Artists

As with some of the great painters and sculptors from past centuries, including Rembrandt and Michelangelo, for example, ice artists often work in teams in order to be able to create and fashion these monumental sculptures. The artists who are described below are therefore the masters whose names stand for an entire team and who are thus responsible for individual pieces.

     

Like many ice sculptors, Christian Funk is a career changer and self-taught artist. Born in 1963, he actually trained as a chef. After many jobs at the top of the international catering league, in 1983 his passion became ice sculpture. At that time, he worked for two years as on-board cook on the MS Royal Viking Sky, where he was soon acknowledged as the Royal Viking Line's best ice carver on their ships Star, Sea and Sky. He then went on to establish a small ice design company in southern Germany, delivering high-quality, hand-made ice sculptures to top-flight restaurants and hotels. He also took part in a number of international ice art competitions, winning coveted prizes at Lake Louise near Banff and at Ottawa in Canada, and in Singapore. Today, Christian Funk is acknowledged as one of the world's leading ice sculpture artists who incorporates other elements into his works such as steel, glass, plastic and wood. He was the first person to develop a special procedure to freeze various objects inside blocks of ice. This includes whole trees, motor cycles and so on. He has also developed techniques to integrate various light sources into the ice resulting in very special works of light made of ice. Christian Funk is responsible for the entire interior design of the Hamburg Ice Magic Show.

     

Like her husband Steve, Heather Brice is a highly successful ice sculptor and has taken part in the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska, winning the Gold Medal no fewer than six times. She has also won three Gold, three Silver and four Bronze Medals from the National Ice Carving Association and represented the United States of America at the 2006 Olympic Ice Competition in Turin. She has been a professional ice sculptor since 1999 and together with her husband played an essential role in designing and building the Aurora Ice Museum, which the two of them now run. Their company, Brice and Brice Ice Sculptures, is based in Fairbanks, Alaska.

     

Steve Brice was born in America and started his career in ice sculpture in 1990. Since then he has taken part in numerous international competitions and represented the United States in Nagano, Japan, in 1998, Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002 and Turin, Italy, in 2006. At the annual World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska, he has won no fewer than fifteen Gold Medals. With his new techniques and his own revolutionary tools he has changed the face of ice sculpture as we know it today. In addition to his international work as a freelance artist, Steve Brice is the leading sculptor and designer at the Aurora Ice Museum in Chena Hot Springs Resort in Alaska.

     

Aaron Costic is one of today’s most successful ice sculptors. He has represented his country at three Olympic Ice Competitions, winning the Bronze Medal in Nagano, Tokyo, in 1998 and the Gold Medal in Turin in 2006. Within a twelve-month period he won the title of American Master and the World Championships in the “Realistic” and “Abstract” categories at the annual competition in Fairbanks, Alaska. Seven times a Gold Medallist, he owns Elegant Ice Creations, where he runs numerous workshops, as well as teaching at schools throughout America.

     

Before becoming a professional ice sculptor, Junichi Nakamura was passionate about farming and owned his own farm in his native Japan. Once he had turned his attention to ice sculpture, it became his great passion in life and, although self-taught, he quickly became one of the leading ice sculptors in the world, winning numerous medals at competitions in Italy, Norway, Japan and the United States of America. But his favourite place remains Fairbanks, Alaska, and since 1996 he has regularly taken part in the World Ice Art Championships that are held there every year. Whenever he has time, Junichi Nakamura also enjoys playing with his grandchildren and passing on his knowledge in the workshops that he holds all over the world.

     

Kevin Roscoe discovered his gift for ice sculpture in 1979. Since 1991 he and his wife Stephanie have run Cascade Crystal Ice Sculptures Inc. in Seattle. A perfectionist, he is known for his unique and enthralling designs. His innovative work has featured on “Good Morning America” and “Ordinary Extraordinary” as well as local television stations in Seattle and in the series “Travelers” on the Discovery Channel. He won the Bronze Medal at the 1994 Olympic Ice Competition that was held in parallel with the Olympic Games in Lillihammar in Norway and four years later represented the United States of America at Nagano, Japan. He is now representing his country for the third time at the Olympic Ice Competition. In 1995 he won the World Ice Championships in Linz, Austria, and in 1997 he and Steve Brice won the Gold Medal at the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska. During the last twenty-nine years Kevin Roscoe has won numerous national and international competitions and championships.

     

Peter Slavin is co-founder and director of the International Ice Performance Company and also of Big Ice Inc., both of which were recently nominated by a special events magazine for Best Corporate Performance. A trained cook, he has travelled the world and in that way found new inspiration for his present style of ice sculptures. In addition to taking part in the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, he also works as a freelance artist and accepts commissions from prominent individuals, including Sting. He has also provided the designs for hotels and businesses and has organized ice festivals. His most recent project was two ice bars in Las Vegas and New Zealand. He won 5 worlds championships from Moscow to Alaska and have sculpted ice in over 80 countries. Peter Slavin lives with his wife Elaina and their two sons Miles and Max in Philadelphia, where he runs a branch of Fear No Ice. He's the artistic co-ordinator of the Hamburg Ice Magic Exhibition and has brought together the international teams that have contributed to it.

 

     

Currently the leading Russian ice sculptor, Vladimir Zhikhartsev is professionally active all over the world. He began studying the visual arts in 1972 at the Academy of Art in his home city of Krasnodar and on completing his studies he taught himself the art of ice sculpting. He came to international attention in 1991 when he won his first Gold Medal at the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska. To date he has won a total of fifteen Gold Medals at major international ice sculpting championships.

     
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