If you have ever been to an event like a fancy wedding, fundraiser or even retirement or birthday party in Manhattan, you may have seen an ice sculpture. These temporary works of art are carved, like stone, from a single block of ice. Typically you will find that when someone buys an Manhattan ice block for carving, it is 300 lbs, which is certainly a large piece of ice! People are quite fascinated with each ice block in Manhattan they see and think that carving them is fairly new. However, ice has been sculpted for thousands of years in Japan and China, as well as throughout the world.
Tools for Ice Sculpting
Those who sculpt large ice blocks use a variety of tools in order to create their art. In Japan, where ice block sculpting is highly regarded, they use special chisels that are made specifically for ice sculpting. Here in the US, though similar tools are used, there are other tools used as well. Torches, heat guns, chain saws, grinders and more are all used by artists who are sculpting these large blocks of ice.
Sculpting a Temporary Piece of Art
If you have ever seen someone do an ice sculpture, you may think it looks fairly easy. However, it is actually quite difficult. You need to take a bit of art and mix it with science in order to effectively sculpt an ice block. For instance, you will need to understand that your ice sculpture is going to melt. Because of this, most sculptors will work in very cold conditions and try to keep their ice from melting for as long as possible. They also know, from the start, that their art will not last forever. As with any type of ice, this sculpture will eventually melt. When displayed, typically dry ice, or another type of refrigeration is used in order to ensure the ice lasts as long as possible.
These days, ice sculpting is becoming more popular worldwide than ever before. There are now worldwide contests for ice sculpting that are held each year.
If you are interested in learning more about sculpting, or if you want a block of ice to get started with, contact a local Manhattan ice manufacturer to order a block made specifically for sculpting.
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