Ice is the stuff that Ice Art uses to create its masterpieces, thus ice harvesting is an important part of the process . If you take an Ice Harvest Excursion, you will be able to watch and admire how tons of ice blocks are extracted from the surface of a lake. The whole process takes plenty of time; just imagine the amount of work to be done in order to deliver an Ice block to the Ice Park!
Hours are spent on cutting the ice - it can be several meters thick, the next step is to load this huge block, a very diligent job, by the way. Then hauling, unloading and stacking of blocks will follow.
All this is done to help sculptors create their dramatic ice figures and let the public enjoy them during an Ice Harvest Excursion.
The year 1998 was the turning point for the Ice Alaska, when ice was harvested from O'Grady pond for the first time - the closest pond to the Ice Park where the annual festival of Ice sculpture is held. As time passes, more and more new methods of cutting and lifting the magnificent ice blocks are being developed. To reduce backbreaking, ice cutters use specially fit saws, usually chainsaws. For example, in order to cut ice which is 140 centimeters thick, it is necessary to use a 155 centimeter bar on the chainsaws!
The participants of an Ice Harvest Excursion will be able to see the whole process of lofting ice blocks. For this painstaking process special fork-lifts are used. The largest fork-lifts are able to remove and transport to the required area huge ice blocks, weighing up to three tons .
Every year harvest techniques are upgraded providing ice sculptors an opportunity to create more ice melting works of art. Exhibitions devoted to ice sculpture are held every year in all countries where weather affords admiring the beauty of ice figures glittering in the cold winter sunrays. During such exhibition you can even buy some of these short lasting figures or vote for those which you like best.
Incredibly, but it is possible to carve out of ice almost any figure. The most frequent participants of such exhibitions are considerably diminutive ice copies of already existing architecture or sculpture masterpieces. For example, almost always you will be able to enjoy the view of a white Eiffel Tower or an Icy Statue of Liberty.
As Christmas approaches, such exhibitions, along with Ice Harvest Excursion are gaining more and more popularity with the public. The sculptures can last only till winter is holding its own. As soon as the sun starts blazing hot and spring comes, the ice masterpieces melt. They stay pieces of admiration only when the temperature is below zero.
As these carvings have a very short life, thousands of admiring glances are the greatest reward for the sculptor's work.
If you want to feast your eyes on the unique works of art you can go a long way to Alaska, where the largest exhibitions of this kind usually take place or just walk along the Christmas street of any big city - you are sure to see at least one ice sculpture or even a whole exhibition.