We took a trip to the arctic north to visit my sister and her family for the annual ice sculpting contest their little town holds. Sculptors from all over the United States participate, and we got to see them in action:
We enjoyed wandering around the art, warming up by the fire pits, and cheering my sister on in an impromptu 5k, which she rocked.
It was fascinating to see how the artists piece together their work. Instead of using a huge ice block, they use several smaller blocks and build them together before carving them into the final pieces. (We gasped when we saw an artist accidentally knock off the tail of his fish he was carving, but it didn't even phase him! He simply grabbed some ice dust and packed it on the wound. Then he heated it and glued the tail on the melted spot, just like that!) Also, it's intriguing to me, as an artist, to use a medium that by nature doesn't last. Most artists spend their entire lives creating a piece that will stand throughout the ages. A sculpture crumbled as I was standing in front of it, which was slightly jarring but surprisingly refreshing. Have you ever seen ice sculpting before? If so, what did you think about it?