What can I expect on the day
Have a go at ice sculpting, quite literally the coolest work of art you'll ever create! These half-day workshops for a minimum of four guests, take place at a professional ice-sculptor's studios in South London and offer a fascinating hands-on insight into creating stunning sculptures using just good old frozen water!
Your introduction to this iced-up world of art starts with a tour around the workshop, a chat about the history of ice carving and the tools of the trade - with drills, saws and chisels all being used to chip away at the block to create brilliantly eye-catching pieces. The ice blocks themselves are produced on the premises using a special water mixture, which not only makes for excellent clarity but also takes much longer than ’normal’ ice to melt, so there's plenty of time to enjoy the icy creations.
So how long do they last? Well, that depends on the size of the piece (the bigger it is, the slower it melts), the air temperature and other factors. But up to six hours is likely with the finer details melting first followed by the bigger bits. But in case you need any inspiration, the studio is full of fabulous examples and pictures of iced up artistic articles that have since melted!
Your first challenge (once kitted out in gloves, goggles and aprons) is to work a small block of ice to make a solo mini-ice sculpture that you get to take away with you. And before you asked, it’ll be packed in insulation so your iced piece of creativity won’t melt on the way home. With the right tools to hand, ice is an incredibly versatile material – you can carve almost anything, from a human head or a fantasy beast, to your own installation or work of conceptual art.
After making a small piece, you work in pairs to carve a 28kg block into your ice sculpting piece de resistance. Usually you are tasked with creating a unique wine cooler/holder in whatever form your imagination comes up with, but you can also try out ideas of your own and see the fruits of your fertile imagination take shape in actual ice.
This ice sculpting class offers a truly unique creative experience that lets you have a go at an art form that is both stunning and great fun to try. It might be a new experience for you, but did you know that the ancient Chinese were the first ice carvers – they put candles inside hollow ice buckets to make lanterns. As for the Russian tsar, they made ice cannons that fired ice cannon balls!
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