By Chris Wyer, Certified Ice Carving Educator
From sculptures and seafood displays to custom cubes and vodka chillers, ice’s ethereal nature and luminous surface reflect infinite special occasion possibilities. As a Certified Ice Carving Educator and Ice Lab’s Creative Director, I’ve created thousands of sculptures in my career.
And, while known for the fanciful works of ice art we fashion for festivals like Frederick’s Fire In Ice, Enchant, Cambridge Ice & Oyster Fest and our team is equally adept at creating alluring – and practical – elements for special events of every type imaginable. In addition to vibrant sculptures, here are my seven favorite ways to infuse ice at special events.
1. Custom Cocktail Cubes
If you like the large square and round ice cubes popular today, you’ll love the latest trend. From edible flowers and juicy berries to fragrant herbs and carved monograms, party planners have made artisanal ice a signature event staple. It’s easy to make every drink extra special with custom cocktail ice. Learn how here or contact me to customize ice jewels and make your next occasion memorable.
2. Bottle Chillers
Keeping vodka and spirits icy cold without diluting their flavor is both practical and beautiful with our hand-carved bottle chillers. Suitable for a few – or a few dozen – bottles, our ice keeps every carafe perfectly chilled. And, we can carve each chiller to accommodate the size of every bottle.
3. Raw Bars (photo of oysters w/hioc logo or other?)
When fresh seafood – oysters, cocktail shrimp and lobster claws (to name a few of our favorites!) – are presented on a pure tower of ice, your party is guaranteed to be a success! These exquisite raw bars, carved from clear ice, not only keep your shellfish safely chilled, they’re also a gorgeous way to integrate your logo or theme.
4. Ice Wares
Imagine your guest’s reaction when served an appetizer, main course, or dessert in an elegantly designed vessel. From chilled shrimp to a trio of sorbets, ice wares are an elegant way to present – and enjoy – a served course! Consider adding an extra special touch with a carved monogram or logo on each.
5. Custom Bar (use an image from George Mason Graduation or others Chris recommends)
If you’re looking to make a stunning statement at your next event, look no further than a custom bar made entirely of ice. From a four-foot wide free-standing unit perfect for a single bartender to a four-sided show-stopper complete with bottle chillers and liquor slides, ice bars will mesmerize your guests long after the ice melts! Here are a few we designed for Washington-area clients.
Is there anything more sophisticated or sublime than an exquisitely carved sculpture from crystal clear ice? Dramatically lit with LED lights, these centerpieces will dazzle your guests. Set your event apart and beautifully showcase – in three-dimensional design – your logo or other symbol aligned with the festivities. And, placed on a buffet, cocktail or gift table, they add flair your guests will be buzzing about long after the night is over.
7. Frozen in Ice
Imagine your logo, product or memento encased and displayed in a crystal-clear cube of ice. Ice is a gorgeous way to showcase items that are uniquely you! Frozen in time and suspended flawlessly in three dimensions, artists like Shintaro Okamoto have used ice as an artist’s medium for gallery exhibits. From poinsettias encased in an ice punch bowl for a holiday party to golf clubs in a tournament display, we can design and create a magical monument for your next gathering.
A Certified Ice Carving Educator (CICE), Chris has been creating dazzling works of ice art for 25 years. He owned and operated USA Ice, a Washington D.C. ice sculpting and event company from 1998 to 2006 before merging with Ice Lab.