cutting an ice sculpture with a chainsaw

ice sculpting techniques

Carving ice can be a tricky thing. The ice doesn't always do what you expect it to and there are a lot of different ways to do things, some better than others. This page is an attempt to collect and organize much of the technique info on the site. However, it's also a carryover from the old site and hasn't yet been reconstructed completely.

ice carving techniques

This is a listing of the various ice carving technique articles on the site. Take a look at the tools page as well, which has some overlap with this page, but is focused on tools and equipment. The techniques are primarily organized according to the stages outlined in the Ice Carving Steps entry. There are some other categories, including a very important one, “Emphasis on Safety” to reinforce the most important part of carving ice! You’ll see duplicate entries as some entries apply to multiple categories. More short tips can be found on the quick tips page. Also, remember that you can use the blog search function to find a particular design or article as well. If you found a technique useful, please comment on how it helped you and email a picture if you can. Make sure to use caution when experimenting with a new tool or carving technique! Most of the techniques are appropriate for intermediate level ice carvers. Please do not attempt any of the techniques if you are not completely comfortable with the process as ice carving tools can be VERY dangerous!

design

controlling drips
designing for silhouette
color effects in ice
designing sculptures that extend outside the block
adding corners to circular sculptures for handling and protection
making a luge out of almost any sculpture
luge funnels
dealing with backside detail in photos
designing a sculpture: “stars of the party” design
printing templates with a standard inkjet printer
why the dotted lines on the templates?
ice portraits

execution

dealing with electricity and water
power tool safety
chainsaw kickback hazards
tool actions and effects
basic tools
my toolbox
splitting a block of ice (video)
conical endmill comparison (video)
aluminum welding (video)
dealing with fractures
dealing with fractures, “Jonah” & “Ancestral Spirit”
dealing with adverse environments in competition
repairing breaks
adding corners to circular sculptures for handling and protection
ice pick uses
Junichi saw
welding ice with aluminum plate
bullet burr die grinder bit
Brice bubble bit
nailboards
using an iron
electric blower
extreme detail
double detailing
cutting spheres from ice
more cutting spheres
freezing items into blocks
making a luge out of almost any sculpture
luge funnels
tubing tips
color effects in ice
adding glitter for color
ice portraits
dealing with backside detail in photos
about snow

preservation & transportation

adding corners to circular sculptures for handling and protection
preserving sculptures for transport
moving ice with a handtruck

display

gels for color
solid foundation for displays
controlling drips
adding corners to circular sculptures for handling and protection
keep your displayed ice in place
emergency ice tray
welding ice with aluminum plate
using an iron
tubing tips
LED lighting tips
basic LED lighting
pumps for ice bars
trays for larger carvings (bars, etc.)
meltwater drainage container
disposable display trays

breakdown

ice pick uses
pumps for ice bars

emphasis on SAFETY!

chainsaw kickback hazards
dealing with electricity and water
power tool safety
wire mesh safety glasses
when ice falls
when ice falls 2
when ice falls 3
when ice falls 4
minor accident in Alaska 2008
ice sculpture vandalism

photography

taking ice photos
examples from Patrick Endres
dealing with backside detail in photos
gels for color
background problems
photography blog and new ice art photos from Patrick Endres

technique videos

splitting a block
conical endmill comparison
aluminum welding (video)


future technique articles include:

ice sculpture set-up guide
more bits
channel luges
tube luges
the sounds ice makes
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