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.