Beyond the Canvas: Visionaries of the Arts
How this ‘Ice Man’ slices his frozen sculptures
HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. — In upstate New York, the “Ice Man” truly does cometh.
Charles Jones has been sculpting ice for more than 25 years, taking water — “the most basic ingredient” — and turning it into an art form.
“I tell people a lot, ‘The ice hasn’t gotten any lighter,’” said Jones, whose business “The Ice Man” is based in Hudson Falls, New York.
For each project, Jones works with his wife Amy and the rest of his team to make a client’s icy vision become a reality. A design made on paper is transferred to a computer that’s connected to a specially made machine that then slices and engraves the ice. “Timmy,” the computer, accomplishes this part of the process, which previously would have taken hours to do by standing over the ice and engraving it by hand, Jones said.
The blocks of ice they use are 40 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 10 inches deep, and start out at 300 pounds. Pumps in the ice-making machine keep the water circulating as it freezes so the ice comes out clear. Sometimes, color is added with vibrantly colored sand, and texture is added by hand with various tools.
The resulting displays have included luges, a tower topped with hearts, and holiday-themed sculptures.
This report originally appeared on WMHT’s “AHA! A House for Arts.”
WMHT is a PBS television station and NPR classical music radio station serving Eastern New York and Western New England.