I grew up with long cold winters, and saw a lot of remarkably transparent ice formed by refreezing meltwater, both in puddles and ponds, and in large icicles. I'd always thought about making optical elements but never tried, as I knew getting a good surface figure would be quite a lot of work.
After clicking through links in this answer to the question Are there any natural materials that can be used as a magnifying lens (or to craft one)? I came upon the images below, which have rekindled my interest.
However I'm currently near the Tropic of Cancer and far from any "Winter Wondernalds".
So I'd like to ask if anyone has ever tried to build a simple, low magnification telescope from ice or if there are any references to such an attempt.
I don't care if it's a front-surface reflector for the Sun or a refractor for astronomical or terrestrial viewing. I'd just enjoy seeing any, even slightly successful attempt at getting some optical magnification from surfaces produced in ice. Conventional eyepieces would be fine, as would projection on a piece of paper.
Some related imagery to "get the ball rolling":