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Verónica Bustamante, France’s Ice Sculpture Champion

October 25, 2017
Verónica Bustamante, France’s Ice Sculpture Champion
Luis Concepción

Verónica Bustamante (so good #3 – the sorbet route) has been after the ambitious idea of proclaiming herself France’s ice sculpture champion in the country where this discipline is most ingrained for some time. The last time was just two years ago with a second place in the French Championship 2015, in the hotel school of the Lycée Hôtelier de La Guerche (La Guerche-de-Bretagne). On October 22, this dream became a reality in the French Ice Sculpture Championship, held at Serbotel, Nantes, surpassing Emilie Paris, in second place, and David Alves, in third. A jury made up of great figures from the French ice cream industry, including the MOF Jean-Claude David, Stéphane Auge, Bernard Leprince, and Elie Cazaussus, was responsible for the result.

It is the first time that a candidate of Spanish origin manages to reach the top in this matter linked to ice cream in France. Verónica Bustamante has achieved this goal in an event that had as a theme “Maritime Stories of the River Loire delta in the Atlantic”. Bustamante, delegate of so good magazine, has been inspired by the harsh stories of Galician sailors, who do not know if they will see their families again when they go fishing in the sea. The piece represents the figure of a sailor in the 19th century, with boat and mast in hand, in a wider scene that also includes his wife and daughter saying goodbye to him. The costume of the protagonist of the piece has as a reference the one used by Breton fishermen, as seen in the particular cap that covers the area of ​​the nape, as well as the wide raincoat and trousers. And it is that, as Bustamante detailed, this way of dressing is very similar to the one Galician sailors wear.

Bustamante's ice sculpture“The choice of drawing is always difficult because it has to inspire or arouse feelings. It occurred to me to make a boat with the movement of the waves, but I was more motivated by the idea of ​​talking about the fishermen and their families, who lived in very difficult conditions in the region of Nantes as well as in Brittany or Galicia (cold, rain, work, risk of accident …),” she says. Bustamante also explains how her family history intertwines with the theme of the competition: “as my father was a sailor and traveled a lot, for months, to go fishing for codfish in Newfoundland and my grandmother was Galician, this ice piece of is, deep down, the story of my origins and the hard stories that we all know, adapted into a work of art “.

The candidates had three hours to make their sculpture live and had to start from two blocks of ice measuring 50×25 cm. The scene of the winner was 1.70 meters, thanks to the union of the blocks and the gluing of clippings. In spite of the great level of this edition, the jury has valued the carving of the faces, as well as the difficulty of the whole of Bustamante’s piece, a scene in which the three characters have been worked on from different angles and look towards different directions. It has also been taken into account that there is more experience while carving, “you could tell I had the drawing in my head and I knew where I had to cut. The mere fact of not doubting where to cut and not scratching the block of ice are aspects that have obtained good scores,” she says.