For week two of our sugar work classes we used isomalt, an artificial sugar substitute which is slightly easier to work with and once hardened lasts much longer. Because sugar easily absorbs water our roses from the previous week had completely melted overnight simply from the humidity in the air. These isomalt sculptures can last for a few weeks.
Our task was to create a sugar centrepiece using different techniques to craft pieces for the backdrop. It was great to get to be more creative with the sugar. We used textured silicon mats to get different patterns onto the sugar before letting it set up and then heating it again slightly so that it could be twisted and bent into different shapes. It was difficult to be creative with the flower in the foreground, mainly because I feel we don’t have the skills to be able to make realistic looking flowers. So I went for the “sci-fi” look, not entirely effective, but the best I could do with my one good hand.
For our third week of gritted teeth and heat blisters we were given free rein to make our own designs. At home before class we had to sketch out the idea for our mini centrepiece (also good practice for our final exam in which we’ll have to plan and execute a much larger centrepiece of either sugar, chocolate, pastillage or a mix of the three mediums).
I decided to go for calla lilies, a fairly simple shape and if done properly ought to look effective…
I didn’t want to use too many colours just so that it wouldn’t look too fussy and overwhelming, but with hindsight I think I should have broken up the red with some other colours, or even chosen a less intense colour. Overall I was happy with my mini centrepiece because I achieved what I had planned, but I still have a lot to learn when it comes to designing and understanding what looks effective and what doesn’t when designs are then realised.
These are some of my classmates’ creations, aren’t they beautiful?
I feel like with sugar work, unless you’re really good, abstract is better and different colours should not be shied away from. Fingers crossed I can make the sugar work better for me in our final exam.