Happy New Year! I hope all of you have had a great winter break with plenty of outdoor time to balance (if you are anything like me) all that eating!  Are you feeling fresh and renewed? Did you make any resolutions? New Year’s Eve my sister, cousin, partner, and their partners all played productive and created Jennifer Lee’s Exploding Box project to review 2013 and visualize ideas for 2014. It was really fun and doesn’t leave you hung over!

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I am back up in the mountains for the next month hiding out in the snow, snowboarding, writing, and getting some old fashioned mountain woods inspiration. I think all my snowboarding over the past 2 weeks has gotten me really excited about the artist Simon Beck. Beck’s work reminds me of  frosty Tibetan monk sand paintings and (alien created?) crop circles.

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Beck calls his work snow drawings. He uses special shoes to walk for miles in the snow to create his intricate geometric mandala reminiscent designs. To create the geometry, he uses a compass and measuring tape to lay out the design and then uses a clothes line and central anchor to create the curves and circles. He says each design takes about 8-10 hours.

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A native of England, he creates these ephemeral snow designs often on frozen lakes after a fresh snowfall near the French ski resort Les Arcs.

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Here in the southeast, we don’t often get a lake frozen solid enough to walk on, these days anyway, but I would really like to get out and create some simple versions myself.

I think this would be an amazing way to teach geometry to students in snowy regions, while justifying spending lots of time outdoors with students in the snow!

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How did you enjoy nature over the break? Share your ideas for celebrating winter nature in the comments!

Seeds to Sprout:

Check out Simon Beck’s Facebook page. This is where he documents all his newest work.

Check out this You Tube slide show of Beck’s work

Huffington Post article on Beck’s work

Colossal blog post on beck

Learn how to make your own exploding box from this fun video with Jennifer Lee!

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Here are some of our exploding boxes! Look how fun! 

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