Canadians are known for their love of hockey. We have many friends who are serious hockey parents, but for some reason, our boys have always preferred a game of pick up hockey on a winter pond than anything more formal than that.
We have many winter months of temperatures cold enough to freeze a pond (and other things!) and we are often lucky enough to be able to skate on a frozen winter lake, too.
This is the inspiration behind my latest print “Pond Hockey”: both the current fun of playing this all-too-Canadian sport outside, and my memories growing up with three brothers who — when they were short a player — would invite their sister in to fill out a team on ice.
The annual Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise, Alberta includes elaborate ice creations (like this castle!) and they clear a good portion of the lake for skating, and of course, hockey.
This has to be one of the most stunning ice hockey rinks in all of Alberta: at Lake Louise. The mountain and glacier views make this an amazing place to skate!
Our own Canmore skating pond is a lovely rink in the heart of downtown with a fantastic view of Three Sisters mountain. This rink is very popular for skating, ice hockey and special events in town (like “Skate with Santa”). As soon as possible each year, our local Parks Department starts flooding and managing the surface of the rink (sometimes with the big hose from the fire department!).
We have several outdoor rinks in Canmore, but this is a great one because it’s perfect for all ages, and big enough so the hockey players can skate and shoot with abandon and not worry about crashing into little beginner skaters. It’s also patched daily (so few awkward trips) and flooded with the resurfacer 3-5 times a week.
Sometimes, if my young boys get out of the house without boots (heaven forbid!!) then sneakers will work as goal posts, too. It looks like this goal was set up by my youngest son to make it extra hard to score!
The block is carved, with quite a lot removed for the ice surface. I use a combination of my three favorite tools: a #1 and #2 v-tool for outlining and small details, and a #3 gouge for removing the larger sections of the block.
The inked block, ready for the first test print to be hand-pulled.
Hand-pulling a print from the block … the most exciting step!
I will end with one final photo, wishing you all a very happy holiday from skating Santa and my son!