Blair Athol snow sculptor prepares for Japanese championship

Talented: Anne Marie Taberdo with an ice sculpture she made in Germany in November.
Talented: Anne Marie Taberdo with an ice sculpture she made in Germany in November.

The mercury is pushing 40 in Sydney, but Anne Marie Taberdo is getting ready for a sub-zero adventure.

The Blair Athol resident is about to head to Japan for the 71st Sapporo Snow Festival as part of Australia's snow sculpting team.

Ms Taberdo, and her team members Scott Sheehan and Jasmine Corr, will create a native waratah out of a three-cubic metre block of snow.

The competition takes four days and involves teams from nine countries.

Ms Taberdo said people may be surprised by the competing countries.

"We don't know yet which other countries are competing in this competition, but we're nearly always up against a team from Hawaii," she said.

"Thailand is another team that's always around.

"You don't tend to think about ice and snow sculpting from these tropical countries.

"Even me - I live in Australia and my parents are from the Philippines, all warm places."

Jasmine Corr, Scott Sheehan and Anne Marie Taberdo

Jasmine Corr, Scott Sheehan and Anne Marie Taberdo

Ms Taberdo said her work took her all over the globe.

"As an ice sculptor I basically chase the winter," she said.

"But that's okay, because I prefer the cold weather."

Ms Taberdo sculpts with snow, ice and sand.

She first got into ice-sculpting when she saw an exhibition in Belgium while on holiday with her brother in 2012.

"He asked me, 'do you think you could do that'," the 33-year-old said.

"I am a sculptor, I trained at the National Art School in Sydney, but I didn't think I could do it with ice.

"I was living in London at the time and started getting into ice sculpting - it just took off from there."

Ms Taberdo said ice sculpting usually required a chainsaw, but the snow sculpting championship in Sapporo was different.

"This competition has no power tools, so it's all hand tools which is closer to the traditional Japanese way of doing things," she said.

"It will actually be nice to put the tools down for a while."

Ms Taberdo's German sculpture creation

Ms Taberdo's German sculpture creation

Ms Taberdo said she was so proud to represent her country on the world stage.

"It has been a long-standing goal of mine as a professional ice, snow and sand carver to be invited to carve in Japan at this historic festival," she said.

"I'm so happy I get to carve for Australia and for Campbelltown."

The Sapporo Snow Festival is the largest winter event in Japan, attracting more than two million attendees from all over the world each year.

When Ms Taberdo returns home from Japan she'll soon head to the Gold Coast for a sand-carving competition.

She is hoping Macarthur residents will get behind her and the Australian team in Sapporo.

The competition kicks off on February 4 and lasts four days.