The end of January gets downright festive in Blowing Rock during WinterFest. One of our biggest draws is the Ice Sculpture Stroll and Ice Sculpting Demonstrations in the park. Nathan Moran, the owner of Artisan Ice Sculptures has been partnering with WinterFest since 2006. We sat down with Nathan to talk about WinterFest and why he keeps coming back. Nathan says he loves WinterFest because everyone really goes all out with the creativity to make their businesses and ice sculptures shine.
Nathan said, “Some of my favorite ice sculptures over the years are the 10ft wide Old Man Winter, the life sized dress that people could stand in front of for a photo op at Tazmaraz, and the Minions at Town Tavern.”
Doing demonstrations in the park is a time honored tradition and Nathan feels that it is ultimately more rewarding doing them in front of a crowd. “The energy is contagious and people get really excited about what they are seeing,” he said. It gives him a chance to answer questions, but does put him up against the challenge of finishing and getting to everyone. “However, he says it always seems to work out.”
Nathan began ice carving in 2003 at a culinary internship in Naples FL. He set up his own business in his garage, and began creating ice sculptures. In 2017 he was offered the opportunity to purchase a competitor and then became Artisan Ice Sculptures. Now he employs approximately 8 people who help with sculpture, cocktail ice, and ice delivery and set up.
Nathan says that currently, they are making all of their ice in house. It takes approximately four days to create a 1,300 lb block of ice. Each machine makes 2 blocks, and they have 18 machines equalling a whopping 46,800 lbs of ice. They are currently in need of more ice than they can produce so they are sourcing ice from Canada as well.
We are looking forward to welcoming their creativity and excitement to WinterFest again this year!