Given that Selzer's art has a life span of a few hours, his individual pieces don't allow for much of a legacy. But this month, he'll leave something else behind: the knowledge of his craft. On each Friday in April, Selzer will lead ice-carving classes in the Le Bard Stadium Field House, teaching students to create punch bowls, tables and more.
The week before class, Selzer took a break from his chainsaw and other tools to talk about his history with an unusual medium. The following are excerpts from the conversation:
I see that you're a certified professional ice carver from the Academy of Ice Carving and Design. I have to say that's No. 1 on the list of academies I didn't know existed when I got up this morning. How did you become affiliated with them?
Let's see — it's been about four, five years ago. I've always been an ice carver since I graduated from college, actually, here in 1985. I worked at Hilton hotels then, and that actually started my passion for ice carving. So later on, here at Orange Coast College, I really wanted to bring some of that, what I had learned and studied, and worked on a grant to get some equipment for the students so they could enhance their learning of ice carving. And so I went to the ice-carving school there — I think it's outside of Sacramento — and just honed my skills a little bit more and brought that back to share with the students.
Do you remember what the first thing was that you ever carved in ice?