Stuart, an animated character from the movie “Despicable Me” stands 9 feet tall at Ross Swain’s home on East Andover Road in Andover. Swain began making winter sculptures in 2010 for the enjoyment of others and has continued for 13 years. Submitted photo

ANDOVER — Ross Swain has created his 13th annual ice sculpture, Stuart, the animated character from the movies “Despicable Me” and Minions,” from 79 blocks of ice formed in 20 five-gallon buckets of colored water at a time.

Ross Swain and his wife, Christine, sit in front of his 13th ice sculpture, the minion character Stuart, outside their home on East Andover Road in Andover. The body is made of 79 five-gallon buckets of colored water and the arms are blue tubes of potato chip cans. Submitted photo

Stuart stands 9 feet tall outside Swain’s home on East Andover Road. His body is yellow, his overalls are blue and sprouting from his head are twigs for hair. There’s a colored headband holding a goggle over one eye in the center of his head. Over his head is a windsock representing his minion buddy, Dave.

Blue tubes of potato chip cans linked together form the arms and black mittens for the hands. A string of lights stretch across the body, which Swan estimates is about 5 or 6 feet wide.

Swain started the sculpture in mid-December but the mild weather slowed the process, sometimes taking a week for the water to freeze. He finished it early this month.

His first sculpture was a Snow Bear in 2010. His most elaborate was a steam engine titled LOCO-motive in 2015. It had a steam whistle that would puff smoke at certain times and sat on some old wheels. In 2011 he made a large snow goose and in 2012 he created a hobby horse.

Swain said it’s “fun to do something like this that neighbors can enjoy.”


He makes it a guessing game for them and friends on his Facebook page.

“Early on in my guessing game on Facebook, I put up the windsock before anything was built and I joked that the answer would be blowin’ in the wind,” Swain said. He also throws in some unrelated “red herrings” to throw off veteran guessers.

“Over the years of these projects people have come to expect that I’m gonna lead them down a few ‘garden paths’ that go in the wrong direction,” he said.

This year, Swain’s wife, Christine, guessed Stuart before he finished the piece. She doesn’t work on the sculptures, but she does offer him moral support and enjoys participating in the guessing game with the rest of the community.

Christine Swain sits on the snow goose sculpture made by her husband, Ross, in 2011 outside their home in Andover. He began the annual tradition in 2010 and this year he created his 13th sculpture, a 9-foot tall likeness of Stuart, the minion character from the movies “Despicable Me” and “Minions.” Submitted photo

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