Cheshire ice sculptor prepares for WinterFest this weekend

The News 8 logo sculpted out of ice by Bill Covitz of Ice Matters in Cheshire (WTNH)

CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — While most of us may be just sick of the cold weather, not everyone feels that way. News 8 caught up with a talented artist in Cheshire who is loving the cold weather for his art.

“When we do outside events and stuff,” said ice sculptor Bill Covitz of “Ice Matters” in Cheshire, “as long as they protect it from the sun, they can have it for weeks.”

That’s a lot longer than most of the stuff lasts that Covitz has made in his 16 years as an award-winning ice sculptor. While days of freezing cold make our lives tougher, they make his life easier.

“Transportation: I don’t have to rent freezer trucks,” Covitz said. “You’ll see, we’re loading a job today. We’ll put it in the car now and it’s fine for the job tonight. My compressors run better, electricity is a lot cheaper now.”

That’s good, because he has a big job this weekend. He’s creating scenes from Disney’s “Frozen”. It’s the theme for Winterfest 2015 at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield. The centerpiece will be Kristoff’s sleigh, pulled by Sven. Children can climb in and have their picture taken.

In addition to the sculptures, Covitz also creates musical instruments out of ice. He just got back from an ice music festival in Norway. There, in a theater carved out of ice and snow, musicians play horns, an upright bass, even a kind of xylophone made out of ice. Covtiz said the musician playing the “iceophone” learned early on that the trick is to go easy with the mallets, because no matter how cold it is, ice is fragile and temporary. That’s part of the draw for him.

“I produce a sculpture for a wedding or whatever kind of function is going on,” Covitz explained. “I produce a sculpture and then it melts back to where I took it from.”

So every piece has to be enjoyed right then and there, in the moment.

Ice Matters provides ice sculptures for lots of events, including weddings and corporate parties. You can learn more about Ice Matters at their website, icematters.com.

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