Titanic Ice Carving Contest

There's not much going on in the garden in January but clean up so I headed off to Branson to check out the 5th annual Ice Carving Contest at the Titanic. If we all took up ice carving, then incredible ice sculptures could perk up everyone's gardens. It's one of those things that is most likely a lot harder than it looks.
Evidently this is the 5th year for this event, but not at the Titanic because the big boat hasn't been in Branson that long.
It's ironic, a ship that lies at the bottom of the ocean, and which was brought down by an iceberg, has been turned into a tourist attraction, and hosts the professional ice carving contest.
All of the contestants started with a big block of ice and a chainsaw. They had in their mind what the block would become and had a limited amount of time to make create what was in their mind. This fellow's creation is below, a winged creature, created in 30 minutes.

To make the sculpture taller, part of the wing was carved then added. Dry ice, water, even propane torches are used to "glue" the ice parts together. Here are some of the entries. I'd be proud to have any of these in my garden, wouldn't you?

What beauty. Look at the details of the various parts.

Hard to see from the photo but it's a cat reaching for a bird.

Look at the intricate detail on the top of this sculpture!
This was probably my favorite simply because it is an amazing use of negative space. However, this contest was held in 52 degrees and after being on display for about an hour, she began to have a problem.

The breasts fell off! I thought the sculpture was ruined.
But with the magic of dry ice and water, the sculptor glued the breasts back in place, good as new!
The carvers, all men it seems, came from all over the United States for the contest. This fellow said he'd come from western Ohio and had never carved in 52 degree weather before.  I should have asked him what the sculpture was but I think that would have been an insult. It's sculpture, it doesn't have to "be" anything.
I thought the dragon was fun. Here in the photo without people around, it looks small. It wasn't. It was 3 or 4 ft. tall and probably weighed 200 pounds or more.
It was a bigger event than I had imagined. Traffic was backed up for several blocks, there were a few hundred people in the parking lot watching the contests throughout the day.
After all the carving contests they asked for volunteers of kids from the audience, choosing about 6. I thought it highly cruel but the kids seemed to have fun. The contest was the kid who could put the t-shirt on first, won a prize. The trick? All of the t-shirts were wet then frozen in a plastic bag. The kids had to figure out how to get the t-shirt out of the bag, how to get it apart, then how to get it on. Actually it was fun to see how creative the kids were. They all banged their frozen t-shirts on the pavement to get them apart. The winner, the girl facing the camera, dunked hers into a bucket of water to thaw it out, then put it on.

So there you have it, how to have sculpture in your garden. All you need is a chainsaw, a 400 pound block of ice and some imagination. Or imagine one of these with herbs frozen inside, floating in a giant punch bowl at your next party! My next posting will be from a warmer climate, where ice doesn't go.


Bev J. said...

Amazing what can be done with a chainsaw! Sending a link on to family and friends-thanks for sharing.

Dittony said...

This is a very interesting contest - I love ice sculpture.

Since I have never been to Branson I was amazed at the Titanic itself. I think an ice sculpture contest is very fitting.

Thank you, Jim for sharing this.

Branson Travel Office said...

Those are some great pictures of the ice carving event! The Branson Titanic Museum has been holding this event for several years and it always draws a crowd. If you've never seen ice carving before, it's definitely worth checking out!