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: