With the sun approaching the horizon on Wednesday, we came to the conclusion that we would not be able to complete the clock by the end of the competition Thursday night. Between our incomplete or missing tools, the extreme cold temperatures, and our lack of experience, the challenges were too great. Warmer weather during daylight was helpful, but too many tasks were left that could not be done at night without cracking the ice.
While other sites featured enormous, beautiful ice sculptures and a few tools, our site featured strange and enormous tools but no obvious sculpture. After we made the decision to abandon the original plan, we became more carefree and had as much time as we wanted to talk to spectators. It turns out that there are a lot of people who just love to look at and talk about the tools! I had always questioned the artistic merit of the clock in the back of my mind, but now I've realized that our project is a performance piece more than it is a sculpture. With this in mind, we reorganized our site with the gear tooth cutter and lathe front and center. People love seeing the things in action and learning how they work.
We haven't completely given up on the clock, but we are stopping work on this attempt. Instead we will focus on our performance, enjoy the moment, and build something out of ice. We don't know what it will look like, but it will have gears and will move.