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'Quilts in the Snow Photographs' - The Art of Simon Beck

Outline
Widely circulated email features a series of attached photographs depicting huge and intricate "quilt" patterns made in snow by artist Simon Beck.



Brief Analysis
The photographs are genuine and the claims in the email message are true. Simon Beck has created many such snow patterns mostly around the ski resort of Les Arcs, France.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: 11th May 2012
First published: 11th May 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Quilts in the snow - These are Beautiful!

Amazing! Talk about a positive attitude.


Man Walks All Day to Create Spectacular Snow Patterns

Artist Simon Beck must really love the cold weather! Along the frozen lakes of Savoie, France, he spends days plodding through the snow in raquettes (snowshoes), creating these sensational patterns of snow art. Working for 5-9 hours a day, each final piece is typically the size of three soccer fields! The geometric forms range in mathematical patterns and shapes that create stunning, sometimes 3D, designs when viewed from higher levels.

Simon Beck Snow Patterns 1

Simon Beck Snow Patterns 2

For the complete text and the full series of images contained in the email forward, see the original blog post on My Modern Met.




Detailed Analysis
This message, which features a series of images depicting huge crop-circle style images made into fields of snow, circulates via email and has also been posted to many blogs and forums. According to the message, artist Simon Beck creates the intricate patterns by plodding through the snow for hours at a time with raquettes (snowshoes).

The images are genuine and the claims in the message are true. The snow art of Simon Beck is well documented and there are many more images depicting his work available. The full series of photographs that come with the message can be viewed on a 23 February 2012 post on My Modern Met. And more information and photographs can be seen on Simon Beck's Facebook Page, where he notes:
Most of this activity takes place in the ski resort of Les Arcs, where I own an apartment and spend most of the winter.

On average they take about 10 hours to really do it properly, some are a little unfinished, if my feet get cold or hurt too much.

The setting out is done using handheld orienteering compass and distance determination using pace counting or measuring tape. Curves are either judged or arcs of circle using a clothes line attached to an anchor at the centre

Designs are chosen from the world of geometry or "crop circles". Some are named eg Mandelbrot set, Koch curve, Sierpinski triangle are 3 of my favorites.
An April 21st 2012 article in Grand Junction's Daily Sentinel further explains:
Quilts usually are made by hand, or at least with a sewing machine, but an Englishman named Simon Beck creates his by foot.

Not by manipulating a needle and thread with his toes, but with one snowshoe step at a time.

This hardy fellow, who is an orienteering expert, stomps massive and astonishing geometric patterns in the snow of the French Alps.
Unlike more traditional art forms, Simon's work is temporary, with pieces generally disappearing in the next heavy snowfall.

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References
Man Walks All Day to Create Spectacular Snow Patterns
Alpine Crop Circles? The Snow Art of Simon Beck [PHOTOS]
Simon Beck's Snow Art
Artist’s feet follow icy trek to warm a quilter’s heart

Last updated: 11th May 2012
First published: 11th May 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer