This exhibit is dear to my heart because it’s exactly what I’m about. I see something done in a medium that has nothing to do with chocolate or sugar or bread and I find a way to make it work, do you see? So it’s very, very fascinating to be able to duplicate things and that’s why this exhibit is so great because when you look a little bit at how things are done and why they are done a certain way, like - oh, my God, I never thought of that! Right? What we do in pastry is all about craft. It’s all about using our hands and using elements and putting them together.
We cast hot sugar in here, let it cool a little bit and then I’m going to lay this guy on there to make kind of like … not a smoked glass, but an etched glass technique. And then after that I’m going to put it on here to bend it.
Dale Chihuly is definitely an inspiration, but it’s also a glass blower, Lino Tagliapietra, who’s an Italian master who is just out of this world, out of this world. I did three years of glass blowing and we did a lot of new techniques because of that. I’m going to show you one in a box, if we can go in a box here …
This is a technique that is completely inspired from glass blowing. In glass blowing we learn to make a technique like this, putting bubbles in a sphere using a mould, a wooden mould, a pineapple mould it’s called. So I just racked my brains – it took me three months to figure out how to make it, but here it is. You see this is a sphere that then has pieces added on there, you see. And then it looks like the final product. It’s one piece, but other pieces attached to it.
I intend on being here for at least six hours straight, hopefully. So hopefully I’m finished at midnight, but otherwise I’ll just continue working until it’s done, you know.
The problem with pastry chefs is we’re not trained as artists. No pastry chef ever goes to art school and they actually should. But I think that my sense of colours and shapes has evolved a lot because I’ve been doing this pulled sugar thing for 36 years now, so I’ve got to get better at it, right? Running out of time, right, you know?
Sugar Sculpture by Jacquy Pfeiffer of The French Pastry School. Created in the V&A kitchen for the exhibition Power of Making, September 2011.