Over the last half-dozen years, Pasi Widgren, a Finnish architect and designer, has nurtured a unique wintertime ritual. With each passing winter, he ventures to Lake Pitkajarvi, near his Lahti residence, to craft an immense snow sketch.
Motivated this season, he opted to “draw” a fox solely using his footsteps and a snow shovel. The artwork he fashioned is an astonishingly lifelike, transient snow sculpture.
In 2016, Widgren embarked on his journey of snow artistry upon realizing his potential for such detailed work. His most recent piece, a fox-themed creation, came to life in December 2021. Taking roughly four hours, the 295-foot illustration emerged, and Widgren prepared to capture his creation on camera.
So, what’s the process for sketching in snow? Widgren began by tracing the figure with a walk. After that, he “drew” the finer details utilizing a snow shovel. Naturally, he confirmed the ice’s thickness for safety before commencing, discovering it was a sturdy four to six inches. For added caution, he brought along ice awls to aid in self-rescue if the ice gave way.
Fortunately, the safety measures were unneeded, and Widgren’s fox materialized without a hitch. When the artwork was done, he savored the warm coffee he had packed and ascended a neighboring cliff to snapshots of his snow figure. Despite the image fading under fresh snow within days, it fits Widgren’s intention to create art that respects nature’s balance.
Widgren’s yearly custom has now turned into an anticipated event for locals.