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Once the face was done, Daly carved out the throne's arm rests.
Once the face was done, Daly carved out arm rests for Santa’s Throne.

For the third year in a row, record-holding ice sculptor Rich Daly wowed the crowd at Sherwood House Vineyard, by creating another work of art from blocks of ice.

“It’s a nice way to get out of the freezer and interact with the community, so they see what we do,” he said.

The weather, which had peaked in the 60s this week but only reached the low 40s on Saturday, worked in Daly’s favor. The lower temperature kept the ice cold and gave everyone in attendance a taste of winter.

Sherwood House Vineyards in Jamespoer was packed with spectators who came to see Daly’s creation and enjoy wine tastings, food and holiday treats.

“After pumpkin season, this lights the fire for the holidays and gets the families out,” said Maryann Gannone, Sherwood House Tasting Room Manager.  “We entertain friends and families here.”

Daly first arranged the blocks of ice, each weighing 300 pounds. Then he sketched his design into the ice, before carving it out with a chainsaw. The day’s sculpture, Santa’s Throne, took Daly about an hour and a half to create and weighed as much as 2,400 pounds.

“This is the first time we’ve been to this and it’s so cute,” said Jennifer Lewis of Cutchogue. “It’s nice to have something to do in the winter at the winery.”

“This is great,” added John Tirone of Oakdale. “They’ve got sandcastle builders in California, we’ve got an ice carver.”

Daly, an ice carver for 14 years, is also a culinary arts teacher at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach. He learned the skill while studying culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University and runs his own business, Ice Melodies, Inc.

In 2013 Daly earned the distinction of “Fastest Time to Carve 60 Ice Sculptures” from the Guinness Book of World Records. This year he won two more awards, becoming the grand national champion in the masters division at the U.S. National Ice Carving Association championship and becoming the organization’s tour of champions winner.

Daly has also earned a spot on the 2018 Olympic team. Ice sculpting has been a cultural Olympiad event since 1987. There is a cultural arts festival that takes place alongside the international Olympics competition, in which ice sculptors compete. So Daly is headed for South Korea in 2018.

See more picture from the event below:

Rich Daly sets up his ice blocks for carving. (Picture Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)
Rich Daly sets up his ice blocks for carving. (Picture Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)
Sherwood House Vineyard's tasting room was packed for the day's festivities.
Sherwood House Vineyard’s tasting room was packed for the day’s festivities.
David and Tara Triebig of Mastic watch the ice carving from inside the warm tasting room.
David and Tara Triebig of Mastic watch the ice carving from inside the warm tasting room.
Rich Daly sketches out his design before carving begins.
Rich Daly sketches out his design before carving begins.
The fire was lit to keep wine tasters toasty warm.
The fire was lit inside Sherwood House Vineyard’s tasting room to keep wine tasters toasty warm.
Even Sherwood House Vineyard's winebottles were dressed for the holiday.
Even Sherwood House Vineyard’s winebottles were dressed up for the occasion.
Using a small chainsaw, Daly carves out the features of Santa's Throne.
Using a small chainsaw, Daly carves out the features of Santa’s Throne.
Noah Dufour, 10, and his brothers Emmet, 4 and Henry, 8, watch Daly at work.
Noah Dufour, 10, and his brothers Emmet, 4 and Henry, 8, of Baiting Hollow, watch Daly at work.
Spectators braved the cold weather to watch Daly at work.
Spectators braved the cold weather to watch Daly at work.
Daly's sculpture begins taking shape.
Daly’s sculpture begins taking shape.
Santa stopped by to pose for pictures with Seren Lewis, 5 of Cutchogue and Emmet Dufour, 4 of Baiting Hollow.
Santa stopped by to pose for pictures with Seren Lewis, 5 of Cutchogue and Emmet Dufour, 4 of Baiting Hollow.
Finally it was done.
Finally Santa’s Throne was done.
11 year old John Brown of Mastic tries out Santa's Throne.
11-year-old John Brown of Mastic tries out Santa’s Throne.
John and Pat Tirone of Oakdale pose on Santa's Throne.
John and Pat Tirone of Oakdale pose on Santa’s Throne.
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