Pillars of the ice community

Here is one of Hamilton Ice Sculptors’ latest projects. These 1.5m high pillars were carved specifically for artist Sarah Wiestner’s latest exhibition.

The challenge of creating these 50kg cylindrical shapes stemmed from being unable to freeze water in the mould of regular pipes. This is because water freezes from the outside in, so when the middle eventually becomes solid its expansion will shatter the structure.

Pillars of the ice community

In order to combat this problem, only one end of the pipe was sealed while the other was insulated to stop the top from setting and therefore allow the ice to expand outwards, preventing any possible cracks.

After the excess ice was trimmed off, a 30cm diameter wooden disc was counter sunk into the bottom of the pillars, which as a non-conducting material, enabled the ice to melt evenly and keep them stable.

The blue effect was created with natural dye. Duncan discovered that one cup of milk would allow emulsification so that the colour could freeze all the way through each pillar.  Clever, eh?