Our First Course Back: Ice Sculpture

On Sunday 5 July TBSSS marked its official re-opening with our second ever Ice Sculpture workshop with Anne-Marie Taberdo. I (William) was fortunate enough to attend – my first ever sculpture workshop!

The day began with a very interesting talk from Anne-Marie exploring the history of ice sculpture, and showing us numerous examples (in both photograph and book form) of what’s possible in ice. We saw everything from ice instruments to realistic life study works to entire ice lego cities (yes, really)!

Anne-Marie then moved to explaining how ice was different from other mediums students may have worked in (it’s a lot softer) and demonstrating the use of the tools we would use (a mixture of chisels, saws, knives…but no chainsaws for now…).

Each student was provided with a large rectangular block of specially frozen ice – Anne-Marie explained that the ice is frozen slowly with constant agitation to remove the air bubbles, resulting in a perfectly clear crystalline block. Each student came with a project in mind and began by sketching how our sculpture would look on each face before drawing an outline on the ice itself.

Then began the chiselling…ice, ice, everywhere! Luckily, it’s just ice and all too easy to clean up.

As each of us sculpted the outline of our pieces we all began to realise how easy the material was to work with. The projects included torsos, faces etched in the negative, mushrooms, a whale, a Sidney Nolan inspired Ned Kelly work and multiple animals! At the end of the day we photographed our work and set up a little exhibition outside the School. A couple of people even took their work home (a wet business)!

For me, it was my first foray into visual art of any kind since high school. I wasn’t quite happy with my piece on the day, but after leaving it to melt overnight, and coming back to see it on Monday, I was pleasantly surprised. I guess sometimes you just need to let you piece melt a bit!

We look forward to welcoming back Anne-Marie in 2021.

Words by William Jackson

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