Being reminded that this delightful midwestern pastime exists made me wonder about its history. Modern butter artistes work in the confines of refrigerated rooms, but the folksiness of the practice smacks of something that must have been born before the age of electricity. Like, butter sculpture must have evolved in a world where people didn't have TV screens to stare at, right? It's sculpting, but with butter. That's a 19th-century invention if ever I heard one. That opened up a whole series of questions, mainly about how the first butter carvers kept their coveted creations from curdling into a melted mess immediately upon completion.