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How is an ice sculpture made? SciFri investigates frozen water

What’s So Cool About Frozen Water? Art and science come together to uncover some ice-expert-level details in this 2012 Science Friday report. Shintaro Okamoto, founder of NYC’s Okamoto Studio, and Erland Schulson, Dartmouth College’s Ice Research Lab Director, both explain how ice behaves as a material, and why they find it so fascinating.

For more on how a block of ice transform into a beautifully-carved, glass-like sculpture, Yakenda McGahee visits Takeo Okamoto, Shintaro’s father, in his Alaskan workshop to see how different drills, chisels, and chainsaws help create the ice’s final forms… well, almost final. Ice sculptures do melt, of course, and ice sculptors consider that, too. Shintaro explains:

“We’re always thinking how it’s going to melt, how is it going to perform, and we do see ice as a performative material. I think there is an immediate gratification that we get as an artist to see it go out there and be enjoyed by the people, and I think there’s an exercise of letting go that we do enjoy, as well. It about that journey of the material that we do enjoy most.

Watch this next: Why do ice cubes crack in drinks?

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