Originally appeared in the print version of Seven Days on Feb. 1, 2012.
At first glance, the 2-foot clay model doesn’t look like much. Its diamond-shaped, gridlike exterior gives it an odd, Epcot-esque quality; inside the structure’s hollowed-out core, a puzzle piece rests on a pedestal.
“It’s called ‘Inner Piece,’” explains Burlington sculptor Michael Nedell with a self-effacing grin.
Ah, that explains everything. By the end of next week, if all goes well, this visual pun will be recreated as a 12-foot-high snow sculpture in the national snow-sculpting championships at Lake Geneva, Wis. There Nedell and his two teammates, Alex Dostie and Brooke Monte, will represent Vermont and compete for the title of best snow sculptors in the country.
This will be the team’s seventh trip to the national championships. The Vermonters took home second prize in 2005 and 2007, and have consistently ranked among the top six teams. They’ve also paid two visits to the (invitation-only) international championships in Breckinridge, Colo., in 2008 and 2011.