Artist Creates Incredible 25-Foot-Tall Castles from Icicles

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50-year-old Brent Christensen, an artist from Alpine, Utah, creates extraordinary structures that I thought only existed in my imagination and really cool fantasy stories. For the past four years, Christensen has spent his time perfecting the craft of making structures as tall as 20 to 25 ft, using nothing but intertwining icicles as building blocks. He developed an interest in the unique craft began way back in 2000, when he and his family moved from sunny California to chilly Utah, and he was looking for some fun outdoor activities.

“We started off doing winter stuff in the yard, playing around with the kids, making igloos, ice forts and slides and stuff,” he says. “And it just evolved. One year I stumbled upon the concept of doing icicles by spraying water. We made one with a big wooden frame under it, and when it melted in the spring it was a huge mess with a pile of soaking wood. The following year I didn’t use any wood so it would just cleanly melt away. During the course of that winter I stumbled upon the concept of fusing icicles together to make a lattice to spray water on and build upon.” It was then that Chirstensen began building his magnificent ice fortresses. Utah locals would often stop by his house to gawk at the castles. Once he got pretty good at making icicle castles, he approached a few resorts nearby and asked if they would be interested in displaying his work for their guests. It took a while before the manager of a small local spa and resort agreed, in 2009, but this small opening got him into the public eye and there was no looking back from there.

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Terje Isungset’s Ice Instruments Make Cool Music

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Terje Isungset, one of the world’s most talented percussionists, creates ice music with instruments he carves out of pure glacier ice.

Born in the Norwegian village of Geilo, Isungset grew up surrounded by a family of musicians, and grew up to be one of the most innovative percussionists of our time, Over the years, he has created musical instruments out of natural materials like arctic birch, granite, slate, but the thing he is most passionate about is making ice music, a style that he pioneered through the creation of ice instruments.

Isungset first fell in love with ice music in the year 2000, when the commission for the Lillehammer Winter Olympic Games asked him to compose and play in a frozen waterfall. He was already renown for creating musical instruments out of other primitive materials, but he had never worked with ice. He took it as a challenge and managed to compose a greatly appreciated minimalist composition with just whatever the river provided – ice, water, stone and some wood.

Terje Isungset describes the process of making ice music and ice instruments as hard work and a continuing learning process. Most of his tools are made of pure glacier ice, so clear you can see through meters of it. He just cuts the ice cubes with a knife and carves them into instruments. Most of his creations are percussion tools, but he has been known to make an ice guitar, an ice harp, a trumpet and even a fiddle.

While Terje Isungset’s ice music can’t exactly be referred to as radically new (considering man actually started making using with whatever materials nature provided him with), it’s definitely a breath of fresh air, in this modern age.

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Ice Boats Are Good Just in Theory

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BBC science show Bang Goes The Theory set out to test inventor Geoffrey Pyke’s claim that ice boats could be used during World War 2, in case steel supplies ran out.

Geoffrey Pyke suggested suggested it was possible to build unsinkable boats using a special material called Pykrete – a mixture of ice and wood pulp. In theory, the icy material could be moulded into any shape and because of its slow melting rate, could carry troops and vehicles for long distances. The idea was first mentioned during the early 1940s, but it sounds like a good idea for modern times, as well, so the guys at Bang Goes The Theory decided to test it out.

The team mixed 5,000 liters of water with the hemp-like wood pulp, moulded the mixture into the shape of a boat and froze it in one of England’s largest ice warehouses, in Tilbury, Essex. It took three weeks to freeze the boat, before it was transported to Portsmouth Harbor. The crew prepared for a trip to Cowes, on the Island of Wight, but son after the boat was launched on the water, it began taking water. Before they even got comfortable in their icy boat, the crew had to abandon ship and swim to the rescue craft.

But this test wasn’t enough to disprove Pyke’s theory. According to experts there are several explanation for the recent Pykrete failure, and they include water temperature and size. Geoffrey envisioned his revolutionary material used to create 1,000-ton carriers, not half-a-ton boats, because a large ice surface requires a lot more energy to start melting. Also the waters of Solent Bay are far warmer than the Atlantic, where the carriers were meant to be used.

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Buffalo Sports the World’s Largest Ice Maze

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Over 60 thousand people gathered in downtime Buffalo, for the Powder Keg Festival, and the chance to go through the world’s largest ice maze.

Apart from all the delicious food and the fun rides, people in Buffalo were most excited about the giant ice maze built in the center of the city. The world record creation was made up of 22 hundred blocks of ice that weighed 600 thousand pounds of ice.

Now, as the ice maze begins to melt, local authorities are confronted with a flooding problem, so they’ve set up several pumps to drain the water into the streets.

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The Detroit Ice House

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Unless you live in Detroit, you might not have heard about the Ice House Project, but it has really been the talk of the town for the last couple of weeks.

Architect Matthew Radune and photographer Gregory Holm, both living in New York, decided it would be a great idea to create an ice-covered home as an art installation. The idea came to Matthew when he laid eyes on a photograph of a house wrapped in a frozen waterfall.

And what better place for their artistic endeavor than Detroit, a city full of abandoned and foreclosed houses. They managed to convince Michigan Land Bank to let them borrow the abandoned house at 3926 McClellan. The building was scheduled for demolition, but Radune and Holm got it into a program that deconstructs and recycles materials. They also agreed to pay back taxes on a foreclosed house, so a single mother and her family could have a home. This was their gift to Detroit for allowing them to go on with their project.

Day and night the two watched over the house, constantly and stubbornly fighting Mother Nature, who alternated cold days with sunny ones that almost melted their Ice House. The whole thing cost around $15,000, most of which was raised through a donations website. This included the project licenses, the city water and hiring the police to cordon off the street for a few hours. The rest was just watching water ice-up and making shore passers by didn’t injure themselves on the ice.

On Saturday, Gregory Holm finally got the photo he wanted from the Detroit Ice House project, and they’ve stopped spraying it with water. But you can still admire it for a few days, until the sun melts it.

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