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    An Alternative Use for Snowshoes: Simon Beck’s “Crop Circle” Snow Art

    British artist Simon Beck doesn’t refer to his art as “snow quilts” or “crop circles in the snow,” but those are the best terms his admirers can think of to describe what he does. Beck, 54, walks for approximately 10 hours in raquettes (snowshoes) creating a patterned piece of art, mostly at the Les Arcs ski resort in France where he spends his winters.

    The tessellation above is one of Beck’s most iconic snowflakes. It’s his second interpretation of a 3D Koch Snowflake which Beck created at the end of 2011. Image courtesy of the artist.

    He describes how he makes the visually stunning and intricate patterns on his Facebook page:

    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.

    His most recent snow drawing, made on December 19 and pictured below, was a tribute to the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.

    Although you wouldn’t believe it based on his works, Beck does not have any prior experience in arts or crafts. He studied engineering science at the University of Oxford, but now is a self-employed map maker. He did entertain himself by drawing geometric designs as a child, however, oftentimes using a spirograph.

    Space Invaders fans will appreciate this next piece, made in November of 2012. Find more of his work on Beck’s Facebook page.

    Images courtesy Simon Beck

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