View 60: Winterfest Ice Carving

Ice carver, Adam Vural, uses 300 pound blocks of ice to create sculptures in Clinton Square during Syracuses Winterfest.

Ice carver, Adam Vural, uses 300 pound blocks of ice to create sculptures in Clinton Square during Syracuse's Winterfest.

Winterfest time in Syracuse, New York, is held annually during President’s week. Since Syracuse is the home of hundreds of inches of snow every year, you’d think there would be no problem holding such a festival. However, in the past, the weather has been uncooperative. This year looked like a repeat with temperatures reaching near 60 degrees F the day before Winterfest was to begin.

Adam Vurals main carving tool is a chain saw.

Adam Vural's main carving tool is a chainsaw to create his beautiful ice sculptures.

The Syracuse Wintefest committee need not worry. Temperatures returned to normal the next day and has held throughout the weekend. Today was a one of those rare winter days with crisp, cold air and beautiful blue skies. Looking up the Winterfest schedule, I decided to check out ice carver, Adam Vural, who was set up next to the ice skating rink in Syracuse’s Clinton Square yesterday morning.

By the time I got to Adam’s location, he had already completed three ice carvings and was working on the fourth which was the 09 part of the year 2009, having already completed the 20 part. There were a few people watching him including another photographer and two videographers. Adam must be used to having an audience and hearing the clicks and whirls of media equipment. I was amazed at how he welded a chainsaw to do some very intricate work as he went about creating his carvings.

Ice carver Adam Vural puts the finishing touches to a Valentines Day themed sculpture.

Ice carver Adam Vural puts the finishing touches to a Valentine's Day themed sculpture.

While the day was sunny and bright. The temperatures would allow Adam’s carvings to be enjoyed all day long. Now, if only some of the restaurants and cafes would have been open to serve a hot breakfast, there might have been even more people around to see Adam’s talent.

Adam Vural concentrates on getting his ice sculpture just right.

Adam Vural concentrates on getting his ice sculpture just right.

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9 Responses to View 60: Winterfest Ice Carving

  1. Looks really fun to watch!
    I’m glad the temperatures went back to normal and the ice sculptures didn’t melt as fast as they were carved!


  2. rvewong says:

    I also tried a few shots of the Ottawa Ice Carvers working but the results did not turn my crank. The “Best” carvers were given stations in a tent offering even worse photo conditions. As soon as the first batch of carvings were done the temperature soared to +9C. I haven’t been back to see the damage even though the damage could have been cute.


  3. Laurie says:

    Amazing…I am always so impressed by these artists.


  4. montucky says:

    Great series! That guy has talent. I’m also happy to see him wearing chain saw chaps!


  5. giiid says:

    It must be great fun to make these ice-sculptures! Very interesting photos. I love the blue tones at the top photo.


  6. Carsten says:

    Amazing. Or should I say: Cool?
    It is a gift to see the sculpture inside the block, and setting it free with the tools.


  7. Shrewspeaks says:

    Beautiful documentary form. Deceptively simple, yet perfect.


  8. morningjoy says:

    Fascinating stuff, this ice carving. It’s so beautiful, yet so temporary. One year I attended a mammoth Harbin Ice Festival in northeastern China. Their ice sculptures, lit with internal colored lights, are exquisite when seen at night. Their sculptors create an entire city with buildings big enough to walk through. I must say, though, I’ve never been colder in all my life. YouTube has a video of the 2007 festival. Just search for “Harbin Ice Festival.” I wonder how many cities worldwide have ice festivals.


  9. I have no talent for creating art without a camera so people who can do this, sketch, paint and other art forms I allow myself to enjoy what they do. If I can share some of that with all of you via my photographs, I am pleased.


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