The store is known for having an inspiring entrance that looks like a wilderness area - a cascading waterfall leads to a small lake surrounded with dark rock, birches and evergreens. So, I began by taking a few photos of the courtyard area and started to imagine how I would work with the landscaping to create an ice glass wonderland that would be beautiful but also practical enough for the employees to maintain.
The weather forecast soon looked dismal with cold weather the week before, but steadily warming through to the day of a big party scheduled for Sunday, December 7th. So REI staff and I agreed to do our best and just try to get to Sunday with a good showing.
It was at that point that I started to think we should go with colorful LED lights to make it look as much like the Northern Lights as possible and to make it a breeze to maintain. All the LEDs are on a timer that lights everything up around 5pm and if the employees want to go out and light the globe ice lanterns with candles, they can, but it's not necessary. All involved said yes!
I decided to make extra thick ice glass which I was BARELY able to pull out of the ice glass pools on my own (at 3am!). So I called in reinforcements to help move and place the glass. Nate Sievers works in the Hedberg Maps/Wintercraft offices and is our go-to guy for just about everything. It turns out he is a go-to guy for luminary ice installations as well!
We decided to bring everything over on Wednesday and worked all day on the installation of the ice glass on Thursday. I positioned all the lights at the end of the day and stood back to see the results. As Nate says, "We crushed it!"
Hope to see some of you at the REI Bloomington, MN store this December!
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