Ottó Magnússon is a chef at Humarhúsid (“the Lobster House”) restaurant in Reykjavík and one of its three owners, but in his spare time he creates ice sculptures.
“I learned ice sculpturing in Canada ten years ago,” Magnússon tells icelandreview.com. “It interested me because I couldn’t understand how making art works from ice was possible. I found it exciting and challenging,” he says.
“I stared out by making sculptures for fun and giving them to friends and family,” Magnússon says. “But as Iceland is a small market, the word spread and my art works became more popular.”
“People order ice sculptures for all kinds of parties, especially weddings, annual celebrations and birthdays in the form of vases, hearts, swans or fish. I have also been asked to sculpt company logos,” Magnússon explains.
“The most challenging project I have worked on was to create Christmas sculptures for the main square in Prague in 2003 (pictured) with my former teachers from Canada,” Magnússon says. “We worked for thee weeks and sculpted a few thousand tons of ice.”
Not many practice ice sculpting in Iceland. “There are only two machines in Iceland that can create the crystal clear blocks of ice that are needed for ice sculpting,” Magnússon explains. He owns of one of them.
Magnússon works in his garage, where he has all the equipment he needs. “I usually work on an art work for at least an hour, depending on the size and shape,” he explains.
Ice sculptures usually begin to melt after four or five hours, after they have been removed from the freezer. “That is just part of the process, the art works disappear. It is same with the food that I cook; that is art too,” Magnússon says.
Photo courtesy of www.klakastyttur.is.