Ice-mare!

I have a valuable lesson to share.  Ice is “see through”!  I expect you thought that was “transparently” obvious, didn’t you?  I simply found it quite difficult to obtain effective photographs of ice sculptures, out in the street.  Excuses over, I did thoroughly enjoy myself trying, at York’s Festival of Angels.

An innocent bystander peeps through the angel wings

An innocent bystander peeps through the angel wings

The city of York was as festive as anywhere I’ve ever been at Christmas time, and the Festival of Angels added its own charming dimension.  Local businesses sponsor the ice sculptures, most of which are traditional Christmas images of angels and snowflakes.  The large handsome slug produced an exclamation or two, however.  The sponsor?  A certain restaurant chain that accompanies its food with “green stuff”.

A slippery slug!

A slippery slug!

Mr. Slug illustrates the fact that I should have waited a while to let the frosting on the ice sculptures melt a little.  I’ll know better next time but I was keen to see them all before too big a crowd gathered.

A rather frosty angel

A rather frosty angel

Rudolph was almost defrosted

Rudolph was almost defrosted

And the penguin was halfway there!

And the penguin was halfway there!

The angel won hands down

But the angel won, hands down, quite rightly

The crowd were mostly in good spirits as they wove in and out of the narrow streets.  The presence of an “Ice Bar”, selling delectables such as Baileys in a frozen chocolate cup, undoubtedly helped.  Mulled wine flowed sweetly too.  And there was always Earl Grey in the tea shop.

It speaks for itself

It speaks for itself

Naturally Santa was there

Naturally Santa was there

And an Ice King, who must have had chilly nether regions

And an Ice King, who must have had chilly nether regions

Even the barrel organ was feeling festive

Even the barrel organ was feeling festive

Never tell me the British don't have a sense of humour

Never tell me the British don’t have a sense of humour

York’s a good looking city, and there’s always something to see.  I was also checking out Vintage shops, and in passing couldn’t resist a few more shots.

A former cinema

A former cinema, turned furniture store!

The Merchants Hall is quite special

The Merchants Hall is quite special

St. Martin's Church hovers in the background

St. Martin’s Church makes a lovely backdrop

I would have liked a few more ice sculpture photographs, but they do say “life is for learning”, don’t they?

Ice Christmas trees?

Ice Christmas trees?

An ice Charter of York

An ice Charter of York

An ice polar bear

An ice polar bear

And finally, a snowflake

And finally, a snowflake

My apologies for not doing full justice to the amount of work that must have gone into these incredible pieces of artwork.  I hope you managed to gain just a flavour of the event, and my thanks to York for being gracious hostess to the Festival of Angels.

84 comments

  1. The ice carvings are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them! Did you know that when they make ice for carving, they actually pump air through it as it freezes so it remains transparent. The only bit that is frosted over is when they take the pipe out at the end when it is all nearly frozen. If you just froze a box of ice it would not be that beautiful. 🙂

  2. Great post Jo – I really liked scrolling down to see more and more sculptured ice creations …. I’m stumped as to how they do it ..*giggle*@chilly nethers 😉

    1. I have no idea how it’s possible, Tricia! I love sand sculptures too, but they are easier to conceive and a little more lasting. At FIESA in the Algarve they have an event every year which lasts from May till October.

  3. Those sculptures are amazing, and you remind me of how much I want to visit York. I can’t believe I still haven’t been, and now I know about the Earl Grey tearooms I have a quite desperate desire to get myself down to Yorkshire post haste. Smashing post!

  4. I thought your photos were quite beautiful, actually. My favorite sculpture would have to be the angel as well.. she was stunning, wasn’t she? I watched ice sculpting once, it’s really quite a difficult art, it’s amazing really when you watch them work at chipping ice! Merry Christmas.. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!! xxxx

  5. The creativity and attention to detail astounds me . . . How marvelous it must have been to see each of these beauties in person! I will have to see if I can arrange a similar experience for myself and The Hubs. Nice to meet you!

    ~ Cara

      1. My pleasure! I see we share a friend in Michael, AKA Blissful Adventurer. So lovely to find new friends. 😉

        And a merry, wonderful Christmas to you as well!

        ~ Cara

  6. Love them all.The angel caught my attention too. Somehow it reminded me of the little angels we lost recently in Connecticut and else where in other parts of the world who all are now in heaven. Beautiful post. Merry CHristmas and wishing you and your family all life’s blessings.

  7. It’s a pity that the festival wasn’t held last week Jo. That really cold morning would have been just perfect and the fog would have added some real winter atmosphere. The sculptures might have lasted all day as well. Great post.

  8. Jo, I LOVE reading and seeing Holiday posts and photos! Yours is no exception! Since the December is my favorite time of the year, it’s always a good thing to see how everyone else from around the world celebrates the Holidays!

  9. I think your photos are pretty spectacular Jo, and as I sit here in 35 degree heat sipping a cooling cider, they were the perfect images for me to enjoy!
    Ice sculptures are very intricate and seeing them makes you appreciate all the work that’s gone into making them – phew!
    Thanks for the tour round a beautiful city.

  10. How wonderful. I love the photos of the kids touching them. How can you not resist. The one of the church in the background is a beautiful scene. Ice sculptors we do not have in Florida, but we have sand sculptor competitions each year which draw contestants from around the world. Love the angel.

    1. Wonderfully seasonal, aren’t they, Sami? I know- so much effort for a day’s pleasure! There was a lot of fundraising for charity going on too, and I think that’s the point.

  11. Like all the others who have commented, I found this post very enjoyable! I have never seen ice statues, they must be quite exquisite.
    Even though you were a bit disappointed with the photos, you have brought a lot of pleasure to your readers, and you got to enjoy the atmosphere on the day. Next year, perhaps you will be able to get the sculptures at a different time. In the meantime, I really liked them all!

  12. Great way to slip into a festive mood, Jo. Thank you for a delightful viewing – especially since it comes to me while my fire crackles and throws heat in my cosy wee home.

  13. I think your photographs are excellent 🙂
    I’ve never tried photographing ice sculptures, but can imagine its quite difficult, especially amongst streets ful of people.
    And thank you for a tour around one of my favourite cities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s