OK, so Valentine's Day is over. What's next?
Because of good old George and honest Abe, not the guys from the used car lot ( G. Washington and A. Lincoln - G%gle your own history lesson ), most denizens of the USA enjoy a long holiday weekend to celebrate these Presidential birthdays and boost the economy by taking part in retail shopping spurred on by President's Day sales.
Besides proudly flying "Old Glory" outside, one year we were lucky to have a blizzard that made it an official "snow day." Hooraaaay! Thus our homage to one of the greatest figures in American history.
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Step 1: Baby, It's Cold Outside...
Anyone can create a snowman, but it is even "cooler" to create a snow sculpture. This instructable will only describe some of the techniques used because we made the Abe Lincoln - snowman a couple of years ago. Same principles apply if you are making a giant Valentine's Day Snow Heart...or a giant Instructables Snow Robot...
1. You need snow and cold weather. Hopefully the weather will remain cold or wind chills will be in effect so that your snowman may last a few days.
Dress appropriately for the weather. Do not exert yourself. And go to the bathroom before you spend time outdoors. You don't want to be running in and out of the house tracking in wet snow and needing to remove layers of clothing in an emergency. Hydrating yourself before with hot cocoa or coffee may or may not be a good idea depending on the strength or your bladder. Know your cold weather limits. Turning blue is not a good thing. Avoid "yellow" snow.
2. Have the appropriate tools handy. A large snow shovel, a small shovel or garden spade for shaping. A big 5-gallon bucket ( an empty drywall compound/paint container or a giant muck bucket ), a garden hose with running water, a pair of waterproof gloves (dishwashing gloves with long sleeves) and a good sense of humor...
3. Use your shovel to get a good level base mound of snow for your masterpiece. If the snow is powdery or doesn't pack nicely, spray with the garden hose to wet it down so it does. Yes, people will stare at you to see why you are watering the lawn in the middle of the winter. I've been known to fire up the barbeque in the snow so pay them no mind...
4. First, rough out the shape of your figure. In your large bucket, give it a little spray of water. This will act as a release agent and firm up the solid that you will pop out of the bucket. Muck buckets have a more conical shaped side that will help it drop out. Start packing the bucket with snow in layers. Give each layer of snow a spritz or two of water. We are not looking to make it slushy but to help the snow bind together.
5. Create your bucketman by heaping your building block buckets of wet snow into your basic snowman shape. Whack the bucket with a shovel to get the snowblock out. Create height by stacking the bucket blocks. Use more snow to pack and fill any gaps. Use the hose to spray more water to help the snow bind. Hopefully it is cold enough that this extra water will freeze and congeal the mass. Pack and spray...pack and spray...pack and spray...
6. Start creating a stock of snowballs. Now just like in pottery class, flatten a bit of the snowball, apply some slush or slip, and glue the snowball on to create the details. Here, build up the ears, hat brim, nose, eyebrows, and beard. Spray and glaze with water as you go. Fill in gaps with more snow.
7. Carve in the details like eyes and mouth. Stand back to view your masterpiece and make any final adjustments. Spray with water to get a good polish on the sculpture.
8. When it's done, stick a flag in it. It may get mistaken for the rabbi down the block. True story.