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Cool work

Carvers get chance to show talents

Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2005

 

  John Iverson and Scott Hanson carve an ice sculpture together at the 2003 Peninsula Winter Games. They are going to the International Boston Seafood Show next month to participate in Go Wild in Boston, an exhibition organized by the state of Alaska to showcase its seafood products and tourism. Clarion file photo

John Iverson and Scott Hanson carve an ice sculpture together at the 2003 Peninsula Winter Games. They are going to the International Boston Seafood Show next month to participate in Go Wild in Boston, an exhibition organized by the state of Alaska to showcase its seafood products and tourism.

Clarion file photo

John Iverson and Scott Hanson said they feel lucky to make art. And they feel lucky to have an all-expense-paid trip to Boston. But to top it off, they feel really lucky to be able to make an ice carving of a fish that will have beverages flowing from its mouth.

The two professional wood and ice carvers were invited by the state of Alaska to attend Go Wild in Boston, an event aimed at marketing Alaska seafood products and tourism in the state.

Both said they are excited about the event.

"All the free seafood we can eat — we thought we'd go for it," Hanson said.

The two are donating their services, but are happy to have their expenses paid for the trip.

This duo's ice carving experience only goes back about four years. Iverson said he started through the ice carving competition held by the Peninsula Winter Games. Hanson said Iverson got him involved.

However, they are no strangers to the art of chiseling lifeless blocks into vital objects of beauty.

Hanson, an ex-Midwestern farmer, has been making a living as a wood carver for 15 years as the owner of Hanson's Custom Carving. He said he stays busy with his chain saw and knife getting pieces ready for the summer tourist rush — plus all of his ice carving gigs. He said he usually has five chain saw carvers that help him out in the summer.

Iverson is a fishing guide in the summer. But when he has free time, he teams up with Hanson on various projects, helping out with the business sometimes.

For example, the two of them carved the carousel at Hanson's business on the Sterling Highway outside of Soldotna.

Since getting involved with ice, they have had numerous displays for the Peninsula Winter Games. And both have participated at the ice carving world championships in Fairbanks. They also carved an eagle with a fish at the governor's ball one year.

However, neither were prepared when Sylvia Beaudoin, executive director of Cook Inlet Salmon Brand Inc. and interim president of Alaska Regional Seafood Branding Association, asked them to participate in the event.

Upon arrival in Boston, they will be provided with a chunk of ice and proceed to carve a bar with the Kenai Wild logo and a jumping salmon on top. There will be an opening in the fish's mouth for alcohol to flow through, Iverson said.

Iverson said their carving in Boston will be smaller than he is used to and expects that to be a challenge. Their ice bar will only weigh 1,800 pounds, he said

Hanson said the project will take about six blocks of ice — about 1,800 pounds.

"We're used to doing bigger things," he said.



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