Ice Wrangler ice luminary tower with leaves and St. Croix Chocolate Company painted chocolate leaves

Fate has a way of making life interesting . . . while driving back from the Ice Luminary Workshop we offered at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI (great group of people eager to learn about playing with ice!), we drove a few miles north of our route to Marine on St. Croix, MN to meet Robyn Dochterman and Deidre Pope the renowned chocolatier and shop magician, respectively, of St. Croix Chocolate Company.  

Robyn Dochterman and Dierdre Pope of St. Croix Chocolate Company in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota

Our goal was to determine how we could help sprinkle some ice luminary magic on the town square of Marine on St. Croix for their Holiday season. Given our already very full schedule, I suggested we offer a workshop for the town merchants on making ice luminaries so they could make the magic themselves. Each participant would leave with loads of ideas and a copy of my book, Ice Luminary Magic, to help them on their way. 

The idea was well received, but the best part came in the chit chat that followed. Robyn and I started comparing the processes for creating fine chocolates and magical ice lanterns and it turns out, they have a lot in common. Chocolate and ice have a liquid phase that hardens from the outside in allowing hollow shapes to be created. Liquid chocolate is used to "glue" chocolate pieces together and of course the same is true of ice and water. And finally, because they have a liquid phase, they both can take the shape of any form that can contain the liquids. Our minds started to play with the possibilities. It was a great reminder that inspiration can come from surprising directions.  

We hopped back in the car with a small box filled with delicious chocolates that were brightly colored and interestingly shaped. They lasted just long enough for this picture to be taken!  

a few pieces of chocolate for the road

St. Croix Chocolate Company offers chocolate designed for every season. I will show you these painted pumpkin chocolates because they are glorious, but sadly they were all sold out.

pumpkin-shaped chocolates at St. Croix Chocolate Company - SOLD OUT

I hope we will be heading back to Marine on St Croix to lead an ice lantern workshop as ice lanterns made by their community would be a perfect addition to their charming "village" shopping area. If you are driving in that direction, I hope you will take a moment to stop in their shop and enjoy a bit or two of chocolate and please say hi to Deidre and Robyn from the Ice Wrangler!

 Enjoy the Glow!

-- Jennifer Shea Hedberg, The Ice Wrangler

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