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  • Dean, Stephen
  • Dean, Stephen
  • United States
Dean, Stephen

Bio

Steve is the real deal, born and raised in Fairbanks. Most of his relatives are artists and carvers, a gift which he also inherited. As a child, his family made sculptures from wood, clay, old ivory, stone, and bronze as Christmas gifts. People liked the sculptures so they kept on carving. This led to Steve being a professional carver since high school. Since Ice Alaska started in 1989 Steve has carved at almost all the competitions. He has received second place in the single block category two times. Steve won a national competition to go to the ice carving event in the winter Olympics where he took third place. Steve believes that ice carving is the most difficult Olympic event there is because they are dealing with 300 pound blocks of ice and they work 56 hours non-stop.

Steve finds it a joy to work with ice because it is seven times faster than carving in wood thus he can see results much more quickly. Carving at night is most enjoyable because with light coming through the ice, it is like carving in glass.

One year Steve made a deal with a man who owned a Harley Davidson shop that if Steve sculpted an ice motorcycle outside of the shop, the man would give Steve a real motorcycle. The man died four months later but his son honored the deal. Trading an ice motorcycle for a real motorcycle seems that Steve got the best end of that deal. He still rides it today.

The piece that won Steve the trip to the Olympics is one for which he is especially proud. It was called “Going, Going, Gone,” and, as the title implies, is a baseball theme. The photo of it was ceremoniously presented to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York and now hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Fairbanks.

Steve is proud that he won in 1993 and 1994 when the competition wasn’t a world championship and then won in 2000 when it was a world championship. 

“A Small Moment,” a poem written by Steve, exemplifies his feelings about ice carving.

Derive from insight

Time stopped by skill

A small moment captured

Forever in motion

Forever still.

 

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