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Carvers turn ice into art in Holland

11:51 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
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For the 5th year, Holland is hosting a preliminary round of the National Ice Carving Association Collegiate Championships this weekend.

HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - Using saws, drills and sanders artists in Holland are whittling 300 lb. ice cubes down into elegant sculptures.

"It will hopefully look like a panther," says carver Alyson Smith as she examines her block of ice.

For the fifth year, Holland is hosting a preliminary round of the National Ice Carving Association Collegiate Championships this weekend.  The artists are putting their hearts and souls into creations that might only last a few days or hours.

"It takes a passion," says University of Akron coach and hall of fame ice carver Richard Alford. "It's a cold, sloppy,  immediate art form. You have to have some creativity and desire."

The contestants compete over two days in a compulsory and freestyle competition.  The sculptures are judged in ten categories, half artistic and half technical.

"Everyone has favorites," says competition judge Jeff Petercsak. "Art is in the eye of the beholder, but those who can capture emotion, those are the spectacular pieces that take your breath away."

Spectators line the sidewalks to watch the artists whittle the ice chunks into recognizable forms.

"They can shape things into anything you want," says spectator Joey Fuentes. "[It] makes me want to try."

"It's really beautiful and shiny," says spectator Rachael Boersema. "I like that it's kind of see-through. It adds to the dimension of it."

Saturday's schedule includes a master carver demonstration in the morning followed by the freestyle ice carving competition in the afternoon.

"It's artistic and the people really love it," says carver Disrea Wright.

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