What are ice sculptures?
Ice sculptures are sculptures that are crafter completely from the raw material ice.
The generally a small time period of which ice sculptures last (before melting) means they are usually found at special occasions such as weddings and other very important celebrations. Ice sculptures themselves vary greatly in design and can be of a realistic or abstract art depending on their subject, the artist who created the ice sculpture and the event or occasion that the ice sculpture will be presented at. They can also differ greatly in size from ice sculptures as big as buildings (usually in an attempt to imitate the building itself) or as small as cabinet decorations. No matter what the design or purpose of the ice sculptures the main principle that all ice sculptures need to be completely made of (or at least the main focus, optional decorations can be placed on top or inside in the example of a cabinet) the raw material ice remains.
What are ice sculptures used for?
The variation of the ice sculptures themselves, as with any type of art, means they can be included in many events and occasions. Due to the fact that ice sculptures are art they are mainly used in a decorative sense. However, sometimes they can be used in a more interactive way such as tables, chairs or furniture in general or even as a bar to serve drinks from. Although mostly ice sculptures appear at special occasions and have become a popular theme at weddings or just as an added decoration or centre piece. The options are really up to the host of each even or occasion, and if they want an elegant feature then ice sculptures are a very good choice to make.
Where did ice sculpture begin?
The first ice sculptures were originally crafted by Chinese hunters and fisherman in 1600’s in Heilongjiang on the Chinese border with Russia. They used buckets of ice to dig a hole into and then put a lit candle inside creating a lantern. After the first Chinese people did this for a practical use other’s started to hang decorative lanterns from their homes, and it even spread further when people began to parade them in carnivals. As the decorative trend spread the town of Harbin in Heilongjiang grew into a large city and become the home of the annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, which today holds thousands of artists work. However, Russians claim that St. Petersburg was where ice sculptures originated from and was the palace of the first monumental scale ice palace. The palace was exquisitely designed, by Piotr Eropkin, and featured some fantastic creations such as ice cannons that shot real ice cannon balls and an elephant that, through a canal with pipes connecting it all up, sprayed water from its trunk. It’s hard to dispute if St. Petersburg really did found ice sculptures, but they were certainly the pioneers of the first grand ice sculptures in the world.