This LA-Based Conceptual Ice Cube Project Could Turn into an Empire
I didn’t know what Disco Cubes was the first time I landed on its website, but I couldn’t look away. Disco Cubes, a Los Angeles-based project created by Leslie Kirchhoff, is all about ice. Artful, intricate, sculptural ice, to be specific. Kirchhoff makes and photographs her frozen works of art for brands and private ice-appreciators alike.
Kirchhoff, a photographer, filmmaker, and DJ, launched Disco Cubes this year. At first glance, the product seems to be the incredibly detailed ice cubes—something you’d buy for a special occasion or branded event; and that’s true, but Kirchhoff has larger plans for the brand.
“It’s a conceptual project and company that creates real products,” Kirchhoff told me in an email. “Right now, it’s launching with ice and creative services, but I have a ton of ideas on the horizon to turn it into the ice empire that it is in my mind.”
The classic Disco Cubes are identical, slightly rounded cubes that feature something special on the inside. Kirchhoff freezes flowers, paper cut into shapes, and even a small habanero pepper on one occasion, into her ice. She's made such cubes for clients like Coveteur and By Chloe (and so many others purely for fun). Some of her more creative ices are infused with fruit and vegetable juice—she recently posted cubes made of olive juice filled with sliced pimento-filled green olives (I’d like one of those in a martini, please and thank you). Like ephemeral etched glass, each cube is clearly painstakingly crafted and enchanting to look at from any angle, but will eventually melt into your drink.
Making these ice cubes is a “meticulous process that feels like a giant science experiment,” she says. “I actually began by reading a lot about the science and physics of ice and freezing—and watching lots of YouTube videos—and then I just began experimenting. After buying basically every ice mold out there, I started creating my own molds and tools to use, too.”
Indeed, Kirchhoff makes ice in shapes other than her take on the classic cube. Her “punch sphere” (a large spherical ice piece ideal for chilling the contents of a punchbowl) is a perfectly round piece of ice—Kirchhoff told me she she made the mold for it from a crystal ball. She also makes custom-shaped and vibrantly-colored flavored ice.
Though much of Kirchhoff’s ice work is for brands and other art projects, Disco Cubes are available for public purchase through the brand’s website.