Jamie Wardley: The Ice Sculptor


Jamie Wardley on his ice sleigh
Katy Blake, for Spotlight

Liz Waid and Bruce Gulland look at the work of Jamie Wardley. He is an artist who works with ice and sand.

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Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2 

And I’m Bruce Gulland. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

It is winter in the United Kingdom. The city of Bradford is very cold. People in the city centre stop and listen. They hear the roaring sound of a chainsaw. This tool is very loud. People usually use chainsaws to cut down trees. But on this day, a man is using the chainsaw differently. He is using it to cut a large piece of ice. As he works, small pieces of ice fly off into the air. The man is carving the ice into a particular shape. A crowd gathers to watch him. They are amazed that he can make such a beautiful sleigh from the block of ice. The sleigh looks so real that the people can imagine horses pulling it across the snow.

Voice 2 

The man creating this sleigh is Jamie Wardley. He is a special kind of artist. He is an ice sculptor. Today’s Spotlight is on Jamie Wardley and ice sculpture.

Voice 1 

Jamie Wardley loves to sculpt.  He first trained as a sand sculptor. He learned to create beautiful images using sand. Later, he learned about ice sculpture. Now he does sand sculpture in the summer, when the weather is warm in the United Kingdom.  And in the winter, he sculpts ice. Wardley loves working with ice. He told Spotlight:

Voice 3 

‘Ice is just such a beautiful thing. It has got a special quality about it…It is wonderful and exciting too because it is such a strong material. You can do wonderful things with it.’

Voice 2 

Working with ice can be wonderful. But it is also difficult. The conditions must be just right. Ice melts when the air’s temperature rises above zero degrees Celsius. So Wardley has to work in cold temperatures. If the weather is cold enough, he can work outside - in the open air.  But winter in the United Kingdom is not always very cold. So often he works in a large freezer. The temperature in the freezer is between negative 10 and negative 12 degrees Celsius. Wardley told Spotlight,

Voice 3 

‘To be in this freezer we wear very warm clothes. We are in there all day. I work in other places where it can be negative 25 degrees. So negative 12 degrees is fine for me.’

Voice 1 

Wardley enjoys sculpting ice outside in the winter. When he sculpts in the open air, people can watch. They can be part of the creative process. Spotlight asked Wardley what he enjoys most about ice sculpting. He said:

Voice 3 

'I think it is the creativity. You get to create something. And often with the kind of work, we get to create it in a public environment. People get to see you make these things.'

Voice 1 

When people watch ice sculptors work, they recognize the great skill it requires. Ice sculptors must also be strong and skilled artists. Wardley explained the basic ice sculpting process to Spotlight:

Voice 3 

‘First we get a block of ice. Then we mark an image on the ice. We do this with a small, sharp shaping tool called a chisel. Then we simply cut the image out using a chainsaw. We use chisels again after that. And sometimes we may use some rough sand paper to smooth and round off edges’.

Voice 2 

Wardley makes it sound simple. But the tools he uses are sharp and dangerous. And the ice is very heavy. Each block of ice weighs 120 kilos. And some larger sculptures are made from several combined blocks ice.

Voice 1 

Sometimes ice sculptures can be as big as buildings. In several cold countries, artists even build whole hotels from ice and snow. In Kemi, Finland there is an ice hotel called the SnowCastle. Each year, Wardley helps build the SnowCastle.

Voice 2

Inside the Snowcastle, the temperature is negative 5 degrees Celsius. Even the dining tables are made of ice. So you have to wear winter clothes when eating. And you need to wear a hat when sleeping. Jamie Wardley told Spotlight about it:

Voice 3 

‘I go to the ice hotel in the middle of January. We make ice sculptures there. The ice hotel is built every year in January. Then it melts in April. Each year we rebuild it and create a new design. A group of Finnish people make the ice hotel structure. Then we go in and design the inside of the rooms… We finish it beautifully and make sculptures.’

Voice 1 

The SnowCastle is a large and amazing work of ice. But Wardley’s smaller ice sculptures are special too. On that winter day, in the city of Bradford, Wardley created several small sculptures. He used the sculptures to tell a story. The story contained an important message about good will and understanding. Each sculpture was a character in his story. They were all animals that live in the cold Arctic. There was a polar bear, an ocean whale, a wolf and a little white fox.

Voice 2 

In Wardley’s story, the little white fox travels across the Arctic. He is looking for Santa Claus – a traditional gift giver of the Christmas Eve holiday. As he travels, the little white fox meets the other animals. They are very different from him. They are also very different from each other. The animals warn the little white fox about each other. For example, they tell him to be careful of the polar bear. They say that polar bears like to eat little white foxes. But the little white fox meets the polar bear. And the polar bear is kind to him. He does not eat the fox. Instead, the polar bear gives the little white fox some milk. All of the other animals help the little white fox too. Because of their help, the little white fox is able to finish his travels and find Santa Claus.

Voice 1 

Wardley explained why he created the ice sculpture story for the people of Bradford:

Voice 3 

‘It was a story that related to the many cultures of Bradford. We have lots of people from different places in Bradford…The story is about good will and understanding. The little fox shows good will. He accepts different cultures and different kinds of people.’

Voice 2 

Ice sculptures are temporary works of art. When the temperature rises, they will melt. But that does not mean that their beauty is lost. The sculptures from that day in Bradford have now melted away. But their message of good will, understanding, and acceptance remains.

Voice 1 

The writer of this programme was Katy Blake. The producer was Luke Haley. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this programme and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this programme again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This programme is called, ‘Jamie Wardley: The Ice Sculptor.

Voice 2 

You can also leave your comments on our website. Or you can email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also find us on Facebook - just search for spotlightradio. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight programme. Goodbye.

Question:

What is your favorite kind of art? Does it tell a message?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Rain Bows
said on February 19, 2013

Cool,

What an artist, I want to watch ice sculptures!

SofĂ­a Miketta,
Manta-Ecuador.

Robin Basselin's avatar
Robin Basselin
said on February 20, 2013

Sofia-

If you want to watch Jamie Wardley, there is a video of him sculpting ice on the Spotlight Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151354421511700

I hope you enjoy it!

Robin

guruparan's avatar
guruparan
said on February 22, 2013

very nice story i like this story very much