By Scott Schaefer
When it snows like it did last week, Walter Cunningham, a Burien resident, “turns back into a child” – a kid who has great skills at carving amazing creatures out of white matter, like this Snow Grinch who ‘he recently created:
Cunningham is a former press worker at a printing house, where he ran a 40-inch six-color offset press for 26 years. He lives in the Boulevard Park neighborhood of Burien and has always loved art – âI see art in almost everything around me,â he said.
But he really is still a child at heart.
âI can’t be in the snow without wanting to create something,â Cunningham told the B-Town blog. âI start to visualize something in my imagination, then I can look at a picture or an object, then try to combine what I imagine and the image / the object, and then start piling up snow. “
Cunningham says that once he has an idea he stacks the snow accordingly, and once he has what he thinks is the right stack combination he gets a carving tool (like a large knife bread) and start carving, and carving, then adding and carving, to get the basic shapes. Then he begins to detail.
After a few hours of detailing, he will then find food coloring and “whatever I imagined I could use for eyes or expression”. He used eggs for dinosaur eyes, eye beads, laces for different facial expressions or “whatever I can think of while I sculpt”.
Then pull out the food coloring in a spray bottle or bug spray, and he’s fun. #anxietyrelief is the hostage he uses for this.
If the creation remains frozen long enough, then Cunningham will polish it.
âOne of my favorite memories of snow carvings in the front yard was when we lived just up the street from an elementary school, and when the school came out, the school bus would go up the road and stop in front. our house and all the kids were crammed into one side of the bus, all trying to see the snow dinosaur, “he said.” Actually the bus looked like it was tilted to one side. Seeing the excitement on their faces was magnificent.
Here are some of his creations from previous years:
“The next time it snows in Burien, let your imagination run wild,” he advises all other children of all ages in Burien.