Coolest dad ever: Ice sculptor builds Hogwarts in front yard for his kids
Graham Slaughter, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:34PM EST
If you’re a wizard or witch looking to cast a freezing spell, you simply hold your wand in the air, swish and flick, and clearly pronounce the charm “glacius!”
Fortunately for ice sculptor Kelly Davies, magic wasn’t necessary to transform his front yard into an ice-sculpted iteration of Hogwarts, the school of witchcraft and wizardry from the Harry Potter series. All he needed was Edmonton weather.
“It snowed, quite honestly,” Davies told CTVNews.ca in an interview on Wednesday.
The snow and ice sculptures in his Edmonton front yard include Professor Dumbledore’s throne, a couch with the Hogwarts crest, several owls and a snowy wall of charmed portraits that, in the books, are known to talk and move about the castle.
Davies got the idea after his eldest daughter Anna, 8, devoured J.K. Rowling’s 4,224-page series in a mere two-and-a-half weeks last summer. Anna eventually got her sister, 5-year-old Julia, hooked on the movies.
“They’re both little Gryffindors,” Davies said.
Davies, a trained carver who works in both ice and wood, has competed in carving competitions ever since he picked up the chainsaw in 1999. For fun, he takes time each winter to carve pieces for his front yard. Last year, he built a massive ice slide with an eight-foot-tall snow dragon.
This year’s Hogwarts exhibit is his biggest yet. It extends onto the front yard of Davies’ next-door neighbour, who helped shovel snow for the display.
Davies plans to keep adding to his magical masterpiece. His to-do list includes creating a 2.5-metre-tall recreation of Rubeus Hagrid, Hogwarts’ half-human, half-giant gamekeeper, and a lectern from the Great Hall.
Davies’ passion for ice sculpting is, for the moment, a side project. For work, he runs an animation and design studio, but says that he plans to keep carving well into his retirement.
Weather permitting, Davies hopes the sculptures can last well into March.
But he admits that, had it not been for his daughters, he might have built a completely different magical world.
“If it wasn’t for my kids, it probably would’ve been Game of Thrones,” he said, adding that he’s been “binge-watching” the show.