Although these sculptures are now well on their way to melting, I would like to share a few of my favorite ice carvings seen this March in Fairbanks, Alaska at the 2017 International Ice Sculpture competition. There are a number of categories in which people may compete. There is single block competition, multi- block, children’s, and amateur divisions.
The image here is a close up of the cage and key part of a phoenix sculpture. I am so amazed by how even they are able to do the widths and curves. Just blows me away.
The bee here is also part of the single block competition as was the image above. This sculptor did such a great job with proportion and texture, which was definitely not true of all the sculptures I saw.
I think this is supposed to be Trump, looking up at Lady Liberty. My friend thought perhaps he was supposed to be pondering immigration… (A multi block piece)
The multi block teams only have three days to complete their sculptures, and this year it was in the -40s F while they worked. That’s what I call dedication to your art form. This piece below is a close up from another multi block piece, you will see a soaring bird in a later pic that was also from this sculpture. I am amazed at some of the concepts that are designed for the contest, not all achieve their desired results, but this fetus in the womb was very well illustrated.
One of the last pieces we saw, but one of my absolute favorites was this hummingbird that was being worked on by the man in this picture. I could hardly believe it when I saw that he was carving this for the amateur competition. Personally, I think it was one of the most beautiful and elegant pieces of the entire park.
The picture below is just focusing on how the nature around was transformed through the lens of ice. This carved sphere inverted the woods around it, and was strikingly effective in it’s use of simplicity.
One of the single block sculptures is shown in the detail below, the entire dragon was done, but I cropped the image down to show you more detail. The single block competitors I believe are limited to one to two sculptors.
This single block sculpture shows a bit of the international feeling of the event. There were multiple teams of Asian carvers, and some Russian and Scandinavian I noticed. It’s amazing that people travel half way around the world to be outside carving in arctic temperatures.
Another globe I really loved was this one below that looks like spikes were all joined together, somehow more clouded in their appearance and then having a clearer sphere around them. Not sure how it was done, but it turned out great. (just a small detail of a larger piece)
The bear head here gives you an idea how molten the ice can look when carved by an experienced carver. The union of great sun or lighting can really affect the pieces. It was surprising to feel the carved ice on some of the mazes and sculptures that were placed throughout the park for a more interactive experience. It didn’t feel wet at all, just very smooth, a unique touch experience, I really loved the feel of it. There are also a lot of ice slides built for kids to use, and little sculptures for them to climb… in addition to the official sculptures that are hands off. It would be a great place to go with small kids in the winter, tons of spaces to explore and have fun.
I can’t begin to image how this carver was able to create such a thin sheet of ice for the wings and texturize it without having it shatter into a million pieces. But there in lies the art of ice sculpting. This was also a single block piece.
This single block sculpture of what I think is a carnivorous plant I took mainly for my cousin’s son, who has a healthy obsession with these plants lately. Thought he might like to see this larger than life sculpture of something he loves. Hi Seth!
And last but not least, just a simple bird soaring in the sunshine. If you would like to attend this cool competition in the future or just learn more about it. Feel free to visit http://www.icealaska.com/www/en/