City of Poznan

The 2012 International Poznań Ice Festival.

The chainsaw is not the most precise of tools. You wouldn't want to use it for removing a gallbladder. But put into the hands of a professional ice sculptor, the preferred weapon of backwoods demon slayers can create wintertime effigies whose ethereal majesty kicks a snowman's humble butt.

Recently, the most talented artisans in the ice-carving industry (yes, it's considered an industry) convened in the Polish city of Poznań for its yearly International Ice Sculpture Festival. The 2012 bash – the only one of its kind in Europe – was up in the air for a while, with Poznań's purse-string holders guessing this spring that it would be canceled due to "economical problems." But because winter in Poznań just wouldn't be the same without burly beardos turning ice boulders into reindeer and weird heads in the public square, officials decided to go ahead with it, anyway, staging the frigid event over two days earlier this month.

Below, find a few of the 2012 offerings from the world's best ice carvers. It's no surprise that the winners of the contest hailed from countries with bitter winters, with first-through-third places going to Poland/France, Japan and Russia, respectively. For more sculptures that can cool your cocktail, check out the City of Poznań's photo portal.

These shots are taken from the video below, produced by Kam Kam Visuals:

VII International Ice Sculpture Festival | Poznan 2012 from KamKam Visuals on Vimeo.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. How To

    Against Little Free Libraries

    Does that birdhouse filled with paperbacks on your block represent an adorable neighborhood amenity or the “corporatization of literary philanthropy”?

  2. a photo of a Metro PCS store in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    What D.C.’s Go-Go Showdown Reveals About Gentrification

    A neighborhood debate over music swiftly became something bigger, and louder: a cry for self-determination from a community that is struggling to be heard.

  3. a rendering of the moon village with a view of Earth
    Design

    Designing the First Full-Time Human Habitat on the Moon

    SOM, in partnership with the ESA and MIT, wants to accommodate research and maybe even tourism on the moon.

  4. a photo of a man surveying a home garage.
    Transportation

    How Single-Family Garages Can Ease California's Housing Crisis

    Given the affordable housing crisis, California cities should encourage single-family homeowners to convert garages into apartments and accessory dwelling units.

  5. A tent-like pavilion with a colorful stained-glass design in a cemetery at dusk.
    Design

    The New Art Galleries: Urban Cemeteries

    With their long-dead inhabitants remembered only foggily, historic cemeteries like Mount Auburn and Green-Wood use art to connect to the living.