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Published in Ralph Bolt's Blog
01 February 2014

Snow Sculpture Forms Finished • Chapel Starting
2-1-14  Plus 18

Don Swarner and I finished up the big snow sculpture form and built another smaller one this morning.  The big one is 8'x8'x8' and the smaller 4'x4'x8'.  One of the Mongolian sculptors stopped over to examine our forms and said he had just come from Breckenridge, Colorado where he sculpted at their big snow event.  Maybe we'll get him to do an exhibition piece for us.

 

Note the model of the chapel Stan Zielinski designed. At the moment, he and Barbra Behm, who just arrived from Sweden, are constructing the half-dome and have it up about 4 tiers.  Look closely at the slight trapezoidal shape of the ice block necessary to bend the ice into its spherical arch.  Barbra glues each block in place by injecting water into the seams.  It's the same technique the sculptors will use in a couple weeks as they glue pieces of their art work together.

 

The position of every block is determined by the long radial arm Stan is holding.  The other end of that arm is firmly attached to a swivel joint in the exact center of the chapel dome.  As he swings the arm laterally each block is placed in the correct position around the arc and as the tiers build up each block is forced to move in toward the center a bit as the rising arm describes a vertical arch.  It's a lot easier to understand by seeing than by telling.  But the geometry is elegant and the ice is beautiful.  It will work.

More later, Ralph Bolt