“I’m having a life size ice sculpture carved of myself, and we need some ice and studio space to do it, can you help?”
Yes, we had heard correctly. Jill Foster, a freelance journalist, had been set the challenge of finding some ice and a sculptor to create a life size ice model of herself.
One of the best sculptors in the world was chosen for the job; Asanga Amerashinghe. He has previously designed sculptures for the Queen as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and carved Fearne Cotton, a Ford Focus, and an ice bar and restaurant worth £30,000 in India.
As well as ice, Asanga is very talented at also carving butter, sugar and vegetables; but ice is his favourite and having sculpted many impressive sculptures before, we were excited to hear that he always used The Ice Co’s ice blocks, as the quality and consistency was the best he had found.
Chainsaws, chisels, sanders and hairdryers(!) were used and Asanga created the whole model in the -18˚ temperatures of the cold store.
Speaking to Asanga, he said that a sculpture of this size would normally take 2 days, or at least 12 hours. But not on a Daily Mail schedule!
Asanga has had to create sculptures under pressure before, but Asanga needed to finish creating ‘Jill’ in 8 hours. After a delayed start Asanga soon got going and coolly shaved, cut, sanded and chiselled his way through 8 blocks of ice to create a frozen ‘Jill’ in a record time of 7 hours!
Winter is the busiest time of year for ice sculptors with lots of winter and Christmas parties and events.
This week, the Harbin Snow & Ice festival has started in China and goes on until the end of February, after weeks of preparation. With an ice maze, buildings, a train and even a bank!
This feature was printed in the Daily Mail on Friday 2nd January, and is also available on the Mail Online where there are also more photographs.
‘Jill’ is still in the coldstore, chilling out in chamber 3. She will be making an appearance at a special event, where she can thaw out sometime in 2015
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