One of the ultimate winter sports is actually an art: ice carving. Teams of competitors use power tools to sculpt blocks of ice into majestic works of art. Generally there is a time limit, and much of the work is carried out at night to help keep the ice frozen. When completed, the sculptures resemble fantastic glasswork. They are displayed with colored lights for a magical glow.
From the early 20th Century, Alaskan spring fairs featured thrones carved from ice for beauty queens and such. This gradually morphed into more elaborate ice carving as a special local event. Now, almost 80 years later, ice carving attracts teams from all over the world.
The annual world championship is held each March by Ice Alaska at the Ice Park in Fairbanks. Ice is brought from O’Grady Pond, where the water is believed to be especially pure, so the ice is especially clear. The 2015 championship was held March 17-20th. The weather was unusually warm this year, leading to rain and fear of premature melting.
Still, the show went on. This year’s winner was “Fighter,” by Junichi Nakamura and a US/Japanese team. It features a magnificent dragon squaring off against a Medieval Warrior. Another entry, “Peace in Spite of Evil,” depicts a fairly demonic female naga preparing to attack a meditating Buddha. This was created by Manu Songsri and a team from Thailand.
The images are proprietary, so I can’t post them, but here’s a link to a photo essay by CBS News.
This art form is ultimately perishable. Over several weeks, the sculptures melt or are eroded away by wind. We keep their images only in our minds — but wasn’t this always true of dragons?
Posted in Books & Movies | Tagged Deby Fredericks, dragon art, dragons, ice carving, Lucy D. Ford, naga, Real-Life Dragons | Leave a Comment »
This is a picture book, published in 2012 by Two Lions. Ken Baker, an old hand at picture books, finds his words well matched to the whimsical illustration by Christopher Santoro.
As you can guess, Baker’s story riffs on the children’s song, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” Here, in addition to the standard cow, sheep and pig, MacDonald decides to add a dragon to his menagerie! Is this a good idea? The other animals don’t think so. Then the dragon lets them know what he thinks of their thinking.
Yep, you knew this wasn’t a good idea.
Although predictable, it’s a fun telling and the cartoonish art style keeps it from being too scary. If you have young readers around the place, you might want to check this one out.
Posted in Books & Movies, Dragon Jokes | Tagged books for kids, Deby Fredericks, dragon jokes, dragons, Lucy D. Ford, Old MacDonald | Leave a Comment »