(Ice) bear spotted in Fernie – Smithers Interior News

Dave Richards of Fernie with his latest sculpture creation – an ice bear carved from the ice of Crowsnest Pass Lake. (Scott Tibballs/The Free Press)

(Ice) bear spotted in Fernie

Local woodcarver-in-training Dave Richards is the artist behind the ice sculpture

There are bears in Fernie – or at least one bear, although this one won’t forage for food because it’s made of ice and guards the Red Tree Lodge in Fernie.

Sculpted by Fernie resident Dave Richards, the icy urchin will be there until it melts – and with temperatures well below zero in Elk Valley this week, that could still be a while longer .

“Ice is fun – it cuts fast and fast, with a great end result. It’s a little daunting that it all melts, but it’s the ultimate eco-art,” said Richards, who learned to carve sculptures wood and sometimes ice for the past few years, and apprenticed as a part-time wood carver with Michael Penny of Fernie Log Carving in West Fernie.

This bear is carved out of 50cm thick ice from Crowsnest Pass Lake.

“It took about three hours to get the 700-pound block out of the lake, and then it took about 4-5 hours to carve it,” he said.

“I made some ice sculptures. I just use the same technique (as woodcarving). I don’t know if I’m supposed to do this, but it worked.

The ice bear will be outside the Red Tree Lodge in Fernie until warmer weather causes him to leave.

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ArtOutdoors and recreation

Betty K. Park