How to build the perfect snowman

Academy Award nominee The Snowman has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation of families across the globe. Now, this timeless classic is available for the first time ever in high definition as The Snowman: 30th Anniversary Edition is released on Blu-Ray and DVD from 5th November 2012. To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with master snow sculptor Duncan Hamilton from Hamilton ice sculptures to help you create your very own snowman!

Duncan says:

The traditional way to build a snowman is to pack snow together by hand, roll it to form balls and pat snow on to the surface to make the shape.

This is quite limiting in terms of design and is not how the pros do it! To make a really strong snowman with lots of extra detail, why not try the following tips. But make sure you get a grown up to help you!

· Get four equal sized sheets of wood. Arrange them to make a box with an open top and run a strong rope around them to keep them steady.

· Now shovel fresh snow into the box.

· Stamp or push it down carefully to compact it and carry on until you have filled the whole box.

· Leave it to stand for at least a couple of hours.

· Now remove the rope and the sheets of wood to reveal a perfectly compacted block of snow.

· You are now ready to carve your snow. Use any tools you have to hand – knives, saws, even spoons. You should find the snow quite easy to sculpt.

· Think carefully about your design and make sure that it is heavy at the base to prevent it collapsing or falling over.

· Be ambitious and have a good time!

Another idea…

In cold weather leave a tray with 1cm of water in it outside overnight to freeze. In the morning break the frozen sheets of ice up into bits and drill a small hole in each one, run string through the hole, then hang them from a tree to make a hanging ice installation.

Some facts:

· Compacted snow has approx ½ the density of water, so a 1m cube will weigh about 500kg.

· Snow melts more slowly than ice

· You can easily colour snow with food colouring and add it in layers to get different effects

· Michelangelo is reported to have sculpted Hercules in snow in Florence one winter for the Medicis

Advice from Duncan Hamilton of Hamilton Ice Sculptors

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