I spent the most part of January, watching soap bubbles crystallize. In February, I came upon a new Creative Project, Ice Lanterns! What were supposed to be lanterns at first, quickly turned into different refrigerated experiments. I have already shared the result of my most successful creations. But know that behind the pretty images, there were also some less convincing results. I thought I would share the different experiments which turned up to be, often more interesting, than the original idea.
Nothing comes without trying! Creating nourishes, inspires and soothes.
Experiment 1 – Food Coloring and Cracks
For Valentine’s Day, I wanted to experiment with color… so I added red food colorant to the balloons, before filling them. When it came time to unmold, it was beautiful, but after the excess water was removed, the lanterns were left, a faded shade of pink and ended up leaking all over our pavers. So much for that. I decided to try to recreate a solid ball, as I had done in the previous weeks. It remains by far, the most beautiful and interesting result.
I’m not too sure why, but the results were not very convincing… and very messy. First, if you use dye, do it in the snow, where you won’t risk staining your patio. It is quite possible that the temperature of -20 degrees Celcius caused the lanterns to crack… from which some lanterns never recovered.
Because it was so cold, and because the lanterns looked better when wet, I thought it would be a good idea to pour water on the ice outside. Well… I should have put more thought into that. In fact, I thought about using very cold water, so the contrast wouldn’t be too big. But a few degrees above zero and at -20 outside… the contrast was still too big! So… it cracked!
In fact, the red lantern cracked, while remaining intact. I then poured water on the hollowed out lanterns and this time they cracked quite evenly. Most resisted the thermal shock, (except for the one that was a little too thin).
So I went inside to warm up. An hour later… A loud Crack !!! The lantern had cracked in 2, obviously letting all the red liquid flow, on the pavers. I was not going to wait for spring to find out if the dye would still be there! So I rinsed it with plenty of water, and apart from the skating rink I managed to create, I believe I have avoided the worst. The lantern finally ended up in the snow, making sure to drip all the way!
As I had succeeded, quite easily, in assembling the hollowed-out lanterns to create Iceman and Icewoman, I thought I would try something new…
Experiment 2 – The Solid Iceman
I first froze 3 balloons for more than ten hours. After removing the balloons, with a chef’s knife, I flattened one of the sides for each of the balls. By unmolding the balloons inside, the balls melted slightly on the surface, which greatly helped with assembly.
Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to hold a ball, balanced on another, let alone a third. To my surprise, it was almost instantaneous. The cold and the ”slush” did all the work!
Incredible but true! It worked! I took a few pictures before going back inside to warm up. A few minutes passed, an hour at the most. My Iceman was still up!
Suddenly… CRACK!!! The first ball cracked in 2 and fell, followed closely by the second one. Moral of this story. Take pictures quickly! I still managed to put the balls back together… but the Solid Iceman never did come back!
Nearly a week and two days of thawing later, they have melted a bit… but are still there!
Experiment 3- Decorate your Ice Couple
During all this time, the Ice Coupe was still standing, straight and very proud. I thought about adding shells to create the nose and the eyes, but the Disaster of the Solid Iceman, had the effect of slowing down my decorative efforts. Ah yes, also between my Frozen Creations, I also worked on my Design Projects. Time ran out, so I decided to simply go with a tuque and a scarf. For the berets, I used two thin tuques, to which I added an elastic band in order to reduce the size and create a pompom effect. For the scarves, I used two long stockings, which I tied at the ends.
Last Thursday, the wind picked up and the thermometer climbed to nearly 7 degrees Celcius above 0. I thought they would have been blown away… but no, it was the warmer temperatures that had the last word!
Slowly they leaned towards each other…
The next morning, only the tuques, the scarves and a few ice fragments, had replaced the loving ice couple… And that’s how our two frozen Valentines… melted, together forever!
As I am writing these words, I thought I was done with my Ice Lanterns Phase, but the Storm Lanterns of my friends, Hugo & Bélita… have rekindled… my creative flame!
To be continued… for new icy adventures…