Many exciting things go on at Bishop Gadsden, and one of those things just so happens to be ice sculpting. Bishop Gadsden’s Executive Sous Chef Stuart Grayson shows off his many talents in the kitchen, but he doubles as an ice sculpting extraordinaire. Many different events at Bishop Gadsden have displayed Stuart’s amazing sculptures, so many residents and visitors became curious as to how these masterpieces come to life.
In order to warm up for the 2020 World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska in February, Stuart and his ice sculpting partner, Brian Conners, joined forces at BG to give residents and employee team members a full demonstration of what goes into carving an ice sculpture. Stuart and his partner are working together in the competition for the second year in a row. In 2019, Stuart and Brian finished in eighth place out of 22 competitors.
Stuart and Brian compete in the “Double Block Classic,” which means a team of two receives two six-feet tall, four-feet wide, and three-feet deep ice blocks to carve and create a piece of art together. Separately, they each participate in the “Single Block Classic” where they each receive one block of the same size to compete individually. Since they are working in the same space, Stuart and Brian are creating a garden themed masterpiece, with the centerpiece being two butterflies facing each other that will be their Double Block Classic piece.
Tips and Tricks
Both Stuart and Brian have backgrounds in culinary, so their creativity and natural ability to wield a knife comes in handy. When discussing a few tricks of the trade, Stuart mentioned that sculptors must always let their ice melt a bit before beginning a piece because a solid piece of ice will crack and ruin the entire piece of art. As for competition musts, Stuart paints the handles of his tools neon green. Considering the competition takes place in Alaska, it gets dark much earlier there than it does here. Much of the sculpting will take place in the dark. With neon green tools, something dropped into the snow or misplaced in the work space will be much more noticeable and easier to find in the dark.
The competition begins February 23 for Stuart and Brian. It is obvious from the photos that they are a fantastic team. We wish them well as they head to Alaska next month!