Total Amount of ice to be used
26.4 ton

Total Amount of Ice for Each Team

4,800 lbs.

Cash to be awarded


Time provided for carving

32 Hours

Cash to be awarded Temperature of Igloo,
Climate controlled ice carving pavilion

26 Degrees

Total number of competitors




Meet The Carvers


Aaron Costic (Ohio) and Tajana Raukar (Croatia)

Returning 2015 Great Lakes International Ice Carving Competition Champions. The team of Costic and Raukar took home top honors with their carving “Save Our Souls”.

Originally from Croatia, Tajana Raukar is a 7 time world champion ice carver and current owner of Ice Dreams in Detroit, Michigan. He has won awards at World Ice Art Championships since 2001 and a fourth place at the Olympics ice carving in 2002. She has been sculpting ice at Ice Dreams since 1998.

Aaron's personal motto: "Art enriches lives." He has sculpted ice at the Olympic Arts Festivals, International Ice Sculpting Competitions: Japan 1998 Bronze; USA 2002 - Fourth; Italy 2006 - Gold. World Ice Art Championships, Fairbanks, Alaska: 12 top 3 finishes since 1998 (includes 6 wins). NICA National Championships: Four times National Champion.

Steve Baity (Ohio) and David Smith (Ohio)

Master food carver Baity is resident director in culinary services at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio where he teaches culinary arts. He is also owner of Graffiti Carving.  Baity was the winner of the Food Network’s Cake Wars Christmas Season 1.

David Smith, aka Pablo, was born and raised in West Virginia, where he embraced country ways and yearned for adventure.  Studying art, philosophy, psychology and the "open road" birthed a desire to be synonymous with "Avant-Garde". David is the owner/operator of Frost Lion Ice Plus, and he creates with pen, paintbrush, chisel and chainsaw. He graduated from Culinary Arts with Honors and in NICA competitions he's ranked in the metal standings in 25 of 28 competitions.  David lives and sculpts with 1/2 gypsy and 1/2 rock-n-roll state of mind. 

Wei-sen Liang (China) and Jerry Perun (New York)

Wei-Sen was born in Taiwan.  He is Executive Sou Chef at Turning Stone Casino and Resort.  Wei-Sen has been carving ice, fruit, chocolate and wood since he started working in the restaurant business.  Wei-Sen participates in ice carving competitions and earned NICA medals at the World Ice Art Championship. 

Jerry works with The Ice Farm in Auburn New York.  The Ice Farm Members are award winning carvers, competing on the National Level and in 2010 traveled to Harbin China, where they won first place. Jerry was selected as the New York Chef of the Year 2000.  He has carved ice for the past 20 years. 

Greg Butauski (Ohio) and Rich Daly (New York)

Greg Butauski, owner of Rock On Ice in Columbus, Ohio. Throughout the years Butauski has acquired an outstanding name for himself in the ice sculpting industry. From the first time Greg picked up a chainsaw in college (1991), he knew that ice would be his lifelong passion. After years of hard work and dedication, Greg has become one of only 6 Certified Master Carvers (by NICA) in the country. He was the captain of team USA at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and competed and won the World Ice Art Championships in 2005 as Team Ohio. And, most recently, he earned the title of 2014 National Champion, and 2014 Tour Champion. Batauski placed 4th with partner Dean Murray during the 2015 Great Lake International Ice Carving Competition.

Master Ice Carver Rich Daly is owner of the Ice Melodies in Mastic Beach, NY. In 2012 Rich became the US National Speed Ice Carving Champion, followed by shattering the Guinness World Record for carving 60 ice sculptures in October of 2013.  With a time of 2 hours 52 minutes and 12 seconds, Rich became the fastest ice carver on the planet surpassing the previous record by over 90 minutes. In 2015 Rich added two more gold medals to his long list of awards while attaining the title of Grand National Champion in the Masters Division at the US National Championships and becoming the National Ice Carving Association’s Tour of Champions winner.

Alex Wagner (Michigan) and Katlin Pfropper (Michigan)

Alex Wagner is from Lenox Township, Michigan. He got his start in ice carving as a part time job harvesting blocks of ice at Finesse Ice in Clinton Township.  Jeff Wolf, owner of Finesse Ice, started teaching him the art not long after and began competing soon after for Macomb Community College where he studied culinary arts.  He has competed and won in a few local competitions and came in 4th his first year at the Collegiate Nationals in Frankenmuth, MI.  His second year he received a silver NICA medal.

Katlin Pfropper is from St. Clair, Michigan. She has been carving ice for 3 years after being introduced to the art from one of her instructors, Jeff Wolf, at Macomb Community College where she studied culinary arts and pasty arts.  She now works part time for Finesse Ice in Clinton Township.  She has competed in many collegiate level competitions and had the opportunity to carve in the world ice carving event in Alaska earlier this year.

Ross Baisas (Canada) and Tony Baisas (Canada)

Ross is a renowned ice carver and winner of multiple International Ice-Carving competitions. He is currently employed at Casino de Montreal. In 2014, Ross and his brother Tony won the 8th International Ice Sculpture Festival in Poznań, Poland.

Tony Baisas is a Canadian decorator and kitchen artist at Casino du Lac-Leamy Gatineau in Quebec, Canada. He has participated in various snow and ice sculpture as well as sand sculpture competitions. Together with his brother Ross he took 2nd place in the Winterlude competition in Ottawa in 2013, where he represented the Philippines.

Aurora & Silas Firth (Alaska)

This unique brother and sister team comes from Anchor Point, Alaska. Aurora is an artist, teacher and writer who learned her skills from her parents Ben and Melanie Firth. She has competed at the World Championship of Ice in Alaska.

Silas Firth has been carving ice for almost as long as he can remember and participated in the Fairbanks World Ice Art Championships for the first time in 2011. Silas is currently focusing his attention on video and photography and his family's multi-media art can be seen on their website.

 Edwin Hutchison (South Carolina) & Glenn Hughes (Georgia)

Edwin Hutchison has been a chef for over 20 years and an ice sculpture since 1992. Edwin has been a NICA competitor since 2001, he has won a Gold Medal, 8 Silver Medals and 4 Bronze Medals, and Peoples Choice Awards.  In ACF Competitions he's won Silver and Bronze. He has competed at Ice Alaska since 2013. Additionally, Edwin is a sculptor for the 2016 Ice Magic Festival and Judge for Lake Louise, Alberta.  Edwin and his wife Leigh Anne own and operate Ice Age Ice Sculptures of Greenville, since 2005.

Glenn Hughes is from Monroe, Ga. At 29 he has a life time of experience. Glenn has served in the United States Army, where he served on the Fort Bragg Culinary Arts Team. Glenn has been carving for 10 years off and on and full time for the last 2 years.

Mike & Matthew Stoddart (Kentucky)

Matthew Stoddart is a professional ice sculptor from Lexington, Kentucky. He has grown up around ice sculpting and began competing at age 13. He competes in many competitions throughout the winter and has won many bronze and silver NICA medals.  He works for Lexington Ice Sculptures with his father, Michael Stoddart, who originally got him into the sport of ice sculpting.  He has a true passion for carving and will always be learning and having fun no matter where it may take him.

Michael has invested more than 25 years into mastering the art of ice sculpting. Self-taught, he has worked his way up to recently winning the title of National Professional Ice Carving Champion. He frequently performs demonstrations for corporations and also special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, graduation parties, etc. He is a talented culinary artist, and provider of exquisite ice sculptures across Kentucky.

Matt & Alissa Hass (New York)

This husband and wife team are owners of Sawdogs of Canandaigua, New York. This is their first appearance at the Great Lakes Ice Carving Competition. The chainsaw artists work in both ice and wood throughout the year. Hass said he was always comfortable around cutting tools since his father had his own construction business. At 18-years-old Hass said that he took a trip to a local fair that changed his life. "There was a chainsaw artist at the fair that was just amazing," he said. "He made it look easy. He'd start with a log and make a few quick cuts and you could see the sculpture beginning to take shape."

TJ Neary (New York) & Jon Freed (New York)

TJ Neary has been in the ice carving business since 1996, providing sculptures for the hospitality industry. He is a 1987 graduate from The Culinary Institute of America.  He believes that ice possesses unlimited possibilities for creativities that include the elegant, dramatic, fun or functional. He is the owner of Touch of Ice in New York City.

John Freed is a sculptor with The Ice Farm in Auburn, New York. He is only in his 7th year of carving ice. For this up and coming ice sculptor, The Great Lakes International Ice Carving Competition is his fourth competition.

JUDGES: Ikuo Kanbayaski (Canada) & Ken Diederich

 Ikuo Kanbayaski Olympic Ice Art Championship Judge for the 2006 Cultural Olympiad in Torino, Italy and 2002 Cultural Olympiad in Salt Lake City, USA. He is the founder and president of theCanadian Ice Carvers’ Society.

Kenneth Diederich started his professional culinary career as a student of The University of Akron’s Hospitality Management program. Diederich joined the School’s Hospitality Management faculty in 2013. He is currently the executive director of the National Ice Carving Association.