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Ice Melting images by Pasi Laaksonsen from Helsinki’s “Art Meets Ice” event.

Ice sculptures melting, “before and after” the effect of rising temperatures, from Helsinki’s Art Meets Ice event.
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Shared by photographer Pasi Laaksonsen

Aaron Costic “Blue Planet,” sphere purposefully cracked by a halogen light to create interesting crackled structure to the ice. Photo by Aaron Costic.

Aaron Costic’s “Blue Planet,”
Photo credit: Aaron Costic
Elegant Ice

Ice Melts

How long do the ice sculptures last? Sadly sometimes they collapse before they can be judged, as in the case of Junichi Nakamura’s “Birth of Blue Bird.” After the show is over they are destined to melt back into the earth. Melissa says “We think the park will hold until the last Sunday in March. Some years they have lasted well into April. But on average, they last a month. At some point we knock them down so that stray dogs and people don't get hurt in case they a wandering through the park after it closes.”

Ice Cracks

We were lucky to catch Aaron Costic at home in Ohio at “Elegant Ice” between competitions in Karuizawa, Japan and The Winterlüde Festival in Ottawa.

Every year Aaron does what he calls a non-ice project. This year it just happened to include ice. He carved an 18" sphere by hand. Starting with a perfect cube of ice he did measurements and cut off the corners with a saw, used a chisel, and then a “scratchy board” which can be envisioned pretty much as a board with little nails sticking out of it…something like a wool carder. Next he used a sander and then a buffer. He put halogen lights on the top of it for over an hour and it cracked as you see it now, and calls it “Blue Planet.”

Steve Brice made a similar “cracked ball” for the ice hotel at Chena Hot Springs, Alaska. It was made from ice that had been “sun stroked” but was still structurally sound. When the sun hits ice at near melting temperatures it can do substantial damage very quickly. That is why you see “sunscreens” around the sculptures outdoor ice competitions. …to International Events

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