Aveton Gifford-based snow carver Pippa Unwin has been telling us her story following her return from the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships in the US.

Pippa said: “A few years ago, another stone mason invited me to join him to take part in a Snow Festival in Chicago. “We didn’t do very well, but it was fun, so I formed a team with two stone carver friends and we went to France and Italy and improved our skills.

“In 2019 we applied to Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships (simply because my husband wanted to come too and they took teams of four).

“We had a great time and were astonished to come third with our Ballerina Hippos.

“Most of the teams are from snowy places and are sponsored and compete in several competitions each year, so we are really amateur in comparison.

“Many of the teams use professionally made tools from China, but most of ours are adapted garden implements.

“We went back the following year and took Silver with our dog sculpture Nice to Meet You.

“After a break due to Covid, we returned this year with See you later Alligator, In a while Crocodile.

“Sadly we didn’t win anything this year, but it was wonderful to take part and meet up with friends from all over the world. I

“led the team as usual and was joined by Patrick Barker, a figurative sculptor from near Bristol, who has been in the team from the start; Maya Czajkovski, a brilliant letter cutter from Hampshire; and Jack Carter, who I apprenticed with as a stonemason in Salisbury, but who now makes beautiful classical sculpture in California.

“I was also one of the ’Snow Angels’ in the Channel 4 Christmas Show, The Greatest Snowman, helping celebrities to create sculptures and castles out of snow.”