Ice carvers head east for seafood marketing event

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2005

KENAI - Ice carvers John Iverson and Scott Hanson are going to head to Boston to create an eye-catching fish.

The all-expense-paid trip next month is for Go Wild, an event aimed at marketing Alaska seafood products and tourism.

The two professional wood and ice carvers were invited by the state of Alaska to attend the event. Both said they are excited.

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

Iverson and Hanson's ice carving experience only goes back about four years. Iverson said he got started in the ice carving competition held by the Peninsula Winter Games. Hanson said Iverson got him involved. The two also participated in the ice carving world championships in Fairbanks.

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

Sylvia Beaudoin, executive director of Cook Inlet Salmon Brand and interim president of Alaska Regional Seafood Branding Association, asked them to participate in the Go Wild event.

Upon arrival in Boston, Iverson and Hanson 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.

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

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