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Sunday, 13 January 2013

London Ice Sculpting Festival 2013

It wasn't just the ice that was frozen, I was chilled to the bone from the moment I arrived at The London Ice Sculpting Festival 2013 until I left! It's as if they planned the weather to add to the authenticity. Brrrrr!
Celebrating it's 5th year, the free family art event takes place in and around the towering backdrop of Canary Wharf, a large part of which was located on a small island called Wood Wharf that you had to queue up to set foot on and leave, but more about that later...
time to reveal some art!
Truth is, they looked a million times better in real life, though hopefully you can appreciate the beautiful way in which sections of them were lit up. 
Over 20 ice sculptors took part in the three day event that started on Friday and ran through the weekend. They came from all over the world including the US, Latvia and Spain to show off their sawing skills (Edward may not have been there but the crowd still got to witness the excitement of snow.) Some more than others...
 The Snow Pit was just for kids. Naturally this made me grumpy, but alas, happiness came in the form of sweet stuff. You know when you go to market stalls and there's always a French Patisserie? Well I always think they're overrated, the creations look amazing but the taste is often disappointing. Not here though. The cake stand was spectacular.
One of the main reasons I wanted to come to the London Ice Sculpting Festival was to try out some ice sculpting for myself. These masterclasses where you could sculpt a penguin or polar bear had to be booked in advance, mine was supposed to be at 5.40pm...but as fate would have it, I never made it there as I couldn't get back on the island. That queuing thing I mentioned, I left the island to warm up, came back and after 15 minutes was still attempting to get back on : (

Still, there was also the ice grafitti wall which was stationed back in central Canary Wharf. You still had to queue but it was a much shorter wait.

Each participant was given a tool to engrave into the wall of ice.
It would have been more addictive if there wasn't the stress of knowing you only had two minutes each. I call that stingy but hey, it meant more people had a go.
There was also ice chess, but I'm more of a Draughts kind of girl so I left that to the pros.
 At nightfall there was a light show, but by that point I was such an iceblock myself, I headed indoors to thaw where I stumbled across this very handsome snowman who was guarding the children's craft area.
Back at the Jubilee Line tube station I was amazed to discover a cinema screen, literally a huge projection at the far end of the station, which you can only access when you've passed the ticket barriers. Most people will head straight down the escalator, but those who follow the sights and sounds are in for a treat.
I watched two brilliant short films from the London Transport archives, including a charming look behind the Lost Property Office in Baker Street. Notably that someone actually left a tortoise on a bus and managed to get it back!
I love free days out in London like this. If you look for them, there's always fun activities going on, waiting to be discovered that you don't need any money to enjoy. 
I aim to report back on some more of these adventures in the capital soon!

1 comment:

  1. WOW! This looks fabulous. I had no idea it was happening. My kids would have been in that snow-pit like a shot. And my son is a huge chess fan. Aw well. Maybe next year... x