"Ice Castles on the Green"
December 2012

The Valley Arts Alliance produced their fifth annual Ice Castles on the Green! event on Saturday, December 8, 2012. Ice Castles on the Green! consists of unique winter ice sculptures created by some of the Valley’s most innovative artists. Our centerpiece this year was an ice sculpture based on the glass pyramids at the Louvre in Paris. Here is how it came to be…

We created three steel frames, each in the shape of an equilateral triangle with a base of 10 feet, sized so they could be easily transported and assembled on site. Each steel frame was designed with supporting structure to hold 16 triangular sheets of ice.

To form the triangular sheets of ice, we made wooden molds, 30 inches at the base and one and a half inches thick, with tapered sides to make extraction easier. We coated the wooden mold with an epoxy resin for strength and waterproofing.

Over the course of the preceding months (when we had well-below freezing temperatures) we constantly filled these forms with water and extracted and stored the resulting ice sheets. These sheets had to be kept out of the wind, or they would disappear by sublimation.

We needed 48 ice sheets to form our pyramid, but we created over 150 ice sheets, partly for spares, but also to create “baby” pyramids on the side on the main pyramid.

Once we transported all these materials to the back yard of the Dahlia Street Market in Palmer, we assembled a large three-sided pyramid. This pyramid differs slightly from the glass pyramids at the Louvre, which are four-sided.

We had a great time assembling this pyramid, and we want to send a special thanks to “Rusty’s Restaurant” in Palmer for letting us warm up inside, and for their delicious treats! Also a special thanks to DeLena and Steve Johnson for the use of the Dahlia Street Market’s back yard, and the Mat-Su Community Chorus for caroling in the midst of Ice Castles on the Green!

We’re planning another Ice Castles on the Green! next year, so bring your ice and join us!