An elephant ice sculpture would be very Cool…
It is time to start thinking about ways to out-due last years white elephant gift exchange party. How about commissioning a white elephant ice sculpture? The following are some cold hard facts on ice sculptures.
When you think of ice sculptures you usually think of parties or weddings but never a monstrosity like this one. In the city of Harbin in China there is a sculpture that has been carved into snow measuring a jaw dropping 115ft high and 656ft long. This is after being constructed in one of the coldest places, with temperature reaching an all-time low of -35C. However, global warming seems to be playing a big part in the artwork having to have a lot of repairs due to the ice melting in the midday heat.
Ice sculptures are used in a lot of top end bars for design, as a drink is always best when it’s served cold – no wonder the Ice Bar in London is doing so well but you will be pleased to know that a thermal coat is provided on your way in as well as special gloves.
These are the steps to making ice sculptures. It may explain why they can be quite costly but so amazing to look at.
1. A 300lb carving block is made in studio with a special pump that will ensure the block is crystal clear, by making sure there are no impurities in the water. The process takes four days, and at this point items can be frozen into the block as the block freezes from the bottom up.
2. On the fourth day the excess water is drained away and the block is removed, ready to go to the freezer.
3. Before any carving can begin, the block must be tempered from a few hours.
4. Two small grooves will be carved into the ice to ensure it is easier to lift when being taken to the site.
5. An ice pick is used to carve out the design.
6. Once the creator is happy with the design the chain saw will be used to remove all excess ice.
7. For any intricate part, i.e. the centre of a letter or shape, a chisel will be used.
8. A V bit is used to create details like ridges or patterns, which will later be illuminated by lighting. Also used is a straight tip grinder to add detail; this will all be brushed down wet to make sure the sculpture is crystal clear.
9. The sculpture will be wrapped and placed in store until it is delivered.
10. The sculpture is taken to site and positioned properly with a grid below to catch any excess water that falls and lighting can be added to really make it stand out.
Paul Alkrinton is an art critic who is writing here on behalf of www.glacialart.com.
Image from the 2007 Quebec City Winter Carnival