On Wednesday, I took you for a ride on the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Fairbanks. We were on our way to attend the 2016 World Ice Carving Championships.
We were lucky to arrive in Fairbanks to see the carvers at work and then see their finished works of art. They were impressive, to say the least.
NEXT POST: On Monday I will have Georgia on my mind again as I return to O’Keeffe’s home in New Mexico and finish up the series I started before Peggy and I took off across the country on Amtrak.
37 thoughts on “Ice Carving with the Best In the World: Fairbanks, Ak. 2016”
Some time ago, a relative invited us to Fairbanks in February or March with the chance to see the aurora borealis. It seemed to far to go on such a chancy venture. Perhaps the sure thing of an ice carving competition will make it more attractive.
It sure will if they are still doing the ice carving contest, Ray. Plus there is the possibility of the train ride! –Curt
My idea of heaven is having you go to these cold places, take lovely photos and post them 😀
Grin, Not that you guys don’t get some cold weather traveling around Europe delivering pets at this time of the year! But I am always glad to share our photos. Thanks. –Curt
Oh, we do but we don’t go looking for it!
Laughing. It comes looking for you!
It is utterly amazing how talented some people can be.
Couldn’t agree more, Greg.
Wow! These are stunning, Curt … such wonderful and intricate ice creations … and to think they will then disappear! I do like the last log cabin and best not to put the fire on! 😀
Laughing, Annika, a fire and that cabin would not have been happy together, although I could have used a little heat at the time. 🙂 And yes, it was very impressive art work, enhanced by the beauty of the ice, artfully lit. –Curt
These are quite wonderful, and I can see why the acrobat won. Just beautiful.
They really were impressive, Alison. It truly is an art form. And wasn’t she gorgeous? –Curt
Did you carve that cabin yourself Curt?
Wouldn’t that have been impressive! Grin. Nope. I dug an emergency snow shelter once and slept in it through a snow storm, though, Andrew, and was buried under three feet of fresh snow. Would that count? –Curt
Only if you decorated it with a snowman!
I made a snowball. It’s at least the beginning of a snowman!
Like the sand artists, their abilities are incredible. It’s so sad to know they are left to fade away. I wonder why it was cold in the cabin. You’d think it would be warm like an igloo.
They left the windows open, G. 🙂 Or like Burning Man art… –Curt
Yes, those as well.
Thanks for the wonderful memories.
Glad you enjoyed them, Peggy. I felt the same way about them. –Curt
Lived outside Fairbanks for 20 years and always enjoyed the Ice art championship… thanks for reminding me why!
Thanks, Pete, glad you enjoyed it. I lived in Alaska in the 80s and always enjoy getting back to the state. –Curt
Yes the were, Kelly. Quite beautiful. Part of their beauty comes from the crustal clear ice (rare) that is harvested from a nearby pond. –Curt
Much more intricate than the ones I’ve seen – they look like glass sculptures. appreciate you showed the works in progress and the finished night views.
Cool in so many ways
I couldn’t get enough of it. 🙂 Even as they were closing for the day, I had to make a final tour. My family pretty much had to drag me away. The artists were literally down to the wire as they finished their work for judging. Thanks! –Curt
It’s amazing what you can see in this world.
Thanks for sharing!
Like GP, I thought of the similarities between ice carving and sand castle building; it’s the transitory nature that compels, as well as the actual carving itself. On the other hand, we experience the same process every day. We eat the meals we prepare, we don’t stick them in a display case to admire!
I understand the carving part, but what fascinated me this time is the way they can develop and contrast cloudy and clear ice, or get texture into the ice itself. That’s just beyond me. As for the log cabin: it reminds me of a glass syrup container my grandmother had. I suppose it might have been a container for Log Cabin syrup at one time.
Yep, ice carving, sand sculpting, and burning man art, all transitory.
As for meals, I have to be careful. They tend to reincarnate themselves as fat. 🙂
Fairbanks has some of the clearest ice in the world. There is a pond near the park that they harvest it out of every year and is one of the primary reasons the contest is held there. –Curt
One small slip…
Those pieces are so intricate and delicate looking. They’re not just beautiful, the challenge of the medium gives more appreciation than a sculpture in wood, or even metal.
Now, add the pressure of having to have your sculpture ready for the judge. Some worked down to minutes before the judges arrived! –Curt
That they were! Thanks. –Curt
It’s almost unfathomable to me how they create these works of art out of ice. It’s not like they can dab a little more clay onto an area they’ve accidentally hacked off (I’m imagining myself with a chisel and a splintery hunk of ice!). Although it’s true of any sculpture, it seems even more awe-inspiring to think about the vision the sculptor must have in mind before setting tool to material when that material is ice.
Years and years of passion, training and artistic vision have to go into the process, Lexi. No doubt about it. I did note that they had a way of fusing the ice together. For example, they might add hands. They would wrap a red cloth around the area they were fusing.
I remember reading about Michelangelo years ago era ago that he could see his sculpture in a block of marble. –Curt