Journey of the Ice Boat

Working at night on the ice

(sorry about the wind sound, it was intense)

End of day one Sweden making of Ice Boat

Making the full scale Mold in Sweden

Sweden 1st day, making a path

Packing the car moments before the "Journey of the Ice Boat" begins

Making second Glass Paddle in the Netherlands

First attempt on making a glass paddle

Berlin Ice boat performance

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ice Boat Project

Transart Institute
Final Year Studio Project Plan
Quint Welters
Last updated 1st of Oct 2010
1. Art curatorial project:
Working title: untitled a.k.a Ice boat
Detailed description (300+ words) of your art project including goals and expected output. Be specific as to media, size, quantities:
“Untitled, aka ice boat” is an ice sculptural journey between artist, his work and his process. This piece explores the reflexive working process of Quint Welters in the shifting environment of the Berlin Canal.
On the second week of July 2011 I will take a journey in a hand sculpted ice boat that will begin at the Böcklerpark canal (Berlin Germany). From there I will boat in the direction of Prinzenstraße bridge until the boat vanishes away back to its origin.
The time length of the journey is unknown the final film which will be put together of the journey will be 10 minutes or less.
The belongings that I have decided to bring on the journey will be a glass paddle for navigation and what I will be wearing will be: black shoes, black pants, white long sleeve shirt, and a woven summer hat.
I intend to sculpt a row boat from ice using the same water from the canal which I plan to boat over. This ice boat will have the structure of a wooden boat. (As seen in this photo)

I will create a mold where I will freeze layer after layer of filtered, boiled, and normal canal water to illustrate and enhance the character of the ice boat. By purifying the water the ice will form in layers of transparent, milky and blue coloration that will help imitate the structure of a wood boat. (as seen in the following picture)

I will create a glass paddle to help propel the boat through the canal as well reflect my personal glassblowing practice into the piece. This glass paddle will be about 2 meters long and about 30-50 cm wide.
The size of the boat will be as big as necessary to complete the goal of the project (able to carry 1-2 individuals across a body of water) with out sinking. Over the course of preparing this project I will use the material that I gathered in my research to support execute this piece.

I will create a project blog in which I will post the creation, documentation, background information and everything that is about the “Ice boat” project. I will as well send a publication to the media (such as newspapers and televised broadcasters) informing the public about this project.

For this project I will assemble a crew that can assist me in the execution and documentation of this project.

The materials I will need to realize this project:

Box truck freezer or walk-in freezer
-parking permit
-Licensed truck driver
(Transportation (if I can't get a box truck freezer):
-truck rental
-gas cost

Sculpting and framing tools:
-chiseling accessories etc.
-screw driver

Performance gear
-1 black semi casual summer garment
-1 black wet suit
-8 white casual summer garments

Documentation equipment
(film and photograph)

Ice molding supplies (to create a sizable block of ice to carve the ice boat out of)
plywood boards
support beams
-plastic tarp

Documentation team
-2 filming personnel
-1 camera personnel
-1 film editor
Transportation team
-1 driver
-possibly 8 boat movers (from truck to water)
-publication assistant

Detailed production schedule:

September 15th begin:

-location scouting
-part 1 Live Performance at the spree a.k.a Berlin canal
-gathering material (find freezer)
-sketch boat designs


-began searching facilities to visit and professionals interview
-find individuals to assist me this visit

November: #1 visit and interview

December: #2 visit and interview

January: #3 visit and interview

February: #4 visit and interview

March: #5 visit and interview

April: continue research

May 15th: Build ice boat

May 31st: everything set for performance

June 1st: execute performance.

June 15th: Conclude thesis project

Transart Institute
Final Year Thesis Project Plan
Quint Welters

Research Outline
Title: Reflexive Art in the environment
1) Introduction

A. thesis
B. addressing the four art works and why these specific four
C. goal of this research

2) Body

A. What have I found in my research
1. Shed boat shed” (Mobil Architecture No 2), 2005, River Rhine, Basel, by Simon Starling
2. “In Search of the Miraculous” 1975, Bas Jan Ader’s, (journey over the atlantic)
3. “The Paradox of Praxis” 1997, Mexico City, by Francis Alys, (journey through mexico city with ice block)
4. “Midsummer Snowballs”, June 2000, London, by Andy Goldsworthy.

B. Relate the different pieces of art with each other
1. What the four works have in common
2. How they are different
3. How the ice boat project connects to the four works
4. What I think over the four works

C. What other artists and critics thought of the four pieces
1. Feedback
a) critiques
b) Strengths

3) Conclusion
A. Sum up research
B. What I have achieved
C. Connect my research to my studio project

Working title: Reflexive Art in the Environment
Formulate the working hypothesis or topic of inquiry in one or two sentence:

I am interested very much about the process of transformation in the environment, how one object can be transformed into another and be able to reflect upon.

Detailed description (300+ words) of your research project:
a) Hypothesis

It is by working reflexively in the environment one can discover the process of transformation and bring to surface discussion between objects, people and environment and realize the hidden potential which the environment embraces.

b) Research Question

What is the process of artists working reflexively with the environment? What kind of issues arises when working with the environment and with historically, politically charged environments? Are their specific challenges or benefits when working with the environment?

c) Methodology

In this research I will explore first “Shed boat shed” (Mobil Architecture No 2) 2005 created Simon Starling. Second I will explore Bas Jan Ader’s work “In Search of the Miraculous”. Third I will explore “The Paradox of Praxis” by Francis Alys. Fourth I will explore Andy Goldsworthy “Midsummer Snowballs”, June 2000.

Through out the year I will create a weekly log of my reflections, comments, thoughts, critiques etc, between my practice and the art works I will read and explore about.

As the year progresses I expect my perspective to my relationship I have now with other art works. My goal of this research (to look at other art works which relate to my practice and final studio project) is to extend my research perspective and merge it with my studio practice. In this research I expect to relate my own progress and practice in relation to the works I will explore.

Working Bibliography: To be created

Other resources: find text, reviews explaining, analyzing, dicussing, documentation of the works “Shed boat shed” (Mobil Architecture No 2) 2005 created Simon Starling, Bas Jan Ader’s work “In Search of the Miraculous” 1975, “The Paradox of Praxis” 1997 by Francis Alys. Andy Goldsworthy “Midsummer Snowballs”, June 2000.

3. Connecting art and research projects:
Paragraph connecting the projects:

As I am working quite often reflexively with in or about the environment I feel looking at other art works will support my practice.

Criteria you will use to evaluate the success of the art project:

1. Did I accomplish what I had envisioned
2. Did I get a deeper understanding of the place my art has in my life
3. Did it have the level of quality I wanted
4. Did I stay within the plan
5. Did I have fun doing it
6. Did it bring me closer to myself
7. Did I get new insights and ideas
8. Did I gain new insights on ice as a medium
9. Did I get others psyched about ice, too
10. In retrospect, did I miss something; should I have included something
11. Did I do enough or could I have done more
12. Did I present it well; how could I have improved it
13. Did it have a positive impact
14.Was my presentation understood well

Below is my first years work in Transart

Below is my first years Transart studio work which is a series of ephemeral film, sculpture, installation created over the first year at transart which led me to this ice boat project.


"Economic Melt Down" (First Draft model)

"Interacting with Currency"


Medium: Ice and plastic installation

"Another Interaction"

"Last Call"

"Interaction" clip

"Transfer" (installation)

"Transfer" (installation)
medium: Ice/water, plastic bottles Duration: 8 hours

"Transfer" (Installation)

"Transfer" (Installation)
medium: Ice/water, plastic bottles Duration: 8 hours

"Transfer" (Installation)

"Transfer" (Installation)
medium: Ice/water, plastic bottles Duration: 8 hours


first few layers of ice, freezing television in progress


first few layers of ice, freezing television in progress


first few layers of ice, freezing television in progress


first few layers of ice, freezing television in progress

"Bailout" (possible location)

"Bailout" (possible location)

"Bailout" model

"Bailout" model
close up

"Bailout" model

"Bailout" model
"Bailout" test Run

"Bailout" Model

"Bailout" Model
"Bailout" test pic