Simon is a popular, well loved and respected Rugby coach at Kenilworth Rugby Club. His 60th birthday was fast approaching. A few of his close friends put their thinking caps on as to what to do for his birthday. Brian Le Voi came up with the idea of a Vodka Luge. But what design? One of Simon's hobbies (apart from Rugby and a billion other hobbies) has a few Motorbikes with his favourite being his Honda Blackbird.
Brian simply said, 'Please make a Blackbird Vodka Luge'. And that was it. Our usual procedure is to scan any literature, find images and as much (within reason) about the object we are to carve. We found some hi-resolution images of a Honda Blackbird - side, front, back and from above and lots of info regarding this iconic motorbike. Once we had obtained good and clear images, we could then set about planning, designing and then carving the piece.
Our starting point is always a solid block of ice measuring 1m x 1/2m x 1/4m (weighing around 20-stone). It takes us approximately 6-7 days to actually create one ice block. For any ice sculpture or Vodka Luge, generally (but not always) the design or shape of the object will determine the format of the final piece. Naturally a Honda Blackbird lends itself to a Landscape format - 1m from left to right and 1/2m tall. For this piece we only needed one ice block to carve from.
With chain saw in hand the first basic outline was created. Large chunks of ice carved away leaving a basic skeleton. From here on in various power tools and hand tools were used to complete the job - always with one eye on the image of the Blackbird. Once the actual carving was completed, the last thing was to drill a channel though the ice to turn it from an Ice Sculpture into a Vodka Luge. The thickest part of the ice on this sculpture was from the petrol tank to the front wheel - approximately 1/2m in distance. This is where we then drilled. Once done, we inserted a plastic tube/sheaf through the channel and finally added a small funnel - to guide the Aqua Vita into and along the tube.
When the Vodka Luge was unveiled on the evening, the look on Simon's face was amazing and priceless! He was not expecting a Vodka Luge. It was an absolute thrill and joy for him. He is a well-loved person in the Club and his friends did him proud. He inspected the sculpture and said, 'it IS a Blackbird', the fairing, the petrol tank shape and the back is unmistakably a Blackbird. How did you did you do it?' We explained and he was over-awed. He smiled all evening - not sure if that was because of the Vodka Luge or alcohol...
The party was a GREAT success. With a duo playing in the main room (whom were very good - "Chicken String" a local band), the room was beautifully decorated and the food just wonderful - a Pig roast. Steph Bailey an old and dear friend gave a wonderful and humorous speech to round the evening.
No. of Ice Blocks - ONE
Item - Ice Sculpture or Vodka Luge
Format - Landscape
Height - 1/2m x 1m wide
Text - No
Delivery to venue - Yes
Complete set-up of sculpture at venue - Yes
Lighting included - Yes
Lighting set-up created for you at venue - Yes
Drain Tray - Yes
Thick-bore Tubing - Yes
12-point Check Assessment - Yes