Tag Archives: ice carving

Night Divine at the 2015 World Ice Art Competition

As you walk through the fairyland of ice art sculptures at the World Ice Art Competition, it feels like you may be in the trophy room of the White Witch From C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe”. Perfectly carved features of animals and humans etched in ice blocks provide never ending visual splendor.

The show provides insight into cultural preferences and beliefs, as well as “what the artists finds interesting”. High diversity is not surprising considering 100 artists are competing from over 30 countries. Serpents, meditation, the superbowl, super heroes, mermaids, and sea life were just a fraction of the pieces and viewpoints presented by artists competing in abstract and realistic categories of the single-block and multi-block competitions. In many cases, the carvers are from regions not associated with ice; it would be interesting to talk to Brazilian or Middle-eastern carver to understand how they got started!

Single Block

Single block carvers are given a one 8x5x3′ block of ice and 60 hours. From the point the time starts, carvers work around the clock to finish their work in teams as large as four. The single block style demands that ice be used wisely. Economically it is in high demand with a limited supply! Artists often create sculptures over 10 feet  from the 8 foot block. It requires precise cutting of the ice which is then welded together. As the sculptures grow out and up, many of them seem to balance on their pedestals precariously, and with impossible precision. Some of the most impressive sculptures extend 4 feet in any direct around the base. If the sculpture were to tip the fragile fingers of lizards, noses of swordfish, and tails of tigers would be sheered off. However, these artists know that with high risk comes high reward. Taking first place in a competition such as this a source of pride and accomplishment when competing against some of the best in the world!

The diversity of carving techniques and attention to detail makes this competition special. A basilisk lizard feature below had skin which was textured using a method to make it bulge and pop three dimensionally. A purple lion fish had huge fin rays a mere inch thick etched with textures so real that if the fish had swam away you would not have been surprised, but would have simply stepped aside to let it pass.

The images below capture only some of single block competition sculptures. The event space allows 40 entrants to the competition. One of the hardest things to capture is the size of these sculptures. Keep in mind that most are 6 feet tall minimum, and may extend to 10 feet!


Multi-block carvers are given ten 6x4x3′ blocks and 132 carving hours. The final creations glued together from multiple pieces of ice may tower 20 feet tall! A caveat of the competition is no equipment may be used to move the ice pieces, but you are allowed help from other teams. Sounds a bit like assembling the pyramids!

It is impossible to capture in an image the scale of these projects horizontally and vertically.  For instance the purple dragon featured below its dimensions are about 12’tall x 12′ long x 4′ wide. An absolutely stunning piece! The scence of the ship being taken down by the Kracken extends nearly 25 feet!

The experience of the World Ice Art competition is well worth the price of admission. By the time you have walked through all of the sites, your imagination will be popping neurons as you consider the creativity of the artists, and ponder the technical execution of these incredible pieces!

The WORLD Ice Carving Competition

I just got back of 2 hours of jaw-dropped-mouth-breathing. The world ice carving competition is being held in Fairbanks. This is its 25 year and brings a wide swath of international artists. The competition offers categories for professional and novice carvers in a variety of categories including “abstract”, “realistic”, and more. They are also categorized by block size including single block and multi-block. Ice is harvested from the lake adjacent to “Ice Park” and is renowned for its clarity. It looks like glass!! There are no air bubbles in it.

The visions of the artists are truly incredible and I can probably say that I have NEVER enjoyed art as much I did tonight. I hope you enjoy! Lots of pictures, and not much writing for this one :).

For information you can check here : http://www.icealaska.com/en/



These single block sculptures are carved from a large block of ice. The carvers can dice up the block however they want, but they only get one! The blocks are not small, and result in sculptures that average 7 feet or so. However, they were some over 10 feet!

Single Block size - uncut!
Single Block size – uncut!

Here’s a gallery of many of the single-block entries. In this case the pictures do not do them justice, truly incredible! (The images here are in a gallery, so clicking any of them will enlarge them and allow you to easily go through each of them. )


The multi-block sculptures were HUGE. Some of them were 12 feet tall or more and some were 12 feet around or more. These were all roped off, so perspective was a bit hard, but they are a sight to behold!!

There is more carving categories this week and the location is open through the end of March, so you may see more Ice Carving pictures in the future!