Mickeal Bradshaw is still thrilled that his penguin finished second in voting at the Grande North Winter Festival ice carving competition as voted by the community. However, the former oil and gas worker says he’s still learning the ropes when it comes to his carving capabilities.
“A month or so ago I had no idea what goes into carving an ice sculpture. A really good friend of my family called and he asked if I was interested in doing some ice carving for the Grande North Winter Festival so I decided to give it a shot,” he says.
Bradshaw says he is used to using tools such as a chisel and chainsaw, but he admits it took quite a bit of trial and error before he was ready to carve his own sculpture.
“At first it was a little intimidating and overwhelming so we got started on some projects to practice, including the ice slide and we worked on some other carvings together. From there, I felt comfortable enough to start my own project and I decided to carve a penguin as my sculpture,” he says.
Bradshaw’s sculpture placed second in the community vote with 130 votes, behind the Owl, which was voted the most popular in the competition with 143 votes. He says that art has always been a big part of his life.
“I worked in the oil and gas industry as a welder and fitter for about 26 years, but I always had woodworking as a hobby of mine. I got to the point where working in that field was not sustainable and I missed being away from my family, so I decided to try and make a career out of woodworking,” he says.
He then founded McBradshaw Woodworks three years ago, his own company which he runs from home. Bradshaw says that passion for woodworking runs in his family.
“My grandfather was a master carpenter and I’ve been a tradesman for most of my life. Basically, I changed my approach from steel to wood,” he says.
Most of his projects involve making custom furniture, including cabinets, mantles, dining sets, bedroom sets, and more. He is always grateful to the community for supporting his work. For more information, visit the McBradshaw Woodworks Facebook page.