Consider the following to be the 7 Steps of every ice sculpture-

7 Steps of Sculpting

  • Design- Apply the design
  • Silhouette- Cut out the silhouette
  • Blocking in- Push back the levels
  • Rounding- Cut off the corners
  • Sanding- Smooth the ice
  • Details- Add refractive angles
  • Clean- Remove small scratches & chips of ice

Start with a slab frozen to a footer

We carve at room temperature

(this slab tempered for about 1 hour)

The template paper sticks right to the melting ice

Click here to learn 4 methods of making templates

Using a tracing bit, & die grinder

draw through the paper

After the complete design is traced onto the ice remove the template

Using a chainsaw, Cut away all of the ice to create

a “Cookie Cutter” of the sculpture

(Be sure to cut out at 90 degrees)

More “Cookie Cutter”
The finished “Cookie Cutter”

Using a Bullet Burr 125,

Round the areas that your chainsaw

would not allow you to get to

Next carve in the reference lines
Here I cut in lines to define the layers of feathers(still using the bullet burr 125)

Using a long 1/4″ End Mill bit,

I draw the lines between the wings in deep

Using a chainsaw

Angle the feathers back, so it looks like they could overlap

Then shape the back of the wing. Here is a good place to curve the ice. This will make the wing look more natural, rather than stiff.

Using a pistol grip sander,

Sand all of the surfaces that are to be smooth

I like to leave the long feathers plain, others like to detail them heavily

Using a Rotary Knife,

Detail the short feathers

Notice that about 15 minutes went by (that included photography & a phone call).

Precise efficient movements based on experience coupled with the right tools make you faster.

Finished Wing, after spraying with a hose