Ice Sculpture That’s Mesmerizing from Start to Finish | Mashable Docs


You know, I think there’s a personal level
where working with a material that’s ephemeral really allows us to focus on the process. For every artist, we’re also focusing on just letting it go, moving on, to learn something
from that process. In a way that kind of puts us in a really
liberating attitude. From the beginning…
I mean it all starts with the design. Once that’s establishing we, you know, divide
the designs into a series of blocks of ice. To cut them down,
we use band saws, oftentimes we use what we call a “screw board”
to get the flat surfaces preparing for stack. No matter what we do, no matter how small,
no matter how big, you know we always start out with the electric chainsaw. Once the rough cut is done with the chainsaw, we go in with hand chisels and hand saws. Mixing with die grinders, to get the details and textures that we want to achieve. Once it’s out, the clock is ticking. Everybody kind of has to be in kind of a, in sync.
And everybody’s thinking two, three steps ahead. You know, ice is a really tough material. It’s big, it’s wet, it’s heavy, slippery,
dangerous… You can’t do it alone, and it takes a very
collaborative process, with a group of artists working together here. I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, not that all Alaskans play with ice, but I did. My father was trained as a sushi chef during the 80s, and that’s when he came across ice
carving as a craft. My background’s more in kind of 2D work, I
make paintings. And when I was finishing up schooling, my father kind of became a free
agent, sold his business, sold his home. I mean it was really hard starting out – we
had no connections in the city, and you know, starting anything in New York takes time and
takes commitment and sacrifice. The biggest joy is that I get to work with
a group of great artists of all different backgrounds. The only rule that I think limits us is the law of gravity really. The rest is just pushing the envelope of our skill and logistics. I mean, the sculpture really takes on its life outside the studio. It has a very performative
aspect to to it. It’s the melting, and it’s the transformation and the disappearance. It really makes the space that it exists in special.

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