Skip to Content

Sugar sculpture

« Back to Glossary Index

– Types:
– Pulled sugar: Sugar is poured onto a silicone mat, folded repeatedly, stretched, and sculpted.
– Blown sugar: Pulled sugar is shaped using a pump, commonly for making animals or flowers.
– Cast sugar: Sugar is poured into molds, creating sturdier pieces for showpieces.
– Pastillage: A thick sugar paste molded into shapes that hardens quickly.
– Pressed sugar: Granulated sugar mixed with water and hardened under pressure.

– Uses:
Sugar sculptures as alternatives to wedding cakes, though more expensive and time-consuming.
Sugar people: Traditional Chinese art form creating 3D figures using heated sugar.

– Cultural references:
– Mother Goose nursery rhyme mentioning sugar sculpture involving Little Tom Thumb.

– See also:
– Chinese Folk Art
– Fondant
Sugar painting: A style using hot sugar syrup to make decorative candies

– References:
– Shelton, Renee. What is Pastillage?. Retrieved 16 February 2015.

Sugar sculpture (Wikipedia)

Sugar sculpture is the art of producing artistic centerpieces entirely composed of sugar and sugar derivatives. These were very popular at grand feasts from the Renaissance until at least the 18th century, and sometimes made by famous artists. Sugar was very expensive by modern standards, and sculptures in it a form of conspicuous consumption, reflecting wealth. Today, there are many competitions that include sugar sculpture.

Roses and leaves made from pulled sugar
Sugar sculpture (1880)

Sugar showpieces can be composed of several different types of sugar elements. All begin with cooking sugar, and possibly an acidic agent and/or non-sucrose sugar product to avoid unwanted crystallization, to the hard crack stage, around 300 °F (149 °C).

When all components are completed, they are welded together using a gas torch. The sugar is melted, and then joined together.

« Back to Glossary Index