the blocks together and began making young Jamie’s first ice sculpture.  In the evening, they warmed themselves in the sauna and talked over the excitement of the day with drinks, hot food and merriment.  The mornings were met with a crisp cold.  However this did not deter Jamie in always meeting the sun as it rose from behind the silver birches in the distance; the rays burning through the ice crystals as though aflame.

My First Company

From here Jamie became know as a sand and ice sculptor himself.  In time he would become a snow sculptor as well.  He travelled the world and sculpted at festivals.  He even entered competitions against some of the worlds best sculptors, proudly bearing the flag of his country; some he won, some he lost.  He then made his own company called Sand in Your Eye.  Whilst making his creations people would come up to him and say:

“Is it really just sand and water?”

“What happens if it rains?”  They asked all the usual questions.  An older Jamie answered them patiently and sometimes would say:

“Would you like to have a go?”

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