All winter long, we discover how ice can be beautiful, but also hazardous. Chris Dainty focuses on the beauty of ice. Dainty was carving ice sculptures in his hometown of Hawkesbury on Sunday, February 19, and Monday, February 20.

Downtown at Place des Pionniers on Sunday, Dainty carved a winged sculpture as a backdrop for passers-by to have their photo taken in front of. On Monday, outside the entrance of the Robert Hartley Sports Complex, he carved two ice skates while the town’s Family Day activities were taking place inside.

Dainty is a well-known animator by profession and has worked for the National Film Board. He has been a member of the Canadian Ice Carvers Society for 10 years. All of the blocks of ice Dainty uses are produced at a special facility the society has in Ottawa where ice is made using continuously circulating water, which keeps the ice mostly transparent once it is frozen, unlike naturally formed ice which is usually cloudy in appearance. He said it takes 65 hours for each block of ice to be produced at the Ottawa facility. Dainty carefully brought the blocks of ice to Hawkesbury in a rented truck.

A variety of chisels are used to carve ice sculptures. Dainty also uses an electric chainsaw to cut the ice. To give the sculpture a clearer appearance once it is finished, he sprays water on them.

Dainty, who now lives in Orléans, also carves ice sculptures each year at Winterlude in Ottawa.

Video of ice carver Chris Dainty at work

Ice carving in Hawkesbury photos by James Morgan