What techniques are used in ice sculpture

What is an ice sculpture?

Have you ever made something out of ice? The ice artists from the festival have already done that. You have already won many prizes and are now coming to show your skills in Zwolle. They are actually simple sculptors. But you don't use stone or marble, you use a lot of ice and snow.

What is ice cream anyway?

Ice is literally the solid state of water. This solid form only occurs when the water is frozen. But because the water freezes under different conditions, there are different types of ice. The temperature of the ice and the pressure exerted are decisive for determining the type of ice. The lower the air content in the ice, the more the color changes from white to blue or blue-green. That is why the color of fresh snow is white and glacial ice is often blue.

We use homemade ice to build our ice sculptures. The large blocks of ice are about 2 meters high, 1.20 meters wide and 50 centimeters deep. This ice cream has a very nice color and is crystal clear. The ice cream is made by our foreign partner.

The ice is made from rainwater. The rainwater is filtered to the maximum so that any pollution is removed from it. This osmosis water, or rather demineralized water, has been freed from all salts, minerals, iron and lime. This creates extremely transparent ice during the freezing process.

The electricity for the freezing process comes from solar collectors on the roof of the ice factory.

No diesel generator sets are used for the freezing process.

What is a snow sculpture?

Who hasn't thrown snowballs yet? This is the simplest form of a snow picture, also known as a snow sculpture. A little more knowledge and techniques are required to build a snowman. Here you work three-dimensionally and a bit of anatomy (body structure) also comes into play. But what snow figures are presented at the Ice Sculpture Festival are snow sculptures as an art form. The sometimes meter-high snow sculptures are built by a team of international snow artists who have extensive experience and technical qualities.

Snow is precipitation in the form of ice crystals, most of which are branched (think of the symbol for ice). There are many different types of snow crystals. In addition to natural snow, it is also possible to make snow yourself. Because we need such large amounts of snow and it is not snow-sure in winter, we use self-made snow. The snow is made from flake ice, which is ground very finely by a "snow crusher" so that powder snow is created. This is then blown into molds using a snow cannon (a so-called "snow blower"). In these molds, “snow steppers” will trample the snow. This is very difficult and precise work that takes a good 5 days and nights. It is stepped 24 hours a day. Ultimately, this creates very large blocks of snow ice. The sculptors will then finally work with it. In this way you can create snow sculptures up to 6 meters high.