I was recently reminded that the phrase, "I'll be working in the Enchanted Forest today." sounds a line from a fairy tale. It made me stop and think, again, how lucky I am to be "working" at something that brings me such joy.
VIDEO of 2023 Enchanted Forest Installation
And, after accepting an invitation from the Luminary Loppet folks to install a candlelit ice creation in the Enchanted Forest, I decided to pull in as many people as possible to share in that joy. What do you know, I found a few amazing ice makers right in my own backyard - the @wintercraftcommunity backyard, to be specific.
I'd like to make introductions . . .
First up is Jeremy Gould who added ice mushrooms to my meager supply. His additions of several ice mushrooms with wonderfully shaped caps and stems, meant my plan of surrounding my ice castle with magical ice mushrooms of all shapes and sizes, would actually come true. Thank you Jeremy!
Jeremy, assisted by his daugher Ivy, also plays around with long skinny ice that transformed their area of the Enchanted Forest into an other-worldly space. I first ran into Jeremy's ice worm work on Wintercraft's @wintercraftcommunity social media site. Fabulous!
Next up is was my Middlemoon Creekwalk (MC) and Enchanted Forest (EF) pal, Mary Arneson. You may recall her playful ice lanterns and ice window from years past. When I asked her to join me, she did not hesitate a second and here is one of the fun and beautiful ice she created:
Next in was Susan Lenfestey, another MC/EF pal who I believe changed travel plans to stay and help. She won't admit to it, but I am 95% sure. This year, all of Susan's ice melted in the thaw before the event, and what ice did not melt was assaulted by the squirrels that wreak havoc in her yard. But through grit and determination, she managed to make more ice glass and some ice hands so she delighted us with this:
I'm thrilled to introduce another @wintercraftcommunity member, Jenn O'Brien @jobrien_design. I loved seeing photos online of her ice that she and her neighbors created for a neighborhood winter gathering. When she said yes to joining our merry group, she whipped up a ton of ice that she buried under tarps and snow during the thaw. Best I know, most of it survived! These are her beautiful creations:
Next on our team are Glenn and Linda Olson. They were the managers of the Enchanted Forest this year and also set up a Grecian Temple and a bunch of Globe Ice Lanterns! Thanks Glenn and Linda! (Linda gets bonus points for scoring me an energy bar when I was starting to fade at 2pm!)
Back for another year in the Enchanted Forest is Sonja Larsen and her sister Maria Castaneda who decided to go interactive. They created a Marble Run game made of ice . . .
. . . and a sculpture they titled "Chillin' with the Gnomies" made of teardrop ice lanterns, ice fragments and snow for contrast.
Another ice maker was Emme Corbeil who jumped right in and whipped up a beautiful field of ice flowers from discarded teardrop ice lanterns that were deemed too thin by the loppet folks. One person's trash . . .
Then, there is the support crew who made everything possible:
Joy Wagner, Dave Schaenzer, Brian Mogren, Terry McDaniel, Tom Hedberg, Peter Hedberg, Jim Lenfestey, and last but definitely not least is the trail groomer, Jonah, who drove the Pisten Bully Groomer to push over all the snow that we needed to level and lock in our ice installations!
Above: Brian Mogren captured this amazing photo of Dave Schaenzer and Tom Hedberg putting the top on the Ice Wrangler's largest ice mushroom. It was a tense moment!
Above: Susan Lenfestey, me and Terry McDaniel are sizing up a piece of ice to see where it will eventually live in the community ice area.
Above: This left side of this image is a photo of ice castle lit up by sunlight was taken by Terry McDaniel. It shows very clearly the detail work added by Joy Wagner who has helped me on so many ice installations over the last few years. The right side of the image is a photo of Joy taken while helping me install ice in the Ice Castles in New Brighton. Joy is strong, creative and willing to leap tall buildings if asked. She is a super ice woman. Thank you Joy!
And now to end with the community area of the Enchanted Forest. Ta-da . . . My take away from this year's Enchanted Forest is that I have come to LOVE working in a group. That is, I love doing my thing (building with ice) while surrounded by others doing their thing (building with ice). The magic happens when we overlap! Here's the magic:
Above: Photo taken by Terry McDaniel of a space in the Enchanted Forest that remained unclaimed by any of the artists but screamed for attention because of the yin and yang shaped snow mound. One by one we all added a piece here and there until a fabulous collection was created. This was my favorite piece in the Enchanted Forest because it was a true collaborative piece.
Above: Another angle of the community area installation. Thanks to Luminary Loppet guest @wavescribe for this fabulous image captured in the "blue hour" so the blues of the ice really glow!
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