Dentist carves impromptu 'art installation'

Allison Arthur aarthur@ptleader.com
Posted 1/24/17

David Chuljian was skating on Stranger Lake on Jan. 14 when he thought of doing something unusual.

On the ice for only 15 minutes, he said it occurred to him, “Why not do an art …

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Dentist carves impromptu 'art installation'

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David Chuljian was skating on Stranger Lake on Jan. 14 when he thought of doing something unusual.

On the ice for only 15 minutes, he said it occurred to him, “Why not do an art installation?”

Chuljian started skating north and south and then east and west trying to create straight lines on the private pond near Hastings Avenue and Jacob Miller Road, hoping to create what might be a pretty picture from the sky.

“From the ground, they're noticeably crooked, but from the air, it has a sort of crop circle look,” the Port Townsend dentist said, apologizing that the photo above was taken with an iPhone through an airplane window by his girlfriend, Susan Disman.

“We didn't dare hold it out the window for fear of dropping it,” Chuljian said, admitting that he had broken his own phone while skating. The two were on their way to Seattle in Chuljian's Cessna 182 when they flew over the “art installation” and Disman took the photo with her iPhone.

It was fortuitous that he was up in the air the day after because within 24 hours, he said proof of his fancy footwork had disappeared as the ice had melted.

SKATING EXPERIENCE

Before moving to Port Townsend, Chuljian said he played pickup hockey several times a week in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In Jefferson County, he said he's been lucky to be able to skate every two years.

Local skaters have made use of a pond on the Port Townsend Golf Club grounds as well as one at Tibbals Lake, he said. Both of those venues are no longer open to the public, he noted.

Stranger Lake, as Chuljian said the pond is best known by, is on property owned by David Miller, a friend of Chuljian's. The lake is off Hastings Avenue and Jacob Miller Road.

Chuljian said other skating enthusiasts were keeping to the edges of the pond and not venturing out into the middle of the pond, as he did, that day.

“This pond hasn't been frozen hard enough to skate on for many years,” Chuljian said. “No major ponds froze hard enough last year that I know of.”

But this year, Chuljian said there were two freezes and so more opportunities to skate. In addition to skating on Jan. 14, he also skated on other ponds on Jan. 5 and Jan. 7.

“This is only the second time I've skated on this pond in the last 20 years.”

The pond is curved and so one side froze up and then partially thawed and the ice cracked when it thawed, creating a slight discrepancy between two sections of the pond, he said. “Sort of like arctic floe do on a very small scale,” he said.

Chuljian noted that access to what he calls Stranger Pond is by permission of the owner only.

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