Bend man carves inspiring ice art

Work on display at WinterFest this weekend

Ice carver continues to inspire with his art

BEND, Ore. - The Bend WinterFest starts this Friday, an event that attracts more than 30,000 people. One of the more popular events: ice carving. And a Bend man will be there, carving away.

To get to Jason Waldron's creativity with ice, it starts with a piece of wood.

"It starts with a manzanita, usually kind of inspires based on the shape and form," Waldron said. "It's like kind of looking at a cloud, when you look up at the clouds and you see image and it's the same thing with wood."

Waldron is a professional sculptor -- he's been making art for the past 12 years.  

Waldron always wanted to be a professional artist, but it wasn't until he was living in the California woods and he noticed chainsaw carvings that he decided to follow his dream.

Five years ago, he moved to Bend to continue his artwork, where the landscape provided just the tools he needed.

"Central Oregon and the specific types of woods here," Waldron said of his materials. "The High Desert woods --, the manzanita, the juniper, the sage and the pines as well."

And with those pieces of wood, he's been able to assemble hundreds of pieces of art.

His inspiration?

"The foundation of everything I do, especially my art, is the expression of God," Waldron said.

Assembling wood and metal pieces is just one of his mediums. Waldron also carves wood and ice.

Waldron considers ice-carving a side-job, so he's participating in WinterFest just to be a part of the community.  

"Have the viewer be able to read the surfaces, in spite of the light passing through it," Waldron said. "So you tend to do bigger, broader surfaces -- and you've got to take into account that it melts."

Waldron uses 300-pound blocks of ice that are 10 inches thick. He's carved out bears, eagles -- even a horse.

And whether it's ice, metal or wood, Waldron hopes those who see his art find inspiration.

"They are moved, and in some way by the spirit, by God moving and working through me," Waldron said.

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