Ice Sculpture Business Struggling in 100+ Temperatures

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KIRKWOOD, MO (KTVI) - Record-high temps are putting the heat on local ice-carving businesses. David Van Camp started another Thursday at Ice Visions.  He prepares to deliver a 40th birthday sculpture to a lucky girl named Trish, and he is preparing a centerpiece for a 200 pound U.S. Air Force logo. 

His studios are several industrial walk-in freezers, similar to those that store meat or shipments of frozen food.  But, he admitted he was having trouble getting product to his clients.

'It usually takes us three days to freeze a block of ice,' Van Camp explained.  'Now, there are days we don`t get any ice done, at all.'

That is because his business is surrounded by the same 100-plus degree Fahrenheit heat that roofers, construction workers and police officers fight everyday.  The freezers are climate-controlled.  His Kirkwood warehouse is not.  Unless they are in one of the freezers, the air inside Ice Visions can be over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  Not only does that reduce production, it reduces productivity.

'I try to bring people in as early as I can,' Van Camp pointed out.  'And, I try to send them home early -- no later than 3 p.m., before the real heat hits.'

Van Camp said he is fortunate to have freezer trucks to get pieces to his clients.  He said other businesses are racing to get their pieces, wrapped in blankets, to clients in conventional cars before the sculptures melt too much.  But, it could take twice as long to get the freezer trucks cold enough to make deliveries.  All this extra time to produce ice and prepare the trucks is costing Van Camp almost double in his electric bill.

'We are just doing the best we can,' Van Camp said, starting his day with an ice-sculpted full of iced coffee.
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