Winter serves as an inspiration for Minnesota artists

  • Article by: BILL MCAULIFFE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 21, 2013 - 5:31 PM

The season serves as a inspiration and provides the raw materials to produce unique works.

hide

George Roberts of Minneapolis makes prints in stunning colors marked by crystal patterns formed when he puts the wet prints outside in the freezing cold.

Photo: GLEN STUBBE • gstubbe@startribune.com ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

George Roberts calls certain collections of poems he prints “Winter Papers,” because winter is the only time he can make them.

“I’ve always loved winter,” said the retired Minneapolis literature teacher, gallery owner, poet and book artist. “It’s a much more reflective, thoughtful time. When I wake up on a winter day and find frost has formed on the windows, I find it very calming ”

Winter is more than just a source of inspiration for Roberts, Duluth snow sculptor Harry Welty and Minneapolis ice artist Kurt Kelsey. They use the raw materials of winter — ice, snow and even the cold itself — to make their art.

George Roberts, printmaker

Roberts, who owns Homewood Studios in north Minneapolis, creates paper in stunning colors marked by crystal patterns formed when he puts the wet prints outside in the freezing cold. When the colors and patterns suggest or link themselves to a poem, he sets the type by hand and prints the poem.

Last week, he left prints outside in snow, and found that the flurries added sharp, circular patterns in the crystallized ink.

“This is what [winter] gives me, and what I’m willing to take,” he said.

Each picture poem becomes one of only 20 in a “Winter Paper” series he produces each season. In a good winter, he might do three series.

“It connects me with the season,” he said.

His technique:

• Soak paper in water, drop ink on it, and let the ink diffuse.

• Put the paper outside when the temperature is below 15 degrees. The cold allows the pigments to form crystal patterns as they freeze.

• Print a poem inspired by winter on the page.

Harry Welty, snow sculptor

This was Welty’s 25th year shaping a larger-than-life snow sculpture on his front lawn in Duluth. At the busy corner of E. 4th Street and 21st Avenue, Welty’s sculptures are regular traffic-stoppers.

“You put enough snow together and people will always stop and look at it,” Welty said.

The former teacher and school board member started making snow sculptures in 1987, when his daughter requested a dinosaur. Over the years, he’s done Mt. Rushmore, the Mad Hatter’s tea party, an 11-foot-tall gorilla, a cheese­head (to commemorate a Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl win), and former President Bill Clinton playing the saxophone.

  • related content

  • Roberts worked on one of his prints. When the colors and patterns suggest or link themselves to a poem, he sets the type by hand and prints the poem.

  • Harry Welty of Duluth worked on a snow sculptor in his front yard.

  • Kurt Kelsey of Minneapolis was inspired for his ice panes by the ice candles at the City of Lakes Loppet.

  • Kurt Kelsey of Minneapolis used plant material to create this luminaria.

  • George Roberts of Minneapolis makes prints in stunning colors marked by crystal patterns formed when he puts the wet prints outside in the freezing cold.

  • Roberts worked on one of his prints. When the colors and patterns suggest or link themselves to a poem, he sets the type by hand and prints the poem.

  • Harry Welty of Duluth worked on a snow sculptor in his front yard.

  • Kurt Kelsey of Minneapolis was inspired for his ice panes by the ice candles at the City of Lakes Loppet.

  • Kurt Kelsey of Minneapolis used plant material to create this luminaria.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close