melted candy

The melted candy pieces were one of the first times I ventured from my initial series of transferred photos. In addition to being an artist, I’m also a graphic designer and therefore fascinated with typography and design. One day at work, a coworker gave me a Tootsie Pop. When I unwrapped it, I realized that the design of the wrapper hadn’t changed since I was a kid. It always amazes me when design elements last that long and so I bought a bag of Tootsie Pops and started thinking of ideas for an art piece. That’s when I realized that most candy wrappers are made with a type of wax paper — so they don’t stick to the candy, of course. But, that made them impervious to glue, resin, and pretty much anything else I had in my arsenal to stick them either to each other or a surface. I guess I could have stapled them, but that didn’t seem fun. Just when I was getting sad about the wrappers not working, I realized I had a big bowl of unwrapped suckers that I was initially just going to throw away. I started playing with them to see if I could create some fun 3-D pieces with them, and my candy pieces were born. My early pieces involved melting the candy with a small butane torch — slowly, or you’ll burn them — and then adhering them to a wood panel while they were still melted. To seal them in, I would apply multiple layers of resin over the course of a week or so. The great thing about working with sugar is that there are really only two things that can hurt it — water and bugs. It doesn’t mold or deteriorate like other foods. And with the candy pieces, as long as they aren’t somewhere hot, they can last a long time. If you doubt how long hard candy can last, just think back to when you were a kid and would visit your grandmother or aunt and they had a bowl of candy on a shelf. You’d be tempted to eat one until one of your cousins reminded you that those candies had probably been sitting there for at least a decade.