Cold FAQs

We always hear it from guests, ”Is that ice? Is it cold? Does it melt?”

Yes, yes, yes!! If you find hot ice that doesn’t melt, then we have a serious environmental upset.

Where do you get your ice?

We manufacture our own crystal clear ice block in various sizes weighing 300 – 350 pounds. We use only purified water by the process of reverse osmosis (RO). Cool Carvings premium ice block is bottled water quality. The blocks take approximately a week to produce. By making the block in-house, we are able to freeze objects upon request into our block for a dramatic effect.

Do you use a laser to cut the ice, or molds?

We sure don’t. Cool Carvings ice blocks are uniquely sculpted using chisels, a chainsaw, and rotary tools. Our techniques make some pretty cool modern displays. We are also fortunate to have an ice lathe for cutting pillars and cylinders.

Have you ever broken one while carving?

Oh sure, it has happened rarely, but it just gives another opportunity to do it better the next time. Your sculpture is carved days before your event so if an accident does occur, then there is time for a re-do.

How large is the sculpture?

We produce all sizes of displays. Examples include small guest table centerpieces (1/4 block each), buffet centerpieces (1 block – 2 block average), and have made displays up to 12’ tall and others up to 36’ long! So it’s really up to you. We can make suggestions that fit your needs and budget. Each block measures approximately 20” across, 10” thick, and 40” tall.  Most single block sculptures stand up to 40” tall, or the sculpture can be carved from a horizontal block 40” wide and 20” tall.  We can “cut and paste” the block, called “fusing” to make variations of these dimensions for different sized projects. Many designs do require multiple blocks of ice to produce larger sculptures. We like to go BIG for the ultimate Wow Factor!

What keeps the sculpture from melting on display?

Unless your display is in a freezer or outside on a cold winter night, you can expect the ice sculpture to begin melting after the block is tempered. However, please keep in mind, a single-block display for example may weigh between 150 to 250 pounds. That’s a lot of ice to melt! In an indoor comfortable room temperature, it would take at least 36 hours at a minimum for the entire sculpture to melt.

How long does the sculpture last?

Cool Carvings ice sculptures are designed and sculpted to look great through an entire event, when presented in a comfortable room temperature. Most events will typically last 4 to 8 hours. The sculpture will keep its smaller detail for about 4 hours, and will keep its overall shape and design well past the event.  Engraved words or logos can last as long as 12 hours or more. There are variables, however, that effect the melting of ice sculptures such as the size or thickness of the sculpture design, the type of detail, temperature, and environment.  Sunlight, warm temperatures, high humidity, wind, or use of fans, can deteriorate the ice very quickly. A sculpture sitting in the sun on an outdoor patio in July, for example, will only last a couple of hours at best. Pick your best spot for the ice sculpture so that you and your guests can enjoy it throughout the entire event.

In pictures, why are some sculptures cloudy and others clear?

Upon delivery and set up, the sculpture is removed from its insulated box and put on display.  The ice may be frosted, or cloudy, at room temperature for up to 45 minutes during its “tempering” process.  After it’s tempered, the sculpture is crystal clear and wet to the touch.  Some pictures were taken immediately after set up, before the sculpture was tempered.  All sculptures are crystal clear at the start of the event.

What makes the letters and logos white in the clear ice?

Many people believe that it is white foam in the ice that makes up the engraving of letters and logos. Actually the clear ice slab is engraved with a bit that creates a cavity in the ice. Then the cavity carved out is filled with shaved ice the consistency of white snow and packed very tight. The filled letters or logo are then moistened and the ice slab goes back in the freezer to cure the letters.

How much notification is needed to reserve a sculpture?

Cool Carvings is a small business and works on the first come, first serve basis. We do have to say “no” once in a while unfortunately as we do have our booking limitations. The more advance notice we receive, the more time we have to design and prepare for creating the sculpture.  Some clients book months in advance, but typically, we request orders no less than four weeks prior to the event, and two weeks notice at the very least.  Last minute orders are considered depending on availability of time, labor and materials.  If your event is in April – June, September, October, or December, then please book early as these are our busiest months.  To order, please call (816) 516-2210.

Is a booking deposit required?

A $175 deposit, or 25% or the total quote, whichever is larger, will be required in most instances to reserve and confirm your booking.  Check, cash, and credit cards are accepted.  The booking deposit is applied to your event invoice and is non-refundable for cancellations less than sixty days from your booking.

For clients picking up sculptures at Cool Carvings shop and renting our premium display equipment, a credit card number and authorization must be filed for a security deposit on the rental of premium display equipment.

When is final payment due?

The balance of the invoice total, in most cases, is to be paid no later than one week prior the event date.

What does the client need to provide at the event site?

We request that the client or event facility provide the table that the ice sculpture is to be displayed on, one with four legs instead of a center pole for better stability and capability of holding up to 300# or more. A standard banquet table usually works just fine. A table covering that goes to the floor is also requested. A drain bucket and any table support braces we bring are under the table and your tablecloth will hide it. In most cases, we will also need a working electrical receptacle available nearby the display table. Cool Carvings staff brings extension cords and tapes it to the floor.   If taping to the floor is not allowed at your event site, please advise us and have floor mats or runners available to cover the cords. Tables, tablecloths, and floor mats (if necessary), are all available through an event rental company or from your event site coordinator.

Have you ever broken one on delivery?

Unfortunately, yes, but only a handful of times since 2003! Once in a great while, the unexpected accident does occur. In that case, when there is no time for a re-do or the sculpture can’t be put back together, the client is given a full refund.

Will Cool Carvings take down the ice sculpture and pick up the equipment after the event?

We do offer breakdown service in our full service package price.  A return trip is included in your quote for our staff to come within 30 minutes of your event conclusion time. Staff takes down and disposes of the ice display and picks up all equipment. No additional fees for breakdown time requests up through 12:30 AM. Breakdown requests for 1 AM or later are subject to an additional fee.

To reduce the cost of the package price, clients may opt to be responsible themselves for the breakdown and disposal of the sculpture display at the conclusion of the event. Value display equipment is purchased by the client and does not need to be returned. Premium display equipment is rented and must be returned to our location within the following two business days.  Clients will be charged full replacement value for any piece of rented display equipment that is not returned, mistreated or broken.

Do you carve anything besides ice?

My passion is working with ice and it is the medium I have become skilled in carving. This business keeps me busy, but I do hope for opportunities to practice carving in wood or stone in my next chapter.