I think I know something about mechanical ice making. But I apparently don’t know much about mechanical snow making.

Did you know it can get too cold to make snow artificially? At least that appears to be the case with a snow sculpture event that took place in the Midwest in January.

It seems the event had to be postponed for a week. One reason was that it was too cold physically for sculptors to create their works of art. But the chunks of snow needed to start the creative process initially fell victim to the cold as well.

According to one published report, “The park district depends on cranes, trucks, end loaders and a massive snow blower to create tightly packed blocks for carving. While temperatures feel like they are -14°F, snow is freezing into rock-hard clumps, which would prevent preparers from creating appropriate canvases for the event.”

The week delay did allow the event to proceed even though temps rose above freezing over the event weekend. Then organizers said the sculptures would stay on exhibit as long as the weather held out. That was promptly followed by temperatures reaching into the 50s.

Once upon a time, cooling relied on cool weather, including putting produce in root cellars and underground storage sites. Freezing relied on ice chunks pulled from rivers and lakes and set around the goods to stay frozen.

We should never take for granted the mechanical means we have today to keep things cold and frozen.