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Hastings man wins ice carving competition again

Hastings resident Tom Schiller has done it again. This past weekend he and his teammates, Rob Graham of Minneapolis and Trevor Pearson of Eden Prairie, won the St. Paul Winter Carnival multi-block ice carving competition Saturday, Jan. 25.

Schiller’s team carved a sculpture titled “Fishing to Win,” which features an ice fishing scene complete with an ice house, fisherman, ice auger, fish and an underwater broken boat. Schiller said he got the idea because one of the guys he carves with is into ice fishing.

The three-man team was given 20 blocks of ice and 48 hours to complete the sculpture. They started work at noon last Thursday and finished by noon Saturday.

Schiller didn’t expect he and his team would even place this year, he said, and was surprised to find out they had won.

“There were so many great pieces in the park this year,” he said.

This is Schiller’s sixth time winning the St. Paul Winter Carnival multi-block competition. He’s been competing in the event since 1999, and competing in other carnival ice carving events since around 1993 or 1994, he said.

Another Hastings resident, Greg Schmotzer, also competed. Schmotzer’s team placed third in the multi-block competition with the sculpture “Chasing the Dream.” In the single block competition, Schmotzer placed second and Schiller placed third.