If you have never witnessed the beauty of an ice sculpture, it is something to behold. Ice sculpture festivals and competitions are held in the winter in countries around the world, where you can go and see fantastic sparkling creations made from ice and lit with multi-colored lights.
There might not be an opportunity to see ice sculpture where you live, but believe it or not, it’s not that hard to make your own using some simple things you have around the house. This can be a great fun winter activity for the kids or just a means for you to bring out your inner artist.
The main things you need to make ice sculpture at home are containers of a variety of shapes and sizes. Baking pans work particularly well and if you want to go really big, try a kiddie pool, Rubbermaid storage containers, etc. The more shapes and sizes you have, the better. You will also need some food coloring or natural dyes like beet juice, a spray bottle with misting capability and of course access to lots of water, a nice flat area or table and the all-important cold temperatures.
Mix your coloring into the water and then fill your chosen containers with the colored water. Place them outside in sub-zero temperatures on a completely level surface to freeze. After you’re sure the ice has frozen through completely (the time for this will depend on how cold it is outside) it’s time remove your ice from the containers, which will by now have molded the colored water into a variety of frozen shapes that will be perfect for making your ice sculpture. Getting the ice out of the molds can be tricky, so if you’re having a hard time extracting your ice, try running a bit of hot water on the bottom of the pan. This should cause the ice to quickly come out of the mold, but be sure to bring it back outside into the cold right away to keep it from melting and losing shape.
If you’re not ready to make your ice sculpture right away, you’ll need to store the ice properly until it’s time to start building. A good way to do this is to put down a tarp in a shady place in your yard, place your ice on one side and fold the other side of the tarp over it. If the temperature gets above freezing, storage gets a big trickier. One way to combat this is to shovel a layer of snow on top of the tarp to help keep the ice cold.
When you’re ready to start the fun part – building your ice sculpture – it’s as simple as joining the various pieces you’ve made together using a light mist from your spray bottle on the ice surfaces you want to join. Hold them together for about 30 seconds and they should magically weld onto each other as the water freezes.
You could start out from the beginning with an end product in mind or just build whatever comes to mind as you work. Either way, the important part is to have fun and enjoy the colorful ice sculpture creations you’ve made.
Once you have seen the snow show and its countless ice sculptures ( http://www.isaattractions.com/IceKingdom/about.htm ) by ISA Attractions you may never look at a frozen block of water the same way again, regardless of the climate that you live in. To know how a snow fort is built, you may also visit Wikihow.
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