(I have entered this for the "lamps and lighting" contest so If you think it is worthy of a vote I would be really grateful if you supported me in the contest )
Having seen some images of the Ice Hotel in Sweden I was inspired to make a fully functioning lamp entirely out of ice. After quite a few experiments I have developed a really effective method and the finished product looks magnificent.
Believe it or not it lasts for over 12 hours at room temperature (I have tested this a number of times),and it is a great center piece for tables at parties.
Of course this is a temporary lamp but while it lasts it looks amazing and they are extremely quick and easy to make so you can keep a store of 3 or 4 in your freezer for special events, and I can assure you this is one of the most original and stunning lamps you will ever come across so those 12 hours are worth it.
The best part is: inside your lamp you can freeze any type of object you like e.g flowers( these look spectacular especially with the lighting), playing cards, cloth, messages, wine glasses etc. All of these objects can be stored in the freezer for months because the temperature stops the objects from perishing.
Once you have made your lamp I will teach you how to carve you lamp into a lit ice sculpture as well.
flower (or other objects to freeze inside)
tray (for collecting water when on display)
waterproof torch / flashlight ( although a bulb would give off more light it is too dangerous with the electricity and water, this is why a torch works well)
chisel for carving
The first step is to take your plastic box which will be your mold.
Now fill your box half full (this is because your object in this case a flower will normally float and if you want your object to be suspended in the center of your ice lamp you will need freeze it in two stages)
Place on top of the water your flower( or other object) and place in the freezer
Freeze your block for around 12 hrs depending on how large your lamp is going to be.
Preferably freeze at the highest temperature (below 0C of course) this is because the higher your temperature the clearer you ice will be.
Once the block is frozen take it out of the freezer and layer on some more water to fill up the box and cover the flower. place this back in the freezer for 12 hours.
Take out your block with your frozen flower and leave to warm for a little before the next stage.
If you want to have cracks through the lamp pour hot water over the lamp quickly ( this cracked effect looks very attractive when illuminated because the whole lamp reflects and glitters.
Now take a chisel (sharpened works best) and practice using it by carving a thin layer of ice off the front of the lamp block (using the chisel is surprisingly easy, once you have the technique it works like a knife through butter)
with a ruler measure the diameter of your torch and its length.
Carve a hollow into the back of your ice block and slot your torch in.
Check the whole thing illuminates and functions.
to shape the lamp into a specific shape you should use your chisel to gently carve away sections at a time of the ice (this avoids cracking) The pictures show a couple of lamp shapes I have made.
If your special event is in a few days place your lamp in the freezer at this point and take it out half an hour before the party begins
When it is time to show off your lamp place it on your tray turn on the torch, then dim your lights and the whole room will be illuminated by your icy sculpture.