Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fete de Glace

ice man
Yesterday was the annual Fete de Glace, or ice carving festival, in St. Charles, MO. Last year a friend and I went (you can read about my experience here), and this year five of us from my Women in Focus St. Louis photography group met at the event. Last year was quite warm, creating a problem for the sculptors with the melting ice. This year weather was not an issue. It was about 36 degrees when I arrived, outfitted in my long underwear and multiple layers of clothing. Though the sun was shining, a brisk breeze kept a chill in the air.

Our group met up at 10:00, with the actual festival beginning at 9:30. That was still early enough that we could see the prep work of the artists as they readied their blocks of ice for the competition. Each carver starts with a block of ice weighing approximately 260 pounds. It seemed as if there were fewer ice carvers this year, although there were a few who were just beginning to carve as I was leaving a little after 1:00. So perhaps they staggered the start times in an effort to give more visitors an opportunity to see a piece from start to finish.

The crowds are usually pretty light in the morning, so it was easy to get around and take pictures of the artists at work. We basically all headed off on our own for a little over an hour to get the shots we wanted. By that time we were pretty cold, so we went into one of the local restaurants to grab lunch. This is what happens when five photographers sit down to eat. Ha!

tools of the trade
Each time I am together with these women I am struck by what a unique group of individuals we are. I like our field trips where we have an opportunity to get to know each other a little better. We all may be looking at the same thing, but we each see things differently. In our own way. And that gets reflected in our photographs.

Following lunch we braced ourselves to once again face the cold, and headed back down the street to see what the artists had accomplished in our absence. The crowds were much larger, and tons of people had their dogs - large and small - with them as well. It was harder to get good photos without someone in the way. I checked out a few of the new artists just beginning their sculptures, and then took off for home. I think I was the last woman standing from our group at that point. Despite the chill in the air, it was a cool event to photograph. Bah!

ice sculptures

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

What those artists can do is amazing! Ice sculptures are not just for cruise ships!