the closer christmas approaches, the busier ijsbeeldhouwers get it. This month open different ijstentoonstellingen, such as the Ice Expo in Scheveningen, the Netherlands IJsbeelden Festival and Magical Maastricht. How to change a block of ice into a work of art, and what happens after the end?

December is a great month for ice sculptors. “From October to flow the request to our inside and that keeps on until the end of January”, says Jasper Bookbinder, live demonstrations ijsbeeldhouwen on large and small scale events provides.

First of all, should the organizers on suitable ice. The IJsbeelden Festival, that this year in Zwolle is held, used of 275,000 pounds of ice and an equally large amount of snow. That means that there is a lot of water is required. And that, while in the Netherlands at this moment still a large neerslagtekort. Where do they get that water come from?

“That we get from France”, answer organizer Eric Broekaart. “We order ice cream at a factory that collects rainwater on its roof.” Then, all the minerals filtered out of the water. During freezing, water is continuously gently stirred to avoid air bubbles in the ice. “That way you get very clear, transparent ice,” said Broekaart.

Each block of ice weighs 1.200 pounds

The ice cream comes in refrigerated trucks to the IJsselhallen. There is a specialized team from Latvia stacked upon each other. “It is ice cream, so it is smooth and slippery. Each block weighs about 1,200 pounds. So you can not put people on the street to ask if they come and help”, light Broekaart.

Then the sculptors to work. Wilfred Riser (48) from Pieterburen is one of those artists. He is now fifteen years ijsbeelden and sand sculptures. Riser cuts on a 5 meter high statue of Peter Pan and Captain Hook.

“It’s pretty big,” he says. “We stand on a scaffold to work and that can be quite slippery, so you need to don’t hurry.” After fifteen years of ijsbeeldhouwen and a number of nasty falls, it is his second nature became the ijzigste places to avoid.

Harry Potter on ice

Led ice sculpture of Peter Pan is part of the larger theme of the festival: world-Famous Stories. All sculptures are based on well-known stories such as A Christmas Carol, but also on, for example, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter or Dracula. “The starting point is recognition,” says Broekaart.

In contrast to a stone statue, where the artist is first a model, in plaster, put a ijskunstenaar his chisel directly in the ice. “I think it’s a kind of schetsmateriaal,” says Riser. “You dive there a lot faster and after a few months it is gone. If I were a stone statue would make, I would be there much longer because you up to the eternity remains.”

Melting images on the parking lot

The kunstenaas still have a week to get their images. On december 15, will open the festival. The sculptures are two and a half months to see. They do not remain as flawless as when they were first chiseled. Because chillers the temperature in the space under the freezing point keep, grows the ice a little bit. “After a couple of weeks to be updated,” says Riser.

As the last visitors on the last day of the exhibition left with the chillers off and melt the images slowly away. “At one time let you loose,” says Riser. “You’ve only the pictures and you hope that you have learned.”

Two days later, the bulldozers. That scrolling works of art from the shed. “Then there is not much left of it,” says Eric Broekaart. Dripping, they remain behind in the parking lot of the IJsselhallen, until all the water has evaporated.

are you planning this winter to a ijsbeelden exhibition? Let us know in the comments.