By Victoria Gaither
A Woodstock couple recently brightened their street by building an ice block igloo in their front yard. After watching a few Youtube videos, trusting their instincts, and monitoring the weather, Benjamin Pauly and his partner, April Lawrence, created igloo magic.
“It was a little involved,” admitted Pauly. He said Lawrence came up with the idea, and then it took off. “It took about a week to make the frozen blocks. We froze about 20 blocks a night, and we have 150 blocks making the igloo,” Pauly said.
The igloo is held together by snow and water. It took two days to complete the ice hut and seven work hours in cold weather to assemble it. The blocks are colored with food coloring. “We used combinations of red, yellow, green and blue to achieve the stained glass look,” wrote Lawrence in an email. She added that in time the color does fade. One of the most complex parts of the build was the shape, said Pauly. “It’s geometry is just going by the gut, so we went by our eye and had the right amount of curve,” Pauly said.
For first-timer igloo makers, it all came together and their hut has since garnered international attention. On social media, people as far away as New Zealand commented on the igloo, with one lady asking if you can eat it, noting how the ice blocks resemble popsicles. It’s not made to be eaten, but Lawrence said she is already thinking about next winter’s design. “We’re noodling with making it an above-ground and underground igloo,” she said. She also is thrilled so many people are excited about the igloo. Lawrence hopes others in Woodstock will make igloos next year because the Vermont weather lends itself to such projects. By the response on Facebook, she could get her wish as the igloo post has been shared overhundreds of times in local and Vermont groups. Most comments range from “magical” to “we should try this.”
The igloo will last on South Street in Woodstock as long as Mother Nature keeps it cold outdoors.