Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- If you've ever been to winter after hours on a Thursday evening in Eau Claire you've seen their amazing creations made of snow and ice. Jason Anhorn and Steve Bateman are the artists behind the work you see each week down here at Boyd park and this past weekend their team captured the big prize in Lake Geneva, WI at the 28th us national snow sculpting competition with competitors from all over the country.
At winter after hours the city provides this duo with an 8 foot block of snow but at the national championship. "It was a block about 5 times the size of this and we were all able to get inside of it when we were all done," says Bateman.
After four days of scraping and carving the team of three unveiled an incredible piece of art to the judges who were actually the competitors themselves. The creativity and the design were unmatched and team won their first national championship. The piece was called dancing flame.
"It’s like sitting around a campfire and staring at the flame and imagining different things and we kind of used people. There's dancing people. The flame is dancing with joyful movement as if you know a professional dancer would be dancing around the stage," explains Anhorn.
The team braved 20 below wind chills to make their masterpiece. They liked it cold though. "We took a risk. We knew that we would need cold weather to pull it off to get that much detail and remove that much snow and still have it remain standing. Luckily mother nature was our 4th team member," says Anhorn.
Their team received a stipend to use in an international competition. They hope to go to Sochi, Russia to be part of an exhibition there during the Olympics next year.
"We do want good competition. We want to see other carvers really pushing themselves. Even though it might just be an exhibition type of thing, it's not really a medaling event at this point. It's still amazing to be part of that whole thing," says Bateman.
If you want to see more of their work, check out their Facebook page at the link below.