21 March 2014
My friend and I were discussing her wedding coming up next year. She is currently in the planning stages and was looking for something to give her wedding the WOW factor. I remember seeing an impressive Ice Sculpture at the last wedding I was at in Germany and I mentioned it to her. “Ice Sculptures in Malta? Won’t it just melt really quickly?” she responded. I didn't know the answer so I decided to go and find out.
I met up with Paul Kind, a charming and charismatic man. Although this was our first meeting, within just few minutes, I felt like I was talking to an old friend.
Paul started ICE Cool Exhibits in the beginning of 2007. After discussing the idea with friends, they seemed impressed and identified that bespoke ice sculptures did not exist in Malta. Not for long. Paul thought about the numerous events that take place in Malta such as weddings, promotions and parties and approached a man who was an artist and talented sculptor. Paul asked him if he could sculpt with ice. He said yes and ICE Cool Exhibits was born.
It all began with 2 to 3 months of experimentation of how to freeze water. At the very beginning Paul didn't know he needed special machinery to freeze the ice. He tried huge plastic garbage bins and various other containers, all quite large in size, as you need a fairly big block of ice to be able to work with. It didn't work.
"We were trying to freeze massive volumes of water in temperatures lower than -18 degrees centigrade which would take days to freeze". It was not looking good so he looked further afield and found a main supplier in America for all his needs. As soon as he received the machinery everything began to fall into place. “Now we have the ability to purify and de oxygenate 100 litres of water which gives us crystal clear ice to work with.”
My first thought was my friends question from earlier. Surely in Malta, the Ice sculptures melt really quickly? Apparently not! “The majority of our ice sculptures weigh between 65 to 80 kilos. That is typically around 65 - 80 litres of water. Due to the size and volume of the sculptures they tend to have quite a long life, lasting 8 hours or more. However keeping them away from warm wind and direct sunlight will certainly make them last longer.”
Some of the sculptures made are interactive! An interactive ice sculpture comes in various forms. One option is a luge. This allows an alcoholic drink to be poured through the sculpture and drunk from an exit point. Using the ice sculptures to display food is another option. It is perfect for fresh fish, desserts or even just as a centre piece. ICE Cool Exhibits can also create a full scale ice bar allowing all drinks and glasses to be pre chilled. All the sculptures are provided with drip trays, crushed ice and LED lights.
Paul has had many requests to freeze objects within the ice sculptures such as fresh flowers, fresh fish, clothing, pictures, company logos, colour schemes and just about anything a company or person may wish to promote. “Honestly we can create just about anything really, we are only limited by our imagination."
Ultimately, with all clients, Paul strives to provide exactly what they want and give them that little bit extra.
“I enjoy the exclusivity of being the only person offering this service in Malta. I take pleasure in keeping the business exclusive to all of my current and new potential clients on the basis that what matters is their exposure of our ice sculptures, not the fact that Ice Cool Exhibits made it.”
Just about everything created is a one off design. Should you wish to see anything ICE Cool Exhibits has created then you should visit their Facebook page: ICE Cool Exhibits
Not only has my friend ordered her ice sculpture already. Paul and my friend are talking about freezing something special in the ICE to surprise her husband to be. I can’t say much more or I may let the secret out!
Author: Sabine Jung