Wonderful ice sculptures
It’s very difficult to make an ice sculpture. First of all, ice must be carefully selected. You need clear, transparent ice. Sometimes snow blocks are carved. By the way, dyes can be added and you’ll have colored ice blocks.
However, lifetime of a sculpture is very short and depends on the temperature of its environment.
To tell the truth, there are many annual ice sculpture competitions in the United States, China, Japan, Canada, Finland, Russia etc. One of the most prestigious international competitions takes place in Fairbanks, Alaska. The 1934 celebration was called the Fairbanks Winter Carnival. By 1938 the now four-day celebration was officially called the Ice Carnival and Dog Derby. Dog races were a major feature of the celebration and the Ice Carnival was the other. Something of seemingly insignificant importance was happening as the Carnival grew. The purpose of the early sculptures was to stage the crowning of the Carnival Queen and King. The sculpted thrones were a place to meet and celebrate.
The first throne in 1934 was built to be functional, this simple but significant structure was created by one of Fairbanks’ earliest recorded ice sculptors, Piestro Vigna. He went on year after year building increasingly more complex and detailed structures. Another well known artist, Ted Lambert built a beautiful ice cabin for the 1934 celebration. It was a realistic looking 12-foot square “bush style” cabin made of ice. There was even a food cache Aiming Eyes by Junichi Nakamura a (Japan) and Peter Slavin (USA) put up nearby. When it was illuminated by powerful carbon vapour lights the locals referred to it as an Ice Palace. Ted Lambert also built a striking Ice Castle for the 1938 Ice Carnival and designed a commemorative stamp in celebration of the event. These early ice sculpting pioneers set the stage for the future and today’s sculptors are carrying on this tradition with enthusiasm.
Residents of Russia and other northern countries enjoy ice sculptures that decorate the squares of cities during the winter holidays. This is a real fairy tale in reality! Amazingly beautiful magic castles, figures of animals and fairy-tale heroes shimmer with all the colors of the rainbow in the rays of multi-colored illumination.
The first use of ice is mentioned in ancient Chinese books. It is mentioned that already 600 years before the new era, people of China were building ice house to store caught fish.
And in the 17th century, the same Chinese learned how to make ice lanterns, making a hole in a specially frozen block of ice to place a burning candle inside.
In Russia, the first architectural structure made of ice is considered to be the Ice Palace, built at the behest of Anna Ivanovna in 1740. Then the tradition of creating buildings and sculptures from ice almost disappeared and began to revive only in the second half of the 20th century.