Sunderland sculptors called in to create ‘Ice Henge’ for Game of Thrones

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ICE-SCULPTOR extraodinaires Mat Foster and Mat Chaloner have hit the big time after getting the chance to work on TV’s most talked about show.

The Sunderland University graduates were handpicked by television executives to create a special “Ice Henge Sculpture” for an episode of Game of Thrones.

The lads are already international award-winning ice sculptors who have worked with well-known brands including Rolex, Gucci and Bentley. Theirs work proved such a hit they were asked to create the sculpture for HBO’s fantasy drama, seen in Series Four.

Shot over two days in Belfast in October 2013, the Ice Henge scene is centred on a twist to the storyline in George R. R. Martin’s bestselling books.

Preparation for the shoot took two weeks in an ice sculpting studio, with the ‘Ice Henge’ consisting of 10 spikes of ice, three of which had to be replicated exactly, and a central ice altar. Each spike was made from three separate pieces of ice that had been fused together, each weighing around 300 kilos.

Creative Director Mat Chaloner, 34, who graduated with a degree in Model Making and Design in 2001 alongside Mat, said: “Having been fans of the original books and the series, this ice sculpting job was a massive breakthrough as a first step into the world of film and TV and, on such a big budget production, anything but perfection would be a failure.

“Director Michele MacLaren, who also directed and produced the series Breaking Bad, was an absolute pleasure to work with. This certainly is a new area we are moving into.”

Having kept the commission classified for over six months, the lads’ team, from their Glacial Art company, were delighted to see the final results screened on Monday, April 28, on Sky Atlantic.

Creative Director Mat Foster, 33, added: “Being behind the cameras, the light and the green screens just reminded me of how enchanted we still are by movie magic. This is a great starting point for Glacial Art’s future in ice effects and ice props for the silver screen.”

The pair are now in talks with the programme’s production team and more work on the globally successful show could be in the pipeline.

Mat Chaloner added: “The production team contacted us, just as we were organising a job for Smirnoff in Cannes. They had an idea of what they wanted, but as they were shooting outdoors over two days, they needed ideas on how to make the sculptures last, designs were changing and we were doing lots of different tests, but once we’d agreed on designs we were there for two days on set, which was an amazing experience.

“Sadly we didn’t meet any of the main actors but did meet two White Walkers in full costume.”