Ice Carving with the Best In the World: Fairbanks, Ak. 2016

The tools of the trade. Each competitor at the BP 2016 World Ice Carving Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska carried a wide variety of tools ranging from chisels to chainsaws.

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.

The Thailand Team puts the finishing touches on their sculpture for the night’s competition.
And here is the finished sculpture.
The round ball seemed almost magical to me, like I should be able to look into it and see the future. Note the thin, wire-like tool the artist on the left is using to add texture.
This acrobat was lifting her leg high.
As I recall, she won the competition.
This piece was interesting…
It turned out to be a self-playing base fiddle!
I thought the young girl running with a dandelion head was fun. Did you blow on these as a kid to watch the seeds go flying off?
She loves me, she loves me not. Note the question mark held by ice tongs in the center of the heart.
Hold that tiger! Lots of teeth and claws.
Speaking of teeth, the tiger wasn’t alone.
Woof, woof.
This was one of my favorites because of the detail.
An unfortunate jellyfish has become dinner.
Here’s a figure you don’t want to run into at night. Or during the day.
Here kitty, kitty, kitty. Maybe.
So, is it a cat? And what is with the chain?
This woman is riding a bucking ostrich. Yeehaw!
My heart goes where the wild goose goes. Indeed.
In addition to the sculptures included in the ice carving contest, the park featured a number of other figures such as the helicopter I showed you on Wednesday and this giant whale.
I also found this sea serpent rather impressive.
I’ll close today with my new log cabin. It’s a bit cold inside. But don’t you think my all black outfit contrasts nicely with the ice? That’s me, a true paragon of fashion. (grin)

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

    • 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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