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December 24, 2001
Check out these cool facts about ice carving and Designs in Ice 2001!
Toronto's free ice sculpture exhibition, Designs in Ice presented by
Scotiabank, showcases the talents of Ontario's top ice carvers as they battle
against the powers of Mother Nature to complete icy works of art!

Designs in Ice 2001 Facts:
  • 19,090 kg (42,000 lb.) of ice will be chiseled into shape on Nathan Phillips Square.
  • 18,900 litres of purified water is used to create this massive amount of ice.
  • 140 blocks of ice are created for this event, each block takes 3 - 4 days to freeze solid.
  • 8 blocks of ice, each weighing 135 kg (297lb.) are given to all competing carving teams.
  • Each block measures 1 m x 50 cm x 25 cm (40" x 20" x 10").
  • A combination of chainsaws, special ice carving chisels, dremels, die grinders, sanders, blow torches and other power tools are used to sculpt the ice.
  • Approximately 15 teams will carve their masterpieces over 2 days competing for more than $2000 in prizes.
  • Prizes will be awarded for the top three sculptures and the People's Choice on Friday, December 28 at 5:30 p.m.
  • This year's theme established in partnership with Alliance Atlantic Motion Picture Distribution, coincides with the December release of the major motion picture The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring, produced by New Line Cinema.
  • A large-scale signature carving will be shaped from 20 blocks of ice by the ice carving experts at Iceculture.

Rivendell Council - Signature Ice Sculpture:
  • The signature carving created by Iceculture is constructed from 2,800 kg (6,000 lbs.) of ice.
  • 12 Lord of the Rings characters are portrayed: Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, Gimli, Elrond, Arwen.
  • Most of this sculpture is pre-carved in an 1800 sq. ft. sculpting freezer, then dismantled for shipping.
  • Upon arrival at Nathan Phillips Square, 4-6 people will take 4-5 hours to reconstruct the carving
  • Iceculture uses different techniques for sculpting the ice, both traditional methods using chainsaws, chisels and other power tools and specialized techniques including snow-fill, fusing and scratch board.
  • Plans for the signature ice sculpture address both technical and aesthetic requirements. The sculpture must be detailed with a flawless finish.
  • To create a flawless look, water is squirted into the join of two blocks. This water refreezes to make the blocks a single solid structure.
  • When stacking several blocks the vertical join lines are staggered similar to brick laying - this means there isn't one larger fuse line running from the bottom to the top of the sculpture which makes it far more sturdy.
  • Once the main shape is roughed out, Iceculture switches to a die grinder with a large bit or uses finer chisels to start working on the second stage of shaping. This is the stage where depth is added to the design. The silhouette of the outer shape is transformed into a three dimensional design. This stage is more difficult and requires detailed perception.
  • Once the basic depths are marked out in the ice, a small tipped chisel is used to get into the crevices such as the folds of Gandolf's cloak. Tools such as a sander are used to smooth lines or give a shape an even curve or rounded surface.
  • The finishing glistening touch is achieved with the use of a flame-thrower.

Making Ice with Iceculture:
  • After removing all impurities by filtering the water through a reverse osmosis system it is frozen in ice block machines equipped with a Clinebell block which circulates the water and pushes the air away from the ice. This is an important process because ice with air trapped inside appears cloudy.
  • The clarity of the ice is important to show off the detail in the ice sculpture. Light does not reflect well off cloudy ice.
  • Once the crystal clear blocks are harvested, they are packaged in plastic and cardboard to prevent deterioration and damage during transport and stored in one of two 2,500 square foot freezers.
  • It takes 3 - 4 days to completely freeze a 300lb block of ice
  • On the morning of December 27 the ice is delivered to Nathan Phillips Square in two large vehicles: a 53 foot transport truck and a 14 foot freezer truck
Admission to Designs in Ice is FREE and getting there couldn?t be
easier! Nathan Phillips Square is located at 100 Queen Street West. Take the
TTC Queen Street streetcar (501), or the Yonge Line subway (exit Queen station)
or the University Line (exit Osgoode station).

For more information on this or other Toronto Special Events, call 416-338-0338
or visit a/special_events.

Media Contact
Media contacts:
Kimberly Bain
Heather Kaufman



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