Sugar Crystals on Display

I've made plenty of sugar crystals in the course of creating candy experiments, and there will be sugar crystal experiments in the Candy Experiments book coming out next October. But I never knew you could actually do anything with sugar crystals until I saw Timothy Horn's sculpture, Mother-Load.

Horn's noticed a backlash against sugar in public opinion in the last few years, as experts warn that sugar is contributing to the rise of obesity. "Sugar has been getting a bad rap," he says. So his art works, such as this sugar-coated carriage Mother-Load, seek to present sugar as something beautiful.

Horn created Mother-Load in recognition of Alma Spreckles, a rags-to-riches 1900's socialite who married a San Francisco sugar baron. Horn made a form from plywood and steel, adding ornamental details made from scrunched aluminum foil and carved foam. But the most striking ornamentation comes from the sugar crystals, bought in bulk at a Chinese grocery. Horn used an acrylic glaze to coat the entire surface of the carriage in gem-like crystals of all sizes. Finally, Horn coated the carriage in amber-colored shellac, making the final product glow like honey. A sign in museum where the carriage is currently displayed warns visitors to not lick the artwork!

Mother-Load will be displayed at the Bellevue Arts Museum through Dec 31. You can also see more pictures at Timothy Horn's website.


  1. It is amazing. I just went to see it again last night, and enjoyed watching people come in, stare at the sculpture, ask each other "What is that?", and laugh at the "Do Not Lick the Artwork" sign. There's also a sugar crystal chandelier over the main lobby.


Comments will be displayed after they are approved.