Rainy: I wanted to do this task, because I like water. After some thought (and discussion with pre-school teacher friend), I decided that ice shapes with some natural food tint coloring in them was the way to go. Ice sculpture! Obviously, that's the best idea in a place where it's 75 degrees Fahrenheit at 6am and 102 in the shade by noon.
I started collecting shapes to freeze water in and then realized, this would be so much cooler (ahem) if I had collaborators! I put out the call to Team AU0 and they joined in enthusiastically.
I started collecting a melange of plastic things to make ice in, and acquired some things to tint the ice with:
Evil Sugar and Sparrows Fall both came up with more uniform ideas for ice forms. I passed the blue stuff on to Sparrows Fall; Evil Sugar and the gummy bears cooked up another approach to coloring the ice (see below). We discussed locations and plans of attack while we each continued to make ice. (I added some more uniform shapes, too, in the form of large plastic cups.) We decided to do it early and settled on 7am, and, given the nature of the shapes we had, to do an ice mandala.
Then I decided I really should take a day off of the dayjob for this endeavor, especially as we were going to need breakfast when we were done.
I didn't completely settle on the public space to decorate with our ice until the night before we were scheduled to rendezvous, when I realized that the Lamar Street Pedestrian Bridge was the perfect place, both aesthetically and locationally (we would have heavy coolers to haul).
Evil Sugar: The Green Team was assigned to this task. They decided they would make green ice. They also requested that Evil Sugar type up their sections of the praxis in green.
The Green Team decided to make their own all-natural dye. They found some wilty spinach in the back of the Evil Human Overlord's fridge. It was green. They were green. Perfect!
Sadly, the color they got by boiling the spinach wasn't as pretty as they'd hoped. It seemed too yellow-brown. They added some blueberry juice, which helped a little bit.
The bears were worried, but the color looked a lot better frozen:
The gummies made 14 blocks of sage green ice. One gummy fell into the water during the ice-production process. The bear was fished out, but unfortunately had become waterlogged and could not be saved. NOM NOM NOM.
Sparrows Fall: I inherited the blue dye from Rainy:
But what to dye? What could I put ice in? Then it occurred to me that I steadily work my way through about one or two small ice cream containers a week - I immediately drafted them into use.
Popping the ice out of the containers was easy at first - I'd just run them under some hot water for a while. I froze in batches, setting up a batch in the morning, harvesting the ice in the evening and setting up a batch for the night, then harvesting that batch in the morning and setting up the day's batch again. If things went according to plan, I'd end up with about 31 chunks of ice.
My store of blue ice pieces began to grow steadily.
You'll note I said "at first" up there. Turns out when you get Ben & Jerry's ice cream containers wet the paper at the seam comes loose a little. And when you freeze another chunk of ice in it right after that? It 'grabs' the frayed paper and tears out even more when you're removing it.
The tools of industry were failing! I started leaving paper towels beneath the ice cream containers to soak up the leaking water - they ended up freezing into solid city blocks of paper and ice cream containers that needed to be removed from the refigerator with knives.
But at last, it was time (I started freezing thin plates of ice in the tops of the ice cream containers, too - you can see a few of them on the top shelf of the freezer, below).
We had to move early, and fast. We'd already had eight days of at least 100 degree weather. We decided to get moving at 7am, in an attempt to beat the heat.
It turns out my last batch of ice forms hadn't had time to freeze all the way through - they still had squishy liquid centers! This one also had some little air bubbles along for the ride:
Sparrows Fall: The morning arrived, and we hit the Lamar Street Pedestrian Bridge. Rainy laid out the center of the mandala:
The rest of it grew from that center:
Until most of the form was complete. We were moving fast here, because the ice was already starting to melt.
Last of all we filled in some of the shapes with the smaller pieces of ice we had - these melted the fastest, and if you check our proof list you can see that these were almost gone by the time we left:
Remember those little ice plates I mentioned that I made using the tops of the ice cream containers? Those melted fast, too:
One of the prettiest pieces was at the center - Rainy had frozen a flower into the ice form, and as the ice melted, it began to emerge:
And Evil Sugar's spinach-based ice forms looked beautiful contrasted against all the other ice - these are my two favorite pictures:
Rainy: People asked what we were doing, or just looked as they passed. The sky was beautiful. We documented a lot of melt progress and the sun came out just as we packed up to leave.
Evil Sugar: After the horrible drowning death of one of the green bears, the remainder of the green team stayed clear of the potentially hazardous melting ice. With no gummies to photograph, Evil Sugar instead took pictures of the ice:
the people passing by:
and the pretty sky:
Sparrows Fall: And this is the whole thing, all come together:
Rainy: We went to breakfast, well pleased with ourselves. And while the pancakes and breakfast tacos were good, the important thing was that Sparrows Fall got some coffee.