A World Class Ice Sculptor in Connecticut
Bill Covitz, originally of Ridgefield, Connecticut, started out in life as a chef after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Bill did that for ten years in restaurants in the U.S. and in France and even on a yacht in Belgium where he cooked for the Prince of Bahrain. Along with whipping up his fine french cuisine, he saw his share of ice sculptures as centerpieces at weddings and corporate functions and fundraisers.
Some where along the line he went from the heat of the kitchen to the chill of ice. He began carving up blocks of ice about tens years ago at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. After mastering swans and intertwined hearts and shells and pianos filled with shrimp, he graduated to a whole other level.
Now he’s sculpting musical instruments in Europe that are played at ice festivals in Iceland and Italy. Bill makes acoustic guitars, and harps and horns, marimbas, fiddles and chimes and you name. His ice creations are played every year at the Ice Music Festival in Geilo, Norway.
He’s the guy in charge at the event and even makes the stage on which they’re featured.
Here’s a slide show of Bill and company working on the show in Norway in 2010.
The sounds you hear coming out of these hollowed-out ice instruments is quite haunting.
Norway takes up his January, in February he heads to Italy. A similar event there is held at the Schnals Valley Glacier in South Tyrol, Italy at 3,200 meters above sea-level. An ice dome is built in which the festival is held.
Bill’s company is called Ice Matters.
I toured his workshop in Waterbury, Connecticut where he makes his own ice and sculpts it. The areas are kept at about 18 degrees. It takes three or four days for Bill to make each block of ice, so it’s a process.
Bill has won national championships in the U.S. with his creations and he has placed 2nd in world competitions. One such event tool place in Alaska. We talked about the sub zero temperatures in which he worked.
There are a lot of tools you need to make one of these ice gems, and Bill has them all.
Bill says one day he’d like to do ice carvings of the White House, so he wouldn’t mind an invitation to do that in the nation’s capitol.