Ice sculptors showcase talents at St. Clair’s Icy Bazaar

Katlin Pfroffer and Mark Slessora were a few of the talented ice sculptors creating icy art at the annual Icy Bazaar held last month in downtown St. Clair.

During the event’s speed carving competition, the last two competitors were Pfroffer and Slessora which resulted in a tie decided by crowd response.

“This was my second year creating ice sculptures at St. Clair’s Icy Bazaar,” Slessora says. “I love coming to the town; the people are so friendly and the event is so much fun.”

Slessora learned ice carving in his culinary arts class at Oakland Community College over 20 years ago.

“Currently I carve as a hobby, but make frozen creations for family, friends, and events,” he says.

Slessora has competed all over Michigan at different ice festivals, his first being the Plymouth Ice Festival among 24 other ice sculptors snagging himself 3rd place in the competition.

Katlin Pfroffer poses for a photo while working on her ice sculpture during St. Clair's Icy Bazaar.

Born and raised in St. Clair, Pfroffer also learned how to carve ice sculptures in culinary school a little over a decade ago.

“I took a culinary arts class at Macomb Community College and was taught skills in banquet carving, both go hand-in-hand with the techniques,” she says.

Pfroffer has competed throughout the United States and in 2016 placed 10th in the World Ice Carving Championships held in Fairbanks, Alaska, creating a piece called “Heart Song” alongside Chef Wolf whom she taught under. She also won first place in 2019 while competing on Netflix’s Christmas edition of “Sugar Rush.”

“What I like best about sculpting is what you have designed only lasts for a short period of time, so you’re always designing something new,” she says.

Today, Pfroffer teaches culinary arts at the St. Clair County Technical Education Center. Each semester, she says she takes a day to teach her students ice carving and hopes to open her own studio here in the Blue Water Area someday.

Read more articles by Andrea Harrington.

Andrea Harrington has been a freelance writer for The Keel for many years and enjoys telling stories about the people and communities across the Blue Water Area. In addition to her work with The Keel, she also substitute teaches for East China and Algonac School Districts and offers creative marketing content working one-on-one with local businesses. She loves everything fall-related and in her free time, is an avid watcher of horror movies and enjoys spending time with her husband and Italian greyhound, Marchello. Contact Andrea at