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11 July 2016 / leggypeggy

Another look at the ice sculptures in Alaska

Ice elephant

The multi-block construction is easy to see in this magnificent and huge elephant called Hero in Legend, created by artists from Thailand and Australia

Winter finally has its grip on southeast Australia—well to the extent that we have winter.

Tomorrow night the mercury will drop below 0°C (32°F), and it might snow. While that’s almost summery in my home state of Nebraska, in Australia it’s considered near rock bottom on the thermometer.

Alaskan Tambourine, ice sculpture

Alaska Tambourine, first-place abstract, included a dolphin, a wolf and a bird

The last time I experienced really frigid, below-zero temperatures was earlier this year in Alaska. Every time I looked at a thermometer in Fairbanks, the temperature was showing -6°C (21°F) or less.

But the Alaskans were hoping it would get even colder. For them, winter doesn’t seem right unless the temperature hits -50°F (-45°C) for a couple of days. This last northern winter the mercury there never dipped below -29°F. Alaskans know they are experiencing some sort of climate change.

Morning of the Universe, ice sculpture

Morning of the Universe, second place in the abstract category

Another concern was the condition of the sculptures at the 2016 World Ice Art Championships put on by Ice Alaska. The annual competition ran for a few weeks with single-block ice sculptures being completed and judged first.

When we arrived in Fairbanks in the first week of March, the first round of judging had taken place and at least one work had melted enough to collapse.

At that time, the ice artists were already at work on their multi-block sculptures. We first saw those completed and judged works about a week later (after our trip to the Arctic Circle).

Cinderella, Prince Charming ice sculpture

Cinderella comes down the stairs to meet her Prince Charming in A Fairy Tale Goodnight by artists from the United States and the Philippines. See the pumpkin in the right corner

Some of these pieces were huge, and the first-place winner in the realistic category was the size of a small house. It was a lovely scene of Cinderella descending the stairs to her Prince Charming. Second place went to Goddess of Determination done by artists from Mongolia.

First-place in the abstract category went to Alaskan Tambourine by artists from Russia and the United States. Second-place went to Morning of the Universe by artists from Russia and Mexico.

I was surprised to see how many artists came from countries with little or no snow and ice.

Perhaps they are among they many people who have found their way to Alaska to live.

In the supermarket, I met a fellow who had moved to Fairbanks from Jamaica. And one of our Road Scholar guides was originally from St Lucia in the Caribbean.

ice sculpture, Goddess of Determination

The Goddess of Determination looking pretty in pink, second place in realistic


Leave a Comment
  1. wfdec / Jul 11 2016 11:32 pm

    Wednesday in Ballarat with snow down to 300metres. I don’t think I’d like Nebraska.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 12 2016 8:15 am

      It’s not as cold as Alaska, and the houses, cars and shops are well-heated. You might survive. 🙂


  2. sidilbradipo1 / Jul 12 2016 12:12 am

    Stunning ice sculptures, wonderful shots!
    I love sculptures ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  3. derrickjknight / Jul 12 2016 12:40 am

    I remember an establishment in Sidney which had ice sculptures inside.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 12 2016 8:16 am

      The only time I’d seen ice sculptures before these was as table decorations.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Curt Mekemson / Jul 12 2016 12:42 am

    Thanks for the reminder, Peggy. The ice sculptures were fun. But they seem like a long time ago. –Curt

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 12 2016 8:17 am

      Given that it’s supposed to snow here tomorrow, it seems like yesterday to me. 🙂


      • Curt Mekemson / Jul 15 2016 4:21 am

        We are edging up to 100 degrees F. 🙂 -Curt


      • leggypeggy / Jul 15 2016 8:35 am

        Maybe I should post more ice pics. 🙂


  5. findingnyc / Jul 12 2016 1:14 am

    These are incredible – and your photos captured them beautifully.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. spearfruit / Jul 12 2016 1:21 am

    They all are amazing – such detail and work went into creating these! Thanks Peggy for sharing these, I truly appreciate them. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 12 2016 8:18 am

      The detail is incredible. The artists used all kinds of tools from tiny drills to blow torches to jack hammers.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. toutparmoi / Jul 12 2016 1:42 am


    Liked by 3 people

  8. Laurie / Jul 12 2016 2:14 am

    WOW! Amazing!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 12 2016 8:21 am

      They were amazing, and it was beautiful the way they managed to light them.


  9. paintdigi / Jul 12 2016 5:20 am

    Very nice

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Joy Dostine / Jul 12 2016 7:30 am

    Just beautiful Peggy. Would live to see that. We won’t visit there until June next year

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 12 2016 8:20 am

      The ice sculpture competition is on in late February and early March.


  11. fl2native / Jul 12 2016 7:40 am

    Those sculptures are fantastic!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. lmo58 / Jul 12 2016 7:53 am

    Hi Peggy, thank you, as always, for the beautiful photos and explanations.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Curious to the Max / Jul 12 2016 8:56 am

    Just beautiful! Creative expression in any form is inspiring to me.

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 12 2016 4:14 pm

      Anyone who follows your blog would know your interest in creative expression. 🙂


  14. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder / Jul 12 2016 10:36 am

    Incredibly beautiful! Great captures… 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  15. gerard oosterman / Jul 12 2016 10:38 am

    After arrival in Australia and experiencing our first winter with morning frosts in the suburbs my mother complained she never experienced the cold as during our stay in Australia. Houses and public transport, schools etc. unheated. Amazingly, hardly anyone thought it was necessary. Toughens you up. In most European countries you don’t walk around inside with coats on during winter.
    As for the ice-art. I am amazed. An art show last week showed thousands of naked bodies all painted in blue, lying cheek to cheek 😉
    I prefer the ice sculptures.

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 12 2016 4:20 pm

      I think the coldest I have ever been was in Adelaide in 1982 and in the hills of Burma in 1986. But as for the cheek-to-cheek art show, I missed it.


  16. IreneDesign2011 / Jul 12 2016 2:08 pm

    Beautiful sculptures and great photos 😀
    I appreciate not to live in such a cold country any longer, even not as cold as Alaska.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. payeljit / Jul 13 2016 7:03 am

    I am amazed by the pictures! They are wonderful!

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 13 2016 8:04 am

      Thanks so much. I should send the biggest thanks to the sculptors for their wonderful work.


      • payeljit / Jul 13 2016 8:45 am

        I am sure they are wonderful artists!

        Liked by 2 people

      • leggypeggy / Jul 13 2016 8:51 am

        It was fun to see some of them at work. Such detail.


  18. Lynz Real Cooking / Jul 13 2016 8:27 am

    Really amazing Peggy!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. sepultura13 / Jul 13 2016 8:29 am

    Wow – these are absolutely beautiful! The sculptors knew their stuff – I’m envious of people who can sculpt, more so than those who paint, LOL

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 13 2016 8:51 am

      Artists and sculptors have talents way beyond me, so I just enjoy their efforts.


  20. Brenda / Jul 13 2016 11:19 am

    One thing that I loved about living in Alaska is that it attracts people from all over the world–including from many tropical areas. The Anchorage school district is the most diverse in the country, in terms of the number of different languages spoken. There is a large population of Pacific Islanders and a fair share of folks from the Caribbean, as you saw. There’s just something about Alaska …

    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 13 2016 12:47 pm

      ‘There’s just something about Alaska’ … that says it all. 🙂


      • Brenda / Jul 14 2016 2:59 am

        On the flip side, it also attracts desperate end-of-the-liners, horrific serial killers, misfits of every stripe, and has a tremendous amount of domestic violence and suicide. There’s just something about Alaska …

        Liked by 2 people

      • leggypeggy / Jul 14 2016 7:46 am

        Yes, that’s the other ‘there’s just something about Alaska’!


  21. jerseydreaming / Jul 13 2016 1:37 pm

    So frickin’ amazing.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Gud-Sol / Jul 13 2016 7:09 pm

    Es realmente increíble

    Liked by 2 people

  23. philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 13 2016 10:53 pm

    Sounds like Alaska is still a collection of adventurers and explorers. Terrific event with the interesting group of artists and those gorgeous sculptures

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 14 2016 7:49 am

      And as Brenda pointed out in a comment above—Alaska also has ‘misfits of every stripe’. But we didn’t knowingly meet any of them, and loved the ice sculptures and our trip north to the Arctic Circle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 14 2016 8:44 am

        One of my good friends spent the majority of her childhood in Alaska…skated to school in the winter. A place for individuals to be individual, it seems. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • leggypeggy / Jul 14 2016 8:56 am

        What a great description—’a place for individuals to be individual’.


  24. Aditi Mathur Kumar / Jul 14 2016 2:28 am

    Great pictures, makes me want to see them myself. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Liz / Jul 14 2016 1:30 pm

    Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. blondieaka / Jul 14 2016 3:55 pm

    So beautiful..A visit to the Ice Hotel is on my bucket list 🙂 Well it’s been on there a while but one day 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Elizabeth Helmich / Jul 15 2016 6:59 am


    Liked by 2 people

  28. The Sweet Life Squared / Jul 15 2016 8:35 am

    Wow, I had to make ice sculptures in Culinary School and let’s just say my delicate swan sculpture after a little extra chainsaw work ended up resembling a lifeboat. These are so beautiful I am in awe!
    Beautiful pictures!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 15 2016 11:46 am

      At least you had a go at making ice sculptures. I can barely handle ice cubes! 🙂


  29. sidran / Jul 15 2016 8:11 pm

    Amazing artworks.Just seeing them gives me a shiver!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Sheryl / Jul 16 2016 12:35 pm

    The ice sculptures are absolutely amazing. I particularly like the one of the elephant. I’ve seen some very nice ice sculptures at winter carnivals in the lower 48 but they aren’t in the same league as what you saw in Alaska.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 16 2016 5:42 pm

      The elephant was cool, and beautifully lit. Alaska was the first time I’d seen ice sculptures that weren’t on a buffet table. 🙂


  31. Holistic Wayfarer / Jul 17 2016 7:08 am

    Incredible. And oh, they beckon. (100 degrees here in S CA.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 17 2016 8:37 am

      Yikes, 100-degree weather is no fun. Stay cool!


  32. tony / Jul 18 2016 11:02 pm

    Just amazing photos!


    Liked by 2 people

  33. marymtf / Jul 19 2016 9:38 am

    I come to life during the in between extremes – Autumn and Spring. Love the sculptures, Peggy.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. milliethom / Jul 19 2016 9:14 pm

    I’m not sure I could cope too well with -45C – but then, I’m not used to temperatures as low as that. In 2010 it fell to -18C during the daytime, and that was bad enough. The snow sculptures are pretty amazing. I love the Cinderella one – no wonder it won the category. I hope your Australian winter is a pleasant one, Peggy. Our visit to the Gold Coast was in the spring (late October) and to us, it was really hot!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Jul 19 2016 10:59 pm

      We’re having a warm week with 10–11°C at night and 15–17°C in the day. It won’t last. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Redazione Antonia / Jul 20 2016 3:02 pm

    Reblogged this on Meet The Artists – Art Box.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. hiMe / Jul 22 2016 9:50 pm

    You have so rich a memory, a collection of pics and big bundle of stories of all things about traveling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 22 2016 10:01 pm

      Sometimes I am surprised by how much I forget. 🙂


  37. Sumith Babu / Jul 27 2016 3:07 pm

    Amazing Ice sculpture!!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. The Whitechapel Whelk / Jul 27 2016 7:33 pm

    Fascinating and well-written as ever. I suspect you may have your roots in some form of journalism. Could you possibly let me have a list of countries you haven’t actually visited, as I’d like to go to them all and send you gloating accounts of my adventures. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jul 27 2016 8:00 pm

      Oh, yes, please come and gloat. Three places/regions are high on my go-to list—Japan, Scandinavia and more of Eastern Europe. Go my pretty, and come back with news.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Whitechapel Whelk / Jul 27 2016 9:03 pm

        It’s funny you should say that Peggy, as I was in Tokyo earlier this morning, from where I traveled extensively through Eastern Europe and then on to Scandinavia. Nothing much to report but the beer in Sweden was extremely expensive. More from my travels in just a few moments…

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Jul 27 2016 9:51 pm

        Oh my, you are such a tease. Keep up the good work.


  39. sriramjanak / Jul 31 2016 11:13 pm

    Awesome ice sculptures…thanks for sharing…:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Xea B. / Aug 2 2016 12:40 am

    Your photos are absolutly fantastic Peggy!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Claremary P. Sweeney / Aug 7 2016 10:18 am

    So cold and hard but so very lovely and warm! Great job bringing the beauty to us. Peggy

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Roberta Pimentel / Aug 20 2016 9:32 am

    Amazing! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  43. taigaboy / Aug 24 2016 1:46 am

    Wow, I feel really sorry for the artist who’s ice sculpture melted. That’d have taken weeks if not months to make!! They sure are beautiful!! Did you take these pictures yourself??

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Aug 24 2016 7:33 am

      I felt sorry for that sculptor too. How frustrating. But at least they didn’t spend months creating it. I think the sculptors have no more than a week to finish their work. The ice comes from ponds near the exhibition site.


      • taigaboy / Aug 25 2016 2:48 am

        Funny that some random chunk of Alaskan pond can be turned into something so beautiful:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Aug 25 2016 7:09 am

        That’s true, and apparently the sculptors reckon it’s the best sculpting ice in the world because of it’s clarity.


  44. readingandwritingposter / Sep 3 2016 10:01 am

    I was literally speechless just looking at the picture of the Cinderella ice sculpture!!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Snigdha / Sep 10 2016 3:13 am

    Wow these are so surreal.! Absolutely gorgeous… Will include this place in my itinerary if I ever get the chance to come there! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Okoto Enigma / Sep 29 2016 9:13 pm

    Wow! They’re really beautiful pieces. Magnificent!

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Cristina / Jan 24 2018 1:23 am

    Awesome sculptures and images ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Jan 24 2018 9:40 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting.


  48. peNdantry / Dec 22 2021 9:41 pm

    Great pics!

    (And all links in post are still good).

    This comment was brought to you courtesy of ?Random Raiders! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 23 2021 11:16 am

      Thanks. I try to keep tabs on links.

      Liked by 1 person

      • peNdantry / Dec 23 2021 5:53 pm

        I shouldn’t bother if I were you; that would be a full-time job! But it is one of the objectives of ?Random Raiders! members to notify site owners of problems they encounter when visiting a page…

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 23 2021 9:58 pm

        Such a great service. Thanks for putting me on to it.


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