Derek Maxfield

Rockford Ice Sculptures

January 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

Ice sculptor extraordinaire Derek Maxfield of Ice Sculptures, Ltd. puts the finishing touches on a giant 8 ft. polar bear Sunday afternoon at Rockford’s Ice Fest 2012. Photo by CLIFF HILL  

Chips to fly at downtown’s first Ice Festival Saturday

January 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

Derek Maxfield of Ice Sculptures Inc. carves during ArtPrize last summer. Demonstrations, activities all free Another world-class event will be held in downtown Rockford this Saturday, Jan. 9, as the public is invited to enjoy a wintery day of family activities and the chance to see professional ice sculpture in action. The first ever Ice Festival is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in downtown Rockford. Grand Rapids-based Ice Sculptures, LTD will have several professionals on hand with chainsaws, torches, irons and other implements of their profession turning ice into art during live ice-carving demonstrations from noon to 4 p.m. The company has been featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not, has done work for the Discovery Channel, the Superbowl and the World Series. Those willing to venture out on a winter day in Michigan can see them at work live and free of charge. The live ice carving demonstration will take place on the deck by Reds on the River, but there will be other activities available for the day. “Kids are really fascinated by this,” said Randy Finch, co-founder of the company, who began in the unusual occupation during his work as chef at Cygnus. He said the art is an off-shoot of the culinary field, and he began to concentrate full-time on the sculpting in 1989. Since then he has found plenty of work. “If you have seen an ice sculpture around here, chances are it was ours,” he said. In addition to the live demonstrations of ice carving, the day’s activities include mini golf at Garden Club Park and the chance to view a horse and carriage sculpture in front of the Welcome Center (by Great Northern Trading Company). The 12-foot, 2,000-plus-pound creation is so large it has to be cut into pieces to transport and reassemble on site. Also at Garden Club Park, Great Northern Trading Company and Baskets in the Belfry are sponsoring a snowman photo booth where you can snap a unique shot through the ice snowman. Other contests will be to estimate the demise of the ice sculptures, and guess how many objects are frozen into one of the blocks of ice. Winners will receive prizes, when warmer weather puts an end to the ice […]