Saturday, November 8, 2014

First Sugar Sculpture

Sugar sculpting:  one of the major reasons I decided to take this Pastry school journey. Through my work with polymer clay, I got a lot of requests and suggestions to do similar sculptures in edible materials such as fondant. I found the idea intriguing, and the videos online made it look easy enough...

Until now, nearing the end of the course, I hadn't really attempted to work with fondant or other edible sculpting materials. It's not the same thing at all. I can see why people would say that it's similar and designs for clay could be done in fondant/marzipan/gum paste, but it's really not the same as working with clay. I like working with clay because the brands I use are pliable enough to form the shapes I want without much effort, but are sturdy enough to stand on their own. Because as long as I don't bake it, I can sculpt something today and go back in a week to change something. Most edible materials dry/harden quickly so you have to work fast, which I need to get used to. Fondant, marzipan and gum paste are also somewhat soft so they need support while drying. So there are a few differences that I wasn't used to, but for the most part the project went really well.

Our guidelines for the sculpted piece were that it could be no larger than 12 inches square, and needed to be at least 80% edible materials. We could use any medium(s) we wanted: fondant, marzipan, gum paste, chocolate, poured sugar, blown sugar, nougatine, etc.

The inspiration for my piece came from an image I found on Pinterest: a polymer clay sculpture of a grandmother baking a cake. When I first found the image, I wished I could recreate it in clay, but make the grandmother into more of a Mrs. Claus, and have her baking Christmas cookies. When I had the opportunity to make a sugar sculpture, I thought I would tweak my idea, and have the same grandmother baking cookies.

I didn't take pictures of every step, but I did take a few before putting everything together. I started by sculpting the table and baking tools using gum paste, because I wasn't sure what material to use for the body. I ended up using a big mass of marzipan for the body, and gum paste for the head & hair. I then used modeling chocolate to make her apron, and decorated the dress/apron with royal icing.

Gum paste arms and baking tools (cookies and dough are marzipan)

Gum paste table pieces which I airbrushed and then dusted with powdered colours
No arms!
Rear view

I used boiled glucose to attach the table parts, and royal icing to attach the baking tools to the table and the arms to the body. I also made a cat out of gum paste, just for visual interest. :) To finish off my granny I made some little spectacles with wire which I attach with melted sugar. Because we have to use nougatine in the exam, I decided I wanted to include nougatine somewhere in my piece in order to practice. So, I used nougatine to make the floor to mount my piece on. Voila! :)

Strange-looking cat
From the other side
From one side
Rear view

Aerial view
Aerial view



  1. Nice work! wow..... this must have taken you a long time!!!