Greg Batauski Wins the 2014 National Ice Carving Championship Title

March 31st, 2014


Greg Butauski is used to working in a very cold office. He is the national ice carving champion out of Sunbury, Ohio. A former international champion, Butauski is now preparing to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Greg Batauski Wins the 2014 National Ice Carving Championship Title | Ice Crafters


Butauski has been refining his talents as an ice carver since the early 1990’s, gaining international attention in sculpting for events in Ohio where his business, Rock On Ice, is located. Butauski carves up to 2500 ice sculptures each year and when he is asked about his unusual success in a very unique industry, he says, “I get the same reaction (from a lot of people): ‘You can make a living out of that?’ or ‘What do you do in the summer?” he said. “I say, ‘Yes, and in the summer I carve ice.’


Getting his start at the University of Akron, Butauski majored in engineering before finding his passion for carving ice sculptures. Walking around outside of his dorm one day, he came upon a gentleman carving ice. Totally enchanted with the idea of learning this skill, Butauski did some research and found out that he could learn ice carving in the culinary arts program at the university.


He immediately changed his major to Culinary Arts with a focus on ice carving. Now, over twenty years later, Butauski has converted an old barn into his office and workspace, which houses three ice machines that produce 50 blocks of ice each month. Even with so much ice, Butauski actually runs out often and purchases ice to keep his work going. Using a bandsaw, drills and carving tools, he cuts the blocks of ice down to a manageable size for sculpturing.


Butauski’s commissioned event pieces are mostly things that are easily recognizable, like swans, but for his national competitions, he is able to use his imagination and truly create works of art. In one of his two-day competitions, Butauski created a piece titled, Miracle Grow, which was the image of a woman morphing out of a flower.


Today, Butauski’s business is a family affair. No longer working out of a warehouse in Columbus, he has moved to a more rural location where his wife, Jill manages his website and his daughters are his muse and inspiration. His daughters even get to reap the benefit of having such a talented and artistic father; his oldest daughter’s birthday party will be decorated with ice sculptures from the movie, Frozen.


Though Butauski also loves to carve other things, such as pumpkins during the fall season, his greater passion will always be the chill of the ice.



(Posted by: Alice Connelly of Ice Crafters)


Written by Ice Crafters

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