The Old Block of Ice And a Few New Chips
By the time you read this, some of the coolest tech products of last year may have melted.
Not an iPod, TiVo, Xbox or BlackBerry, but holiday decorations made of ice such as Santa Claus, Father\'s Day, snowman, Angel, Starburst, Castle and even party masks.
Ice sculptures and sculptures are traditionally the field of chefs and chisels.
The craftsmen waving have becomeTechnical production.
In the past few years, many professional ice sculptures have started using computers.
Enable them to break the boundaries of creativity and broaden the market for their products.
\"People think of ice sculptures, swans, Hearts and dolphins,\" said Julian Bailey, founder of Iceculture, a sculpture company in Hensal, Ontario.
\"But ice sculptures are now more functional. \'\'Mr.
Bayley developed the first computer.
The carving machine five years ago.
The machine, he said, has turned ice sculptures into a common feature of mainstream corporate events, weddings, festivals and private gatherings, which used to be an art form for rare occasions.
At the same time, Randy Finch said the ads \"machines give artists more talent to expand\"
Owner of ice sculpture Co. , Ltd.
Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mr.
Finch used computers.
Drive the machine to help produce such a complete ice creation
Pool table available in size, fivefoot-
High working Ferris wheel (
Made of 40 pieces of ice)
, And an ice fireplace in which the logs are melted in the simulation of burning.
The ad \"technically you can do anything without a computer if you have time, but I don\'t know I will do it,\" says Mr.
Former chef Finch.
\"It gives us the motivation and excitement to push the border.
\"In addition to speeding up the engraving of complex designs ---a 3 1/2-by-6 1/2-
It may take three hours to make the foot company logo by hand, but it only takes four minutes on the machine-
These machines can create the same individual design copy, enabling the company to produce central components of the economy, sorbet, wine glasses, and even marked ice cubes.
Nadeau ice sculptures in Forest Park.
, Using this ability to replicate, make presentations at the local zoo every night, assemble and complete sculptures with prefabricated parts.
Jim Nadeau, the company\'s boss, said the company also made ice building toys for children named Brrrr block, similar to Lincoln Logs. The computer-
Ice sculptures become safer by controlling the machine. Mr.
Recently built a delicate ice bridge for an event at Rockefeller Center, he said the devices can cut ice cubes so precisely that \"they go together like Lego blocks \". \'\'\'\'We tongue-and-
\"Slot them so they can lock in the position,\" he said . \" He pointed out that the weight of a single block can reach 350 pounds.
Please click on the box to verify that you are not a robot.
The email address is invalid. Please re-enter.
You must select the newsletter you want to subscribe.
View all New York Times newsletters.
These machines, known as computer CNC routers, were originally developed by the signal manufacturing industry, but were like Mr.
Bayley, who added a tool to cut ice and added more stringent wiring to handle the cold of the sculptor\'s refrigerator.
These machines are available in both flat-panel configurations for engraving shallow designs such as landscape etching and company logos, as well as in making larger three-
The size cut that can be done manually by the sculptor later.
Many stores also use non-computer-
A drive ice lathe controlled by a mechanical template for engraving round items such as columns, football and crystal balls. A typical set-
Up includes a running design PCthe-
Computer shelf software-aided design.
The PC is connected via a cable or network to another PC or control box in the freezer workshop, which is connected to the engraving machine again.
Load and modify the design on the design PC, and then fake it to the engraving machine for production.
The ad \"it\'s great to be able to do most of the planning outside the refrigerator,\" said Mark Donovan, vice president and director of operations at San Diego SoCal Ice Productions.
\"Before, we cut it and stacked it and calculated it. \'\'Mr.
Donovan\'s company is developing a set of eightfoot-
In January, the long popsicles and Roman columns of a corporate gathering accompanied, they said, a challenge is to find talent, especially those who can cross from the design world to the ice world.
\"A lot of people are afraid to touch the ice and be afraid to treat it as a medium,\" he said . \".
\"You know, something happens when bits click.
\"According to Alice Connelly, executive director of the National Ice Sculpture Association, there are about 2,000 ice sculptors in the United States, including freelance chefs who serve as ice sculptors (
Talent obtained in cooking school)
But only about 100 pursue art full-time.
Among them, she estimates that nearly half of them own machines that have recently fallen from around $60,000 to $30,000, becoming smaller and even a bit portable.
Additional equipment is required to distilled water and extract impurities while freezing water for the purpose of producing transparent, high
Density blocks that will slowly melt. (
Carving usually lasts six to eight hours at room temperature. )
The cost of carving something with a computer is about $1.
25 for an ice block with a sign on it, for a big ice block, it costs tens of thousands of dollars. of-a-kind displays. Mr.
Finch of ice sculpture Co. , Ltd.
He said he had sold his ice fireplace design documents to other ice sculptors for about $250.
But he said he was careful who he sold.
\"We don\'t want to make a very good design and sell it to our competitors,\" he said . \".
\"There are a lot of small companies starting businesses right now.
\"We are constantly improving the quality of text archives.
Please send feedback, error reports, and suggestions to archid_feedback @ nytimes. com.
A version of this article appears on page G00001 of the National edition in January 1, 2004, with the title: old ice cubes and some new chips.