snis

Some days we worked all day and felt like we'd achieved nothing by Jonathan Green

The mid-build slump was a very real thing for us.

There were days (particularly when it was -22) when we’d feel like we had worked continuously, but had nothing to show for it.

It was pretty demoralising, especially in the brutal cold, but you had to dig deep, and push forward, knowing the deadline was moving ever closer.

The changing conditions brought about subtle changes in the ice and snow and snice, or snis (pronounced ‘sneess’ if you’re from Sweden). It’s incredible how the materials change their quality when the temperature drops. Ice blocks can literally shatter when you work on them because the point at which you’re chiselling or chain-sawing has a greater temperature difference than the surrounding ice and air. The colder it gets, the more things change, and the harder it is to work, especially if your gloves or clothes get wet.

Ice is the most glorious material to work with. We both fell in love with it, to the point where we still both miss touching it and working with it. For a sculptor, it is the ultimate material. Strong, but soft, with sharp tools.

Gliding a sharp chisel over an ice block is one of the most satisfying feelings ever. And the ice from the Torne River is as clear as glass.