Colored ice-balls


You should have put LED throwies in the balloons in vac seal bags.

That would have looked cool.

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A traditional variant of that is casting the ice as “lantern chimneys” that can have tea-light candles dropped into them.


and I can’t give a generic google images link I don’t think, but this should get you to nice ice lights, how tos etc… also is interesting

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What’s the food colouring for? Aren’t balloons generally colourful? Even if it does make a difference how do they, or anyone, know how much of the colour is provided natively or additively? It’s such a weird back-story. Did they try it before without food colouring? Or aren’t these actually balloons at all but some colourless inflatable … oh wait now, I’m not sure where I’m going with this.

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Neat-o! For sec there, I just thought some poor sucker had gotten lost out in the snow.

This is MUCH better!

So THAT’S what I was doing wrong. Keeping Them Intact is the key.

I say this because, as a kid, I used to do the same thing - Fill balloons with water and add food coloring. My mistake was climbing on the roof of the house and throwing them on the driveway, hoping to cause splatter art on nearby snowdrifts. I guess it diffused the water / food coloring enough that it just made vague stains on the snow, instead of brilliant blotches of color. Shoulda used tempura paints instead of food coloring, I suppose.


The balloons probably pop when the water expands as it freezes.


Ice lanterns are how the Ice Festival in Harbin, China started. Nowadays they mostly cut large blocks of ice from the river, then sculpt them and put electric lights inside, but in the past you would put a bucket of water outside to partially freeze, chisel open the top, pour the unfrozen water out and put a candle inside. They had a practical purpose in that they would function like hurricane lamps and wouldn’t be blown out by the wind. Apart from the candle, they were also free, so poorer people would use them or bring them to festivals if they couldn’t afford a real lantern.

If you want to make this kind of lamp, it’s better to use boiled water as the ice will be clearer.

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You may be right, but - as they’re designed to expand (albeit with warmish air), it’s their balloony raison d’être - I’d have to test that theory. And it’s not quite cold enough around these here parts (yet). I can’t tell if the balloons in the pic are skinless - do you think they are?

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I believe they are, given the reading of the article.

“They’re really pretty close up with cracks and fissures”

Super cool! I so wish I had read this about 3 days ago and I could have made them in about 45 mins out in the -25C weather we had in Michigan.

I love the variations mentioned so I could put a tea candle in them too.

Darn, darn, darn. Next year for sure, I hope my addled brain can remember.

Paint made specially for tempura would by definition be food coloring.

The whole point of the exercise is that colored ice balls are fun, and can be made in any color you like. So, yes, the balloon is removed before they are displayed.

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Well, yes. Obviously. Nevertheless, a frozen balloon is also a coloured ice ball. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not anti-food-colouring. I do not believe its unapproved use in mechanical confections is in any way sinful. The way folk here are now talking about it shows it’s clearly a ‘thing’ after all. Just not round here.

I strongly support your right to use food-colouring in any way you see fit.

Not sure I’d dye for it though.

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Hey, funny, my wife and son just did this:

Nope, you peel them like an onion once frozen.

Love that shot with them backlit, nice work.

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