candy craft: edible amezaiku sugar sculptures at wanted design NYC
 
candy craft: edible amezaiku sugar sculptures at wanted design NYC
may 19, 2015

candy craft: edible amezaiku sugar sculptures at wanted design NYC

candy craft: edible amezaiku sugar sculptures at wanted design NYC
image courtesy of shinri tezuka

 

 

 

the ancient japanese candy art of amezaiku is revived during new york design week 2015. contemporary meets craft at the tokyo design week exhibition at wanted design NYC, where young japanese artisan shinri tezuka — one of only a handful of remaining amezaiku practitioners in japan — displays his series of hyper-realistic sculptural edibles. surrounded by everything from colorful food-based paints to tweezers, tezuka accompanies his work on site while demonstrating the careful and intricate work involved in the making of a candy goldfish.

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a sculpted candy goldfish is carefully painted to resemble the quality of the animal’s body
image © designboom

 

 

 

amezaiku is the traditional japanese folk art of sculpting candy into a variety of shapes, using tools such as tweezers, scissors and softened candy heated to a temperature of 90°C.

 

a sugar base is prepared beforehand, using a starchy syrup recipe that requires careful monitoring to ensure proper consistency and appearance. the mixture is then kneaded, pulled by hand, and formed into a large ball, which is then reheated to make it pliable again. the artist puts their hand into the hot mass to pinch and sculpt the necessary material, then quickly rolls and mounts it on a stick. finally, the mass is then pulled, twisted and clipped into form — typically an animal or insect with intricate characteristics. speed is a necessary part of the art, since the sculpture must be completed before the candy cools and hardens again. these specialized artists paint the sculpted candy pieces with colorful edible dyes, giving the finished work heightened character.

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a red and black painted sugar goldfish
image courtesy of shinri tezuka

 

 

 

tezuka organizes workshops and events where he demonstrates the traditional artistry  patience and skill necessary in creating candy art. his own mastery of the art of amezaiku prompted him to open ameshin, a shop in tokyo where he sells his packaged candy sculptures.

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detail of the sugar fish on display at wanted design NY during new york design week 2015
image © designboom

amezaiku new york design week japanese-candy-scultpures
a dark green candy lollypop taking the form of a freshwater fish
image courtesy of shinri tezuka

amezaiku new york design week japanese-candy-scultpures
carved tentacles add hyper-realism to the candy sculpture of the octopus
image © designboom

amezaiku new york design week japanese-candy-scultpures
a semi-translucent frog lollypop exhibited during new york design week
image courtesy of shinri tezuka

amezaiku new york design week japanese-candy-scultpures
animals are the most commonly created shape — here: octopus, snake, frog and cat
image courtesy of shinri tezuka

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tezuka paints the eyes of the goldfish with a thin brush
image courtesy of shinri tezuka

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the artist demonstrates the painting of the fish at the tokyo design week exhibition
image © designboom

amezaiku new york design week japanese-candy-scultpures
careful concentration and a steady hand are necessary parts of the painting process
image © designboom

 

 

 

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