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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 palaces.

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, it 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 sizes.

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.

From paragraph 1
  1.

(a) When can you usually see a display of ice sculptures ?

From paragraph 2

(b) Which word in this paragraph means "unique" ?

    From paragraph 3
  2.

(a) Why is ice a challenge to work on ?

(b) The word it refers to ____.

    From paragraph 6
  3.

Why is sawing the most tiring activity in ice sculpting ?

    From paragraph 5 and 7
  4.

Name two objects which Harun has carved out of ice.

    From paragraph 8
  5.

(a) Why is it an advantage for an ice sculptor to be strong ?

From paragraph 9

(b) What two things give Harun a sense of satisfaction ? Answer in your own words.

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Answers
 

1.

(a) Grand function and weddings

(b) Distinctive

 

2.

(a) Ice is extremely difficult to carve.

(b) Ice

 

3.

This is because the chainsaws are heavy and difficult to handle.

 

4.

(i) Aeroplane

(ii) Eagle

 

5.

(a) It is because lifting ice blocks i not easy.

(b) Harun feels a sense of satisfaction by the admiration of his work by others and by the completion of his won work.

 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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