Ten years is a long time for a company whose major products last a matter of hours.
Since their inception in 2006, Glacial Art Ice Sculptors have grown rapidly, bringing on a steady flow of increasingly high-profile clients, and making a solid name for themselves in the ice sculpting industry. Whether you realise it or not, you’ve probably seen their work before. Whether it be in an episode of a gripping Game of Thrones episode or MTV’s logo for the European Music Awards hosted in Liverpool. These two best friends have managed to travel the word and have their work capture people’s hearts and imaginations, all from a warehouse in Aintree.
Mat Chaloner and Mat Foster first met at university in Sunderland, where they were both studying Design and Model Making – a friendship was struck up almost instantly. The pair moved to London, where Mat F worked for a Special effects company and Mat C took up an apprenticeship with a London-based ice sculpting company, giving him the opportunity to explore his abilities within the unique medium of ice. Together they worked on various exciting projects in London including ice effects on the film “King Arthur” and costumes for Angelina Jolie in the film “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”.
On their first day in Liverpool they found the perfect warehouse, which has remained their base of operations to this day. The next step was to find an accountant who could help them navigate the choppy waters of business ownership; with the support of accountant Mark Linney of Taxcall Accountants and business guru Ron Ives of Blue Orchid, a plan of attack was formed. Within two months of approaching the bank with their proposal they were accepting ice-block machines from America – “and our chainsaws began to chop!”
This year the team have already been courted for an ice exhibition in Istanbul, which would be one of their largest and longest-running commissions yet. “Out of all the hundreds of ice sculpting companies around the world, they contacted us, four guys in a warehouse in Liverpool to create this exciting project for them in Turkey”, Mat says as he glows with pride. “Travelling the world through our creativity is something that really excites us.”
The big goal though, the ultimate achievement, would be taking home first prize at the World Ice Carving Championship in Alaska. Held every year, the standard of work shown there is incredible. “We’ve had our eye on Alaska for a long time now, but we have never really felt ready enough.”
With tens of thousands of spectators, and more than a hundred sculptors from thirty different countries, it’ll be one of the biggest challenges the Glacial Art team has ever faced. So far, no Brits have ever managed to become the World Champions. “Could we claim that title in the next ten years? Is that possible?”
“Of course it is!”
Well done to the lads for flying the local flag. Good to luck to them.
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