fleur-de-lis ice sculpture for ISES

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quickly cutting the silhouette of a fleur-de-lis with a chainsaw
On January 11, 2008, I did a bit of speed carving as part of a larger presentation to the New Orleans chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES). The presentation took place at the House on Bayou Road, New Orleans. Photos by Deanna Bernard of ISES.

(secrets blog entry)

Mardi Gras mask: A Mardi Gras mask with color details is displayed at the entrance to the speed carving demo.

Talking about ice sculptures: Ways ice is used, as well as do’s and don’ts were covered.

Uncut ice: Just before the speed carving begins. The ice is a half thickness slab attached to a base. Note the snow at the bottom of the block.

Ready to carve: Dawson stands ready as the carving portion of the presentation is about to begin.

Ready-Set-Go!: A template is applied to quickly get the fleur-de-lis design on the ice.

Engraving the design: Cutting around and through the paper template, the fleur-de-lis is cut into the ice.

Chainsaw: Ice and snow flies off the block as the saw is used to quickly establish a rough silhouette.

Chainsaw: After the template is removed, the first cuts are made with the saw.

Plunge cutting with the chainsaw: Unlike wood, with ice the tip of the chainsaw can be plunged straight in without danger.

Bullet burr: A high speed bullet burr bit on a heavy duty die grinder is used to smooth the silhouette of the fleur-de-lis.

Logo reveal: Detailing is finished and a surprise logo is revealed (the ISES logo was precarved and initially covered with snow).

Detail lines: After the silhouette is established, the bullet burr is used to mark the beginning of interior detail.

Finishing touches: A regular iron is used to melt excess snow from the logo and straighten the base edges.

Finished carving: About twenty minutes after carving started, the sculpture is complete.

Photo op: Dawson List and Deanna Bernard of ISES stand with the carvings.

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