The Floral Ice Disc Wall saga ends well . . .

Jennifer Shea Hedberg | 15 January, 2021

Floral Ice Disc Wall for #Sharingtheglow at Wintercraft The Ice Wrangler

Our Sharing the Glow offering - the Floral Ice Disc Wall

If you are wondering how an ice wall filled with MN Landscape Arboretum flowers ended up in our front yard, stay tuned because it's a story with twists and turns.

Last year I was commissioned by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (Arb) to construct an ice sculpture for their Winter Lights event that people could interact with and explore. So, with the help of some friends, I built this fanciful bench and floral ice tower ice creation.

2019 MN Landscape Arboretum installation by The Ice Wrangler 

The Arb guests seem to like it, so the Winter Lights planners asked me back this fall. This time they were focusing on what they could do for a pandemic version of the event and were looking for suggestions of an ice sculpture that would engage, but keep people spread out. I brought a few Floral Ice Discs, remarking that if I made as many as possible, I could build a long wall with them and backlight it with rotating color! They were intrigued and said yes. This video shows the Floral Ice Disc used to pitch the concept.


All that fall I perused their beautiful gardens clipping blossoms and colorful grasses to freeze into ice. As I carefully made each one, I put them into cold storage.

Winter Lights opening night was not as cold as I would have liked, so I built a mini version of the wall, and . . .

Mini Floral Ice Disc Wall for opening night of 2020 MN Landscape Arboretum's Winter Lights event 

. . . added some of the Floral Bucket Ice Lanterns I made for last year's event.


Then, BAM, the next day because of new stricter Covid regulations the MN Attorney General closed down the event! The surefooted event planners barely blinked. They went into a huddle and came out with the idea to rework all the lights they had just spent months hanging into a drive-thru event. 

Photo of the 2020 MN Landscape Arboretum's Winter Lights event by Emily Lowther 

My portion of the event was completely derailed as I was supposed to be in a remote location perfect for viewers to walk by and gaze into the ice. Inspired by the flexibility of the planners, I came up with an alternate plan that might work with the next drive-thru concept and with the heat wave we were experiencing. I installed a mannequin dressed in a Winter Queen get-up and hoisted her into a throne of sorts complete with two 50 pound globe ice lanterns lit with multi-colored projection lights.

The Ice Queen for the new drive-thru Winter Lights event for 2020

My hope was to install the wall when we had enough snow and cold to freeze it together. But, when the cold finally came, the planners decided that it was too important to keep people in their cars, so they opted for me to create a large ice luminary sculpture with petals of ice glass all lit with projection lights--something that could be more easily seen from 15 feet away.

The Ice Wrangler Ice LUminary Sculpture for 2021 MN Landscape Arboretum Winter Lights 

Well, so that meant that the Floral Ice Discs I created would need to be built into a wall somewhere else and with our #Sharingtheglow concept fresh in our minds, the best option was to build it at our house! Then, neighbors could happen upon it and gaze into the ice one by one or in a small family group. 

This video shows the back of the wall first and then wraps around to the front.

So, if you want to start SHARING THE GLOW, go to #SharingTheGlow where we have a downloadable pdf with instructions for making ice lanterns.  Then head outside to make ice lanterns and share them with abandon! I'm falling in love with the idea that the silver lining of this mess may be that we will all learn a new way to gather that can take us farther than ever before.

So, remember that's #SharingTheGlow . . .  

 Enjoy the Glow!

-- Jennifer Shea Hedberg, The Ice Wrangler, @icewrangler


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