As I have perhaps mentioned, once or twice, occasionally, in some other praxis of mine, it's really freaking cold here in Minnesota right now. Therefore if I was to use water to decorate a public space, it would have to be frozen water.
The first step was research. I hit up Instructables
, in hope that they'd have some advice about ice sculpting. They didn't but they did have instructions for making Ice Gems
. And that had promise.
I'm a big fan of testing, so first I made a test gem, freezing it overnight. When this came out fairly well, I tested out my technique of sticking things to the ground with ice (by pouring a small puddle which I put the items in) which also worked.
(It is around here I got another idea, involving Lincoln-esque fake hands and foraging up a large numbers of rubber gloves, which totally didn't pan out at all. So, I gave up on that idea and went back to my original idea)
Having finished research and development, it was time to ramp up production. I filled ten balloons with varying amounts of water and left them in the refrigerator overnight. My fridge actually wasn't large enough for all the balloons, so I ended up having to leave two of them outside (I'm glad it was only two - the ones I left outside ended up much murkier than the inside ones). When I got up the next morning, I simply cut the balloons off the ice, put them all in a bag, and set off.
Now came the difficult design - where to decorate and how to decorate my chosen place. After considering and abandoning some ideas, I finally decided to decorate some stairs, putting the ice on either side of the stairs. Now I just had to find a stairway with five steps. That didn't take me too long, but to my dismay I found when I got there some of the ice had broken in transit. Luckily, it all worked out in the end - I was able to decorate six steps instead of only five, and the remaining piece was left at the foot of the stairs. The assembly process was pretty straightforward - lay out the ice, arranged them in the order I wanted, then freeze them to the step. I used a teapot from my apartment for the water.
The leftover water was used for a little additional decoration - see the photos