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I is for Ice Sculpting (and Snow Sculpting)

Did you know there are two different types of (winter) sculpting?

Ice sculpting begins with an ice block, either cut from frozen bodies of water (lakes or ponds) or manufactured frozen blocks. Although clear ice is favored, some blocks are white and look like snow. Dyes added to the water create colored ice blocks. Tools used range from razor-sharp chisels to hand saws.

Did you know that Ice sculpting is taught in culinary arts schools? That’s right. They are often part of cold food presentations.

Snow sculptures are created from large blocks of snow. Heavy machinery is required to move the immense blocks or cylinders. Tools used range from large chisels to shovels and rakes. Steel edges must be kept sharp to be effective.

The U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition was held two weeks ago in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Being almost in my backyard, our family checked it out. The festivities drew visitors from across the country. Held in conjunction with the Winterfest, all in attendance enjoyed events ranging from a chili cook-off to helicopter rides and magic shows.

As a result of Delavan, Wisconsin’s Winterfest this past weekend, creative ice sculptures brightened street corners. An uncharacteristic bout of thunderstorms a few days later played havoc with the masterpieces. Cold winter temperatures can sustain sculptures for weeks. Thunderstorms, not so much.

It’s winter in Wisconsin!

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