Game of Thrones artists turn up the heat with ice festival

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Sculptors from Game of Thrones have been breaking the ice ahead of this weekend’s Fire and Ice Festival.

Matt Chaloner, master carver from Glacial Art, a company who’ve created large scale ice sculptures for the hit TV show, crafted a Viking sculpture at Durham Cathedral to give audiences a taste of what to expect from the two day Fire & Ice InDurham festival.

Durham's Fire and Ice festival ice sculpture
Glacial Art master carver Matt Chaloner

Durham's Fire and Ice festival ice sculpture Glacial Art master carver Matt Chaloner

A giant Lambton Worm will be among the mythical creatures Matt and his colleagues will be carving for the event, as well as mermaids, dragons and trolls.

The frosty figures will form a trail through the city today and tomorrow, which will be lit by flaming beacons.

Matt, who spent two hours creating the viking in a block of ice weighing 130 kilos, said: “Our theme this weekend will be myths and legends and we’ll be getting up early each day to get working on the sculptures. Some of them will be interactive, so we’ll have an ice throne people can sit on and pair of griffin wings they can stand in front of. We’ll also have a sword in a stone, which will be a block of ice, and there’ll be a prize if someone can remove the sword.

“We also worked with local schools for a couple of the designs, which was a great experience. There’s something magical about ice sculptures and our favourite thing is to see kids’ expressions when they see them.”

Durham's Fire and Ice festival ice sculpture
Glacial Art master carver Matt Chaloner

Durham's Fire and Ice festival ice sculpture Glacial Art master carver Matt Chaloner

Among some of Glacial Art’s most spectacular work is an ice stone circle and altar for season four of Game of Thrones, as well as an ice iron throne.

Fresh from this weekend’s event in Durham, the team will be jetting to Alaska to compete in an international ice sculpture competition where they’ll create a 5metre tall David Bowie sculpture.

The festival, which proved popular for its first event last year, is organised by Durham BID.

Adam Deathe, business engagement manager at Durham BID, said: “We really want to highlight Durham’s culture and leisure offering. It’s home to some great exhibitions, such as Open Treasure at Durham Cathedral, and we really want to enhance that cultural element.

Durham's Fire and Ice festival ice sculpture
Glacial Art master carver Matt Chaloner

Durham's Fire and Ice festival ice sculpture Glacial Art master carver Matt Chaloner

“The Fire and Ice Festival also brings great footfall to the city, which is great for businesses.”

•Fire & Ice InDurham takes place today and tomorrow in Durham City. Head to Market Place between 1pm and 5pm on both days to turn your hand to ice carving. On Saturday, between 1pm and 5pm visitors will be able to see Glacial Art in action with a live demonstration. Each evening, from 5.15pm the festivities will draw to a close with a finale show at St Nicholas’ Church.

Durham's Fire and Ice festival ice sculpture
Glacial Art master carver Matt Chaloner with Durham's Bid Adam Deathe (R)

Durham's Fire and Ice festival ice sculpture Glacial Art master carver Matt Chaloner with Durham's Bid Adam Deathe (R)