I participated in the most exciting masterclass that I never thought about trying before. Most people have tried some kind of sculpting before, either with standard clay that dries in the open air or ceramic pottery that must be oven glazed. I have experienced both of these methods of sculpting in the past, as well as modelling with modrock. However, a less common medium to try sculpting with is ice. A friend of mine told me about a masterclass she was filming for a documentary for Hamilton Ice Sculptors, so I jumped at the opportunity to try it out! The company was established by Duncan Hamilton over 30 years ago and during that time they have taken part in many installations and commissions for all sorts of occasions. Therefore, they are a very impressive team of extremely talented people and it was such a pleasure to meet them and learn a bit about their business.
After giving us a tour and briefing on how to use the tools, we got into pairs and began creating a design idea for our sculptures. We were each given a large block of ice to work with, gloves, apron and a couple of chisels. Although Duncan suggested we choose simple shapes like a star or a boat, my partner and I decided to be slightly ambitious and create a human head. While my partner was very good at making the square block into a smooth rounded head shape, I went took on the challenge of carving out the face. It was so much fun and not as difficult as I had thought it would be. Considering I have modeled 3D human heads digitally in Maya before, and having painting portraits, it made it easier to understand the contours of the face. The sculptors that work at Hamilton Ice were also walking around and giving us direction when needed. I was quite happy with the end product – we were only given an hour or so to do it though, so we were unable to finish it. It really was such great fun and had me re-thinking my career path! It is DEFINITELY something worth trying and I really recommend going for one the masterclasses at Hamilton Ice Sculptors.
Have a sneak peek here!