Odd Job: Ice Sculptor

An ice sculptor tells Food Network Magazine about his super-cool gig.
F-2634-2.tif

F-2634-2.tif

Photo by: Scott Stewart ©2010 SCOTT STEWART

Scott Stewart , 2010 SCOTT STEWART

Randy Finch and his Michigan-based crew of eight carve a living out of ice.

He makes more than swans. Finch does his fair share of wedding centerpieces, but outlandish ice sculptures are his specialty: He has carved a full-size pool table, including the balls and cue sticks (above), a moving Ferris wheel and a portrait of Justin Bieber. The job makes for easy conversation at parties: "Excuse the pun, but it's an icebreaker," he says.

It's not the same ice that's in your drink. To create 300-pound blocks of crystal-clear ice (Finch uses 150,000 gallons of water to make more than 20,000 ice sculptures every year), Finch circulates water in an 80-gallon tank to remove air bubbles and impurities. Because it’s so dense, the ice stays frozen longer than regular ice. He fuses blocks of ice together with water and polishes the finished product with bags of warm water. "It's like sanding wood," he says.

It's a chilly day at the office. Finch and his team work inside a 23-by-24-foot freezer wearing boots, aprons and thin cotton gloves. The gloves get soaked quickly, so Finch goes through up to 10 pairs an hour. One upside to the cool temps: They keep him awake. "We'll work 10 to 18 hours in the cold, but I don't seem to get tired," Finch says. "It's amazing."

Keep Reading

Next Up

Odd Job: Pilgrim Chef

Meet a woman who makes Thanksgiving dinner the old-fashioned way.

Odd Job: Turkey Hotline Operator

Don't even try to stump a turkey hotline operator: According to this veteran, it can't be done.

Odd Job: Corn-Maze Designer

Turning a cornfield into a carnival attraction is no easy task. A corn-maze designer tells all.

Spooky Dry Ice Projects

Halloween ideas using dry ice from Food Network Magazine.

Meet the Ice Brigade

Get to know the ice sculptors extraordinaire of the Food Network show, ‘Ice Brigade.’

Iced Coffee Hacks

Transform your favorite refreshing treat with these sweet hacks.

Ice Brigade: About the Show

Meet the ice sculptors extraordinaire behind Food Network's new show, Ice Brigade.

Ice Cream Flavor Bombs from The Kitchen

These three knock-out sundaes from your favorite hosts hit all the right notes — salty, sweet, crunchy, smooth. Plus, there's plenty of whipped cream — always a good thing.

How to Make Iced Tea

Learn the basics and advanced cooking techniques from Food Network with how-to advice on everything from cooking or carving a turkey to grilling corn.

How to Make Serious Iced Coffee

Coffee snobs will approve of this cold-brewed version from Food Network Magazine.

On TV