Do you know that blocks of ice
can become beautiful pieces of art? These pieces of art of ice sculptures are
the work of artists called ice sculptors. Ice sculptures capture our
imagination. They glisten at every grand function and wedding and appear in a
variety of shapes and sizes. Depending on the occasion, they can resemble
anything from kissing swans and love birds to Santa Claus and glittering
But do we ever wonder about the
artist behind these magnificent works? All we see are the results of their
creativity, skill, vivid imagination and hard work. One of these artists is
Harun Jalil, a Malaysian ice sculptor who is noted for his outstanding work. He
has developed his own distinctive style over the years. Ice is extremely
difficult to carve and is a real challenge to work on. But in Harunís hands,
can be transformed into art to reveal its hidden beauty. Before Harun can begin
sculpting, he prepares tools like chisels and hammers of different lengths and
Harun usually imagines the
picture before he starts his work on ice. After that, he makes an outline of his
chosen subject onto the block of ice with small chisels. He stresses that if a
sculptor has not fully mastered the technique of carving and sculpting, the ice
an added bonus.
Then he chips away. As small
parts of the ice slowly flake off with each hit, the object takes on a
three-dimensional appearance. It takes 20 to 45 minutes to complete a sculpture,
depending on the complexity of the design. An aeroplane carved in ice took him
almost two hours to complete.
Chainsaws are used to saw off
huge chunks of ice. This step is the longest and most exhausting of all. The
chainsaws are rather heavy and difficult to handle. Gradually, the ice block
begins to take on the desired shape. The edges are rough and jagged from the
sawing and chipping, hence the next step is to make the sculpture smooth, using
a flat chisel.
Using his bare hands, Harun
holds and moves the ice. To fine-tune the piece, he uses his chisels to create
eyes, swings, feathers and other unique features. From a mere block of ice,
Harun makes a majestic eagle. The sculpture is then placed on a small flat tray.
It takes more than just talent
to do ice carving. One must concentrate on what one is doing and work tirelessly
without any break. Dedication and experience in ice carving goes a long way in
gaining respect from fellow ice artists. It also pays to be strong, for lifting
ice blocks is not easy.
It may look simple but there is
a great deal of work that goes into ice carving. Harun values the satisfaction
he feels when a piece is completed and admired by others. His knowledge,
creativity and experience make Harun different from other ice sculptors.