My reason for venturing out to Wood Wharf on January 12 noon was typical: I came here out of sheer curiosity. But my backstory was not very typical. I had work to do. I was here to watch the pros diligently carve beautiful, frosty pieces on the theme of ‘Fabulous Fashion’ at the London Ice Sculpting Festival, 2014. At least, that is my explanation for how I wound up on Sunday afternoon in the midst of ice – and more ice.
Masterclasses were held during the three-day event, where enthusiasts were taught the basic techniques of ice sculpting and, most importantly, how not to chisel nimble fingers while at work. This session called for tons of patience. Additionally, you needed to be gutsy enough to brave the cold and creative still to carve out your own fantasy in ice – on mini blocks – under expert guidance. I decided to give a cold shoulder to the masterclasses on offer, which, matter of fact, was free. For, I reckoned, I was neither gutsy nor patient.
Huge blocks of crystal clear ice were hauled onto the platforms assigned to each of the 10 participating countries. Each participating country had a team comprising two members. In all, they had six hours to hammer and chisel away at their masterpiece.
Here’s what a few of the teams did: Frank de Conynck and Kilian van der Velden of Belgium transformed their block into a little girl blowing bubbles. A little away, Steve Armance and Mario Amegee of Africa chiselled arduously at their big block to carve out a fashionable woman with a dog looking up at her.
Charles Filsjean and Julien Baron (France) carved out their masterpiece, a giant stiletto, while Anne Marie Taberdo and Mike Kerslake (UK) sculpted a group of fashionable ladies under an umbrella carved as a relief to win the ‘People’s Choice’ award. There was no dearth of creativity at the event.
Image Courtesy of Amazing Media