January 9, 2010

Cold enough for ya? Ice carvers in their element!

Jeff Shawhan, who usually carves snow, draws an audience

It was 17 degrees Downtown this morning, and the only people oblivious to the cold were a hardy band of ice carvers. To be honest, they were keeping warm through hard work, sawing through and chipping at 300-lb. blocks of ice, looking for their interpretation of this year's theme, "Cooler by the Lake."

Great minds think alike, someone once said, and the adage must also hold true for ice carvers. Ice sailboats occupied three or four of them, and sea and winter creatures playing the saxophone will emerge from at least a couple of the other ice blocks.

By the time the sculptures are finished at 3 p.m., there'll also be a kayaker, an ice hockey player a skier -- and who knows what else, as the ice chips fall where they may.

The 13 carvers on Main and Sixth Streets are limited only to hand tools and their imaginations.

And, of course, to hecklers like me who remind them that they could be inside, by a warm fireplace, sipping something ... scotch, say, or even hot chocolate. Noreen Lephardt, who's been ice-carving for ten years, laughed and took a moment from finding the skier in her ice block to reassure us that the carvers understand all that -- "but when your butt is frozen, then the fireplace and scotch is so much better!"

Mike Lechtenberg will find a boy looking for his hat in the ice

Tim Held sees a kayaker in his ice block

John Haas with clay model of penguin playing a sax

Bob Lanenhohl looks for his fish-playing sax in his ice block


  1. Georgie Porgie's of Racine1/09/2010 1:20 PM

    Awesome work to all the ice carvers in Racine.

  2. This is one of the best events downtown. And now some looser houligans have knocked down three of the beautiful works of art. Seems to be trouble from the bars as two of the damaged pieces are right beside Blue Rock. What a shame, it's one reason why more people don't organize things in downtown. Just too discouraging to get involved in an event only to be un-appreciated and vandalized. But great job to the lady from Copacetic who put the whole thing together. I saw her out at 7am shoveling places for the ice blocks to be put down.

  3. I was also very sad to come into work this morning and see Micha from Porter's kicking what was left of his artists shattered carving off the sidewalk so no one slips. Hours of work for a few minutes of pleasure..

  4. A lot of skill and talent from these ice carvers. Thank you to all of them for sharing with us!