It’s gotten pretty cold outside, hasn’t it?? How good that also the winter has its beautiful sides. For you, cold temperatures mean warm cocoa, ice skating and, if there are lots of white flakes, maybe you can even build a snowman. At the weekend it is expected to snow again, after Cologne was already completely snowed in on Wednesday morning. But how do you actually build the perfect snowman??
Photo: Knorra Ice Art Studio
Tips from the expert
Did you know that there are people whose profession is to work with snow and ice?? An example is Joachim Knorra from the Sauerland region of Germany. Maybe you know sculptors who make sculptures. It works in a similar way for Joachim Knorra: he has a real ice art studio and carves figures out of ice. He has almost the same difficulties as you do when you build a snowman: "Ice is a natural crystal and changes its degree of hardness depending on the temperature." That’s why Knorra has to be careful when he works with ice. At around minus 10 to 12 degrees, it is about as hard as wood and ideal for carving. But if the ice is too cold and accordingly hard, it can break quickly.
"It’s similar with snow. If the snow is too powdery, it is difficult to build a snowman or other figures with it. If you wet it a little with water, it sticks better. Then it works out with the snowman," Knorra reveals. By the way: One of his favorite figures is the Statue of Liberty from America – of course made of ice. For his other ice figures, Joachim Knorra is often inspired by nature. Maybe you can try this?
How to make a snowman
With wet snow you can build the best snowmen – and by the way, you can form snowballs better, too. But how does it go on now? The best way is to form three balls and then roll them through the snow until they reach the desired size. In between tapping the snow again and again. The two largest spheres form the body, the smallest of the spheres the head. And already the basic structure of your snowman is ready. If you want, you can now spray him with water. So the snowman becomes shiny and solid. To create more grip between the balls, you can also fill some snow into the spaces between the balls and press it down well. This can also look visually nicer. If you don’t succeed because the snow keeps falling apart, you don’t have to despair: because then you might have already carried enough snow to a place to simply form a big snow mountain. If you decorate it nicely, you can also make a beautiful snowman out of it.
Designing the snowman
So that the snowman does not look so bleak, he still needs a nice face. Stones are often used for the eyes – you can look for them outside. Alternatively you can use walnuts. Is your snowman a snowwoman? Then you can press small branches over the eyes as eyelashes into the face of the snowman. The classic – a carrot as a nose – should not be missing from a good snowman. Then the mouth follows (from small stones or buttons) and the arms from long branches. Maybe you are lucky and you find two branches that have many forks at one end. Then you might think the snowman has hands and fingers.
Last but not least, you can decorate the snowman in the middle of his belly with a row of buttons made of stones, hang a scarf around him and put on a hat. And of course you can continue to let your imagination run wild.
Photo: Knorra ice art studio
The snowman tradition
Do you actually know who came up with the "building of snowmen? Already in the 18. In the 19th century, the snowman is mentioned in a German children’s song. At first, however, he was rather an eerie, threatening figure and did not look as friendly as we know him today. This was because the snowman was the symbol of the cold, uncomfortable winter for many people.
By the way: The record for the tallest snowman is held in the U.S. The residents of Bethel in the state of Maine built a 37.1 meter high snow woman in February 2008. It is said to have weighed around 6000 tons – that’s about as much as 1200 elephants weigh combined.