Story last updated at 9:00 PM on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Art of ice, on ice

Earlier this month, bundled up in gloves, hats and scarves, Aurora and Silas Firth carved an Irish Lord out of ice just off the parking lot of the Homer Professional Building on East End Road.


Photographer: Ryan Long, Homer News

Now lighted, you can see their ice creation — a bright iridescent spot of red in contrast with the white of nearby snow banks.

The Irish Lord is a sculpin which can be recognized by its numerous spines protruding from each of its fins, and its marbled coloring. The Irish Lord can be caught locally in Kachemak Bay.

Ice carving is a family tradition for the Firth family with Aurora getting her start at her first competition in Fairbanks eight years ago. She has since competed in regular amateur competitions around the state. Silas has also taken up the art and has been carving competitively for a year.

The duo worked from late morning until early evening to complete their ice sculpture, using an array of carving tools ranging from hand chisels to what looks like a dremel tool on steroids.


Silas Firth (left) carves an Irish Lord out of ice in the front lawn of the Homer Professional Building with help from his sister Aurora. The Firth family takes carving seriously and Aurora has been competing in ice carving competitions for eight years. Their reference model is in the foreground.

The Firth family owns Ben Firth Studio at Mile 161 between Homer and Anchor Point and keeps open hours from mid-May through mid-September and is open for appointments year round. Other Firth work can be seen at

Aurora and her father Ben also contributed Ice Horses, a ice sculpture to this year's Crystal Gallery of Ice ice-carving competition in Anchorage.