Ice Sculpting History

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There are many different forms of art, and most of them date back centuries. One of these arts that most people don’t think about is ice sculpting. Ice sculpting is an ancient art, one that has both practical and aesthetic applications. While ice carving has been practiced for thousands of years, in the past two centuries it has transformed into a business as well as an art form. For the majority of ice carving’s existence, it was a practical skill used to obtain ice blocks used for construction or preserving food. The first known use of carved ice occurred nearly 4,000 years ago, when Inuit in modern-day Alaska and Canada used blocks of ice carved from frozen lakes to construct dome-shaped shelters. These shelters are commonly known as igloos. On the other side of the planet in 800…show more content…
These were used to remove ice blocks from frozen rivers and lakes and to move the blocks once they were ready for shipping, but they have been replaced with other tools. Ice chippers are used to shave ice and carve basic designs. Ice picks are used to break large pieces off of a block. Chisels allow for finer sculpting, and are used once the basic shape has been carved out. An outdated way of cutting ice is steam-cutting. Live steam was run through a hose and into the steam gun, which would shoot live steam out, cutting the block. Steam-cutting has declined so much in popularity that the equipment is no longer sold. There are now several different power tools that ice sculptors use as well. Chain saws are a very popular tools, and do the same work as an ice pick except faster and with more control. Die grinders spin different bits like a power drill does, and these are used for fine detailing. Electric sanders are used to smooth out surfaces. Sculptors also use blowtorches to ‘gloss’ the sculpture, making it clear and glass-like. If the sculpture is not glossed, it will be opaque and have fine lines on it from various

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