Ice ice baby

Em­braces the cold for a visit to a fam­ily-run com­pany in Newchapel, which turns wa­ter into works of art

Surrey Life - - Label Hjhjhj - Andy New­bold PHO­TOS:

If you vis­ited RHS Hamp­ton Court Palace Flower Show in 2017, you may have wan­dered past a gar­den called The Power to Make a Dif­fer­ence. The gar­den, de­signed by Joe Frances at Gar­dens for Good, won a sil­ver medal and, in the mid­dle, fea­tured a huge ice sculp­ture with irises frozen in­side.

The sculp­ture was the work of the team at PSD Ice Art, who I had the plea­sure of meet­ing re­cently to find out the the cold hard facts about what makes this fam­ily-run com­pany, whose work has ap­peared on TV pro­grammes like This Morn­ing and can be seen in Lon­don Ice Bar and at events across the globe.

PSD Ice Art is tucked away on the eastern edge of the county, and is run by hus­band and wife team Percy Salazar-diaz and Nicky Salazar with a close knit group of pro­fes­sion­als, in­clud­ing two other sculpt­ing ge­niuses, all ded­i­cated to cre­at­ing amaz­ing and in­no­va­tive works of ice.

Master crafts­man, Percy, orig­i­nated from the Pe­ru­vian Ama­zon, grow­ing up in 30 de­gree-plus heat be­fore mov­ing to Rus­sia where, by some con­trast, it was -30 de­grees Cel­sius so he’s quite at home in the work­ing freezer, which goes down to mi­nus seven or eight de­grees. “Ice for me is a ma­te­rial” he says, “I am an artist and have worked with clay, stone and wood as well.”

An artist he truly is. Now in the UK for 26 years, his imag­i­na­tion and cre­ative flair has been the foun­da­tion of the busi­ness. Formerly a chef at the Savoy back in the early noughties, where food carv­ing was his forte, he moved into the ice carv­ing in­dus­try and never looked back.

Nicky and Percy, who met at a Salsa club in 1999, set their sights high and com­bin­ing their cre­ative and busi­ness skills, have be­come a pre­mium sup­plier of ice art na­tion­wide. Their frozen raw ma­te­ri­als are stored in two huge tem­per­a­ture-con­trolled con­tain­ers on the premises with the abil­ity to pro­duce some them­selves on­site en­abling them to turn wa­ter into works of art quickly and ef­fi­ciently.

PSD’S big­gest client is the Be­low Zero ICEBAR, in May­fair, which at­tracts 200,000 vis­i­tors a year. The firm sup­plies around 30 tonnes of the frozen stuff in­clud­ing ice drink glasses and sculp­tures – for one con­cept they were asked to cre­ate a full-size Lon­don taxi and the Trafal­gar Square lions from ice.

The tal­ented team also pro­vides stun­ning works for cruise ships, swanky events and for use in tele­vi­sion ad­verts. There was even like­nesses of Phillip Schofield and Holly Wil­loughby pro­duced for the an­nounce­ment of the re­turn of ITV’S Danc­ing on Ice. They con­stantly ex­plore new ideas us­ing acrylic colour tech­niques, light­ing and print­ing ef­fects en­sur­ing they stand out from their com­pe­ti­tion and are now do­ing live demon­stra­tion and team-build­ing events.

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