Casting glacial ice

By Dan // Saturday 22 Sep // 20:02:43 // 1 Comment

Finally managed to cast an eroded piece of glacial ice, something that Heather and I have wanted to do since we first saw them, but found difficult due to the nature of the materials. Any casting material needs to be warm to set and ice melts when a warmer substance is placed on it. This time using snow print wax (used to lift footprints or car tyre tracks from snow by the police) seems to have done the trick; it forms an insulating layer between the ice and the warm plaster mix. This mould is now sitting over the washbasin in our bunk with a small hole at its base through which the melting ice is dripping. I’ll bring back the negative form to the UK and then hopefully be able to cast this into glass; rendering permanent something so transient.



Images: Dan Harvey with ice before casting (above) and casting the ice on the deck of the Noorderlicht (below).

Just found an image I took in 2004 of the glacier at the end of this fiord and have compared this to an image taken yesterday -hopefully these will be posted on web, the difference is obvious. Things here are changing fast! When outside day or night at least once or twice an hour you hear the noise like distant thunder as massive chunks of ice peel of the glaciers, the Kongsvegen glacier we were told is now moving at a rate of 2 meters a day!


Kongsvegan glacier photographed in 2004 during the Cape Farewell voyage.


Kongsvegan glacier photographed in 2007, during the Cape Farewell Youth Expedition.

I have been experimenting with inks on a cut block of ice reveling the small tubular holes that run deep within them like blood vessels. Will try tomorrow to push this work further and would love to understand the science behind these capillaries.

Had a great time hunting for the right block of ice on the second try we managed to lift it onto the small boat, felt far too heavy for the vessel but managed to get it back to harbor in Ny Alesund and then with the help of another crane from a lorry managed to lifted it up onto the quay – a beautiful piece of ice. Wanted to finally carve a clear ice lens but it has been so warm here that whilst carving its been cracking in the warmth, hope tonight to be able to pour water over it so that it becomes clear again then tomorrow if it is sunny… we’ll see if it will burn something….

If not I´m planing to set some ice on fire so stay posted for some flaming ice pics. of one sort or another.

Tags: Dan Harvey

1 Comment

  1. Roger Rathman Sunday 23 Sep, 2007 // 3:32:13

    Wishing you all a great voyage and good seas. Say hi to my friend Dallas Murphy

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