01 Candy Craft (Candy Sculpting) in Japan
SCULPT COOKED SUGAR INTO SHAPES
A street performance by candy makers to promote candy sales during the Edo period.
Candy Sculpting was originally developed as a street performance by candy makers to promote candy sales during the Edo period. Candy producers would use leftover candies and use fine tubes to blow and sculpt cooked sugar into various shapes. Birds were the most popular figures to create, and candy sculptors were often referred to as "Bird Sellers." In China many candy sculptors still use the blowing the method, and you can see videos of them making their sugar creations on Youtube.In Tokyo the blowing technique is less common due to sanitation concerns, but the sculptors from the Kansai region invented a new blowing practice using a plastic/rubber hand pump, and candy sculpting flourished into an art form. I use this hand pump to blow and sculpt my own candies.
02 Artist Chizuru Okano
BEAUTY OF CANDY SCULPT TO THE WORLD
I WANTED TO SHOWCASE THIS MAGICAL PERFORMANCE IN PLACES WHERE NO ONE HAD SEEN SUCH A THING BEFORE.
As a little girl I was mesmerized by the candy sculpting performances that I saw at various festivals, and I dreamed of becoming a performer myself. In my 20's I traveled around the world and I found myself wanting to find a profession that will allow me to keep traveling. My choices were either a candy sculptor or a hair stylist since both of them only require a pair of scissors. I chose the art of candy sculpting because I wanted to showcase this magical performance in places where no one had seen such a thing before. My hope is that I would be able to sell my candy creations in wealthier countries, and with my profits I could then bring my sculpting talents and create candy art for children in less fortunate countries. I started my apprenticeship under the master candy sculptor, Mr. Sadaharu Ishiwari in the Kansai region, after 10 years of learning the craft from sugar sculptors in Tokyo. I completed my training in 2 years and during that time I was able to perform my sculpture craft many times for people. Mr. Sadaharu Ishiwatari encouraged me to sharpen my skills by performing as much as possible, thus I traveled to the Tokyo area often, performing at many street fairs, festivals, markets, nursing homes, and corporate events. Now my focus is to bring my candy sculpting and candy art to the rest of the world, especially New York City. I am excited to share this magical art form and my candy creations, and hopefully in the near future you can see me perform in a town near you!