Many pool owners view their luxury inground pool liners as summer works of art. Today’s liners boast elegant designs, patterns, and special effects. Ice sculptures are also works of art. These forms of sculptures use ice as the raw material, and are typically associated with special events such as weddings and parties since they have a limited lifespan. Ice sculptures that last longer can be found at ice festivals where ice sculptors compete. Did you ever wonder how these breathtaking ice sculptures are made? Read on for some interesting facts about these artistic creations.
Generally, ice sculptures are carved from blocks of ice that are free of undesired impurities and made from clean, pure water. Some sculptures are made from colored ice blocks that are produced by adding dyes to the ice. Ice blocks can be produced naturally from frozen rivers, ice quarries, ponds and lakes that have frozen over. They can also be produced artificially with machines. Heavy machinery is needed to move larger ice blocks.
The ice sculptor must carefully consider the temperature of the environment he or she is working in. If it is warm, the sculptor must work quickly to finish the piece. This isn’t too difficult of a task if the sculptor uses power tools such as a chainsaw or a die grinder. Some sculptors use chisels, heat guns, nail boards, and hand saws that have been specifically designed to cut ice. Ice carving has evolved to where many sculptors use computer numerical control (CNC) machines and molding systems to create their sculptures, adding colored sands or gels to the ice for special effects. Applying heat from a propane or Mapp gas cylinder after carving will turn the ice clear, altering the opaque effect attained while carving. After the outside is melted, the ice turns clear.
Sculptures may come from a single block of ice or be crafted from several blocks of ice melted together. No matter their sizes, ice sculptures will be heavy.
The art of ice sculpting is generally taught in culinary schools or specialty classes that are dedicated to ice carving. Ice sculptures are often used to enhance the presentation of foods, particularly cold foods such as sorbets or seafood. Hotels and restaurants will use ice sculptures as holiday party decorations on the buffet tables. Cruise ships are also known to use ice sculptures on their buffet tables. Weddings feature ice sculptures as a type of decoration. Doves, swans, and hearts are popular choices as symbols of love, joy, and monogamy. At corporate events, companies will often highlight their success by showcasing a sculpture emblazoned with their logo.
Ice sculptors are artists in every sense of the word. They have creative vision combined with technical expertise using a nontraditional medium that has different properties depending on environmental conditions. As for the pieces they produce, the possibilities are endless and breathtaking!