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Tom and I recently returned from exhibiting at the AmericasMart in Atlanta, one of the largest permanent gift trade shows in America. While overwhelming on so many levels, it also filled us with energy. It truly never ceases to amaze us that there are HUGE numbers of people who have never experienced the joy of making, displaying and/or lighting an ice lantern. It is incredibly fun to have someone stop walking past our booth and look with wonder at the globe ice lanterns we have displayed. I will often say, “Have you ever seen an ice lantern before?” Most often, the reply is, “No, explain it to me” And so the door is open . . . and the look of wonder turns to a smile of awareness and happiness.
What I hear most often, is “How beautiful!”, “These are amazing!, “How do you do it?”, “Are they easy to make?”, all topped off with, “Can you add color?” Of course, these were comments from store owners and buyers - cross-fingers many more stores will be selling our DIY kits and spreading the joy of ice lanterns later this year. If you have a favorite store that you think would be perfect, please let us know!
But what made this show even more exciting was that we announced the release of our new book (Late Summer/Fall 2016) called "Ice Luminary Magic!" which will be the definitive guidebook to making, displaying, lighting and playing with all sorts of luminary ice creations. In our show booth, we had on display a few of the projects that will be detailed in the book. The favorite, by far, was a new process I have developed for freezing flowers and action figures frozen into a globe ice lantern!
Now, freezing flowers, seed pods and other items into an ice lantern made with a bucket is fairly common knowledge amongst ice lantern enthusiasts, especially on Pinterest, but doing so into a globe ice lantern has been challenging at best. Up until now, only those items that could be squeezed through the neck of the Wintercraft Globe Ice Lantern Balloon could be used. And, this is a very real challenge as the latex of our balloons are so heavy that they are hard to tie, much less stretch to allow things through. Plus, once through the balloon neck, those items that floated, wound up massed at the top of the globe and those things that sank, filled the bottom. In other words, placing the items in any way, was impossible.
So, I have been puzzling on the idea of how to freeze beautiful flowers into a globe ice lantern for quite a while, and just a year or so ago, I stumbled upon the solution. Like most inventions, it happened by happy accident-and many experiments later, I have what is pictured in this blog.
With each experiment, I learned new things about the process and applied those lessons to new experiments. My most recent and successful globe ice lantern experiments were displayed in our booth along with a few other techniques for displaying a globe ice lantern indoors. In my book, step-by-step instructions for each of the projects will be detailed, as well as information about how ice behaves. How ice freezes and melts is instrumental in understanding the potential of using ice as an art medium. It’s like talking about how baking powder and baking soda work to understand how to experiment while baking. I use the following baking analogy often: Making a cake from a box should and is fairly simple, but there are lessons learned the first time you try. So, it is probably a good idea to NOT make a wedding cake the first time you try baking. The same is true with Globe Ice Lanterns. Making a Globe Ice Lantern is fairly simple. Would I suggest you make a Globe Ice Lantern filled with flowers the first time you try the craft? No. Become familiar with the concepts first. Then, once my book is released in the Fall of 2015, with all the instructions to help, go for it -- and I want to see photos!
Enjoy the Glow!
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