Ice Sculptures Are Cool Art Form


Country MoonIce1

Ice sculpture is a pretty cool art form, literally. It is becoming more popular as decorations for weddings, retirement parties and the like. It may be, however, the genre of art that offers the least satisfaction. I can’t imagine creating a masterpiece, only to watch it melt, sometimes in a matter of hours.

All ice sculpture uses ice, of course, as its raw material. The “up” side of this is that it is relatively cheap and the “down” side is that its lifetime is determined by the temperature of the environment where it is sculpted. One can last for minutes or months.

The characteristics of ice will change according to the temperature around it. Think of a snowflake and how it changes during its life. It will fall as snow, may melt into water or may freeze into ice, all by just the slightest change in temperature.

It is best to start with commercial blocks of ice that are frozen from pure, clean water with little to no impurities. These qualities help to make the ice as clear as possible, although transparency is directly related to the freezing process.

Ice that appears cloudy is a result of finely trapped air molecules that tend to bind to impurities while naturally freezing. Mechanically clear ice is usually made as a result of controlling the freezing process by the circulation of water in the freezing chamber. This process will eliminate any trapped air from binding to the impurities during freezing. Certain machines and processes allow slow freezing that produce clear blocks of ice by removing impurities.

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