My dad set up the company 35 years ago, and I joined after my English degree. That's how I got into it: nepotism. But I grew up with the business. I'm 36, so it's about as old as me.
- What does management mean to you?
Artists often struggle with the fact that you have to be a businessperson too. We make sure to integrate the team into every aspect of the job. We don't have a separate sales team, so clients are talking to the people who will design and sculpt their pieces. We do a lot of work for Christmas parties, as well as extravagant installations for PR launches. Right now, we're making a lot of hand-carved ice-cubes for drinks ads. The strangest brief was when we froze a dead dolphin in ice for a Greenpeace protest. Crucially we're all still hands-on: I love to get the admin out of the way, put on my hat, gloves and steel toe-cap boots, grab the chainsaw and get sculpting.
- What do you like/dislike about your job?
It's frustrating when clients leave decisions to the last minute. Also, ice is a very volatile material: it's heavy, slippery and fragile, so it's easy to drop; and, of course, it melts. But the work is really therapeutic - you have to be focused and it's very physical, so it's a good release of adrenaline when you're stressed. I even like being in a freezer every day.