What was the brief?
This client approached us wanting us to design and create individual ice sculptures on which caviar would be served to their 400 guests at their Swan Lake themed engagement party. The aim was to create something unique, beautiful and unforgettable, which is exactly what we planned to do.
How we approached the design
As with any unique project, we start with discussing a few different designs with the client so they can get better visual idea of how the final product will look. Eventually we decided on the intricate swan design you see pictured below.
We started with designing the ice plate which would hold the caviar and its accompaniments. We had to use the dimensions of the serving dishes they planned to use at the engagement party to create a design that we could then cut on out CNC machinery.
Once we have drawn up a design in CAD we then send it to the CNC machine to create a cutting path. A big enough piece of ice was then placed on the bed of the machine and we inserted the correct sized cutting bit to complete the job.
Whilst the 400 ice plates were underway we then turned our focus to the more intricate part of the design, the swan. When the team are creating many of the same sculptures we will often create a conveyor belt of sculpting to streamline the process.
One sculptor will cut a large block of ice down to size and use a band saw to outline the general shape of the swan. Another sculptor will then use a small flat chisel to create a more precise overall swan shape before passing it along to the final sculptor who will use a small V tool to carefully detail the swan.
The finished product met our initial aims of being unique, beautiful and certainly left the guests in awe, particularly as the swans were finished by being placed over small LED lights which perfectly lit up the entire venue.
Challenges and How we overcame them
The engagement party was held on a gloriously hot and sunny day which was great for those celebrating but a slight challenge for our team! As with all our sculptures we ensure they are kept in -30 Degrees Celsius conditions to ensure that they maintain their structural integrity and often, intricately designed exteriors. With the 400 swans and 400 ice plates we had to carefully wrap and pack them for transport in a -30 transportable freezer for delivery.
Once they arrived the job became a military operation between our team and the chefs at the venue. They had to ensure all 400 plates were out and ready to be served so that we could quickly and carefully place each swan before they melted- it was a very hot day!