Local ice queen makes mark overseas

Picture: Jason de Plater
Picture: Jason de Plater

The long list of proud Campbelltonians making their presence felt abroad continues to grow — thanks in part to Anne Marie Taberdo.

She works in a minus-eight- degree freezer and has become "best friends" with a chainsaw.

But Anne Marie Taberdo wouldn't have it any other way.

The former Campbelltown Performing Arts High School student has been kicking goals in London since leaving her home for a career as a sculptor.

So far she has worked at the British Museum making replicas of historic artefacts, and worked for Madame Tussaud's sculpting the bodies of famous people (including John Farnham, which is now on display in Sydney).

She is now is head sculptor of The Icebox — an ice sculpting company in London — and the only full-time woman commercial ice sculptor in Britain.

"It feels utterly rewarding," she told the Advertiser.

"I am not surprised really that there are not more female ice sculptors in the industry as it is very taxing work.

"Of course that is not to say women are seldom up for taxing work but it is a mixture of very heavy physical work, working day in and day out in a minus-eight-degree freezer and becoming best friends with a chainsaw — that would put most people off, let alone women.

"However, I feel strength in my solitude and in some way I feel like a representative of women because of it."

But she often longs for home.

She recently returned to Campbelltown for the wedding of her good friend, local identity Brooke Manzione.

Ms Taberdo presented her with an interesting gift: a one-metre block of ice sculpted into a rose (pictured).

"My mum made the bride's main bouquet which comprised of red roses, so it was only natural to follow in my mum's direction," Ms Taberdo said.

"Ice has really played a big and exciting part in my life for the past couple of years and I never thought I would be undertaking such a profession that requires me to work in below zero temperatures every day but I am grateful that I can sculpt in any medium as a way to earn a living and I have been fortunate enough to have had a number of jobs that has allowed me to do so.

"As always I have my family, friends, art teachers and mentors to thank for that."