Tips for Making Ice Sculptures

Ice Sculptures

Ice sculptures often don’t get included when the art of sculpture is being talked about but ice sculptures are a legitimate art form and can be quite amazing. Because they are not permanent they are not like traditional sculptures but they can be beautiful sculptures. If you like sculpture and love winter you might find that you like creating ice sculptures that people can buy for events. 

Ice sculptures are often used to create a dazzling centerpiece or focal point for parties, wedding receptions, business meetings, awards banquets and art openings. But ice sculpture can also be quite innovative. In the past few years several ice bars and ice hotels have opened in Europe where entire buildings, including beds, decorations, and all the parts of the building are carved from huge blocks of ice. When the weather gets warm the buildings melt until they can be rebuilt with a different aesthetic the next year.

You might not be up to the challenge of building a building out of ice, but you can make your ice sculptures to liven up a party, wedding, or other event. Here are some tips to make creating your own beautiful ice sculpture easier:

Use distilled water

Distilled water has been ultra purified so it will be a lot clearer than ice from tap water or ice from spring water. You can buy pre-cut blocks of ice made from distilled water if you are going to make a large sculpture.

Use separate tools

Your normal sculpting tools probably have bits of clay, plaster, sand, metal, wood or other materials on them, even if you have washed them thoroughly. To make sure that nothing interferes with the effect of your sparkling ice sculpture buy a separate set of chisels and tools to use on ice.

Use molds at first

There is no room for mistakes when you’re carving an ice sculpture. If you make a mistake you’ll have to start all over again, so until you are really great at using the razor sharp tools needed to cut ice use molds to make sure you get the shape and design right.

Ice molds can be disposable or reusable. Disposable molds are the easiest to use but they often don’t come in the intricate and ornate designs that reusable molds do. You can find ice sculpture molds at art supply houses. Don’t use molds made for soap, candy or candles because those molds will most likely not be made well enough to stand up to the freezing cold of the ice.

When you first put distilled water in a mold let the mold and water sit at room temperature for a few hours so let the water settle and clear before you freeze it.

Use food coloring to color your ice

If you want to color the ice to get a special effect use food coloring. When the ice melts food coloring won’t pollute the water or the ground and it won’t stain the ground or anything that it gets on.



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