During this project i have done many experiments trying to get to know my material, sugar. The first of which has already been posted, using crystallised sugar to coat in object, inspired by artist Timothy Horn. I have also been testing different Varnishes on cookies, to see which preserved them best and allowed to keep their sugary textures in tact. I did this because i want to use real sweets and biscuits in my final piece, but would like them to be preserved for at least a week or so without going soft or soggy and falling off. I decided that since i was going to also be using silicone perhaps as a form of fake icing that would last alot longer, i should use real biscuits and sweets in combination, but these could react to silicone and should be coated in something to protect the sugar from being tarnished. I tried 3 types of Varnish:
Gloss Varnish: Gloss left too shiny a finish on the cookies, making them look really fake like i’d made them from clay and laquered them or something. It also had a reaction to the coloured sugar on top of the party rings and caused it to disintegrate which i did not want to happen on my final piece. As it disintegrated the party ring became dull and patchy, not the look i was ging for.
PVA Glue: This surprisingly worked the best of all 3, i was surprised because its not really a varnish at all and very cheap to come by. It had the least reaction to the sugar on the party rings and the party ring stayed mostly intact. Although it gave a shiny finish it wasn’t as shiny as the “Real” varnishes and as a few days went by the shine began to become dull and they looked like normal biscuits agani but more preserved.
Satin Varnish: Satin was my second choice, because it had a lesser reaction to the sugar on the party rings and wasn’t as strong as the gloss. But when it dried i found it created a sort of film over the cookies that was almost the same as gloss varnish, i found that pva being more watery seeped into the gaps in the biscuits and allowed them to keep their definition much better, and it must have less of a chemical base to it because it reacted less to the sugar. Below are the images of the varnished cookies. Another experiment i did involved crushing up sweets to make pastes and using them with glue to make kind of paint like substances.
i have labelled what each paste or powder i have made is, i found that the one above ( rainbow sherbert) works really well when mixed with PVA glue because it keeps its shiny sugar texture but becomes solid and workable. I really liked the sherbert, some of the mixtures had love hearts and parma violets in them, some turned out quite gruesome looking and lost their sweet candy colours. But the pink loveheart made an interesting paste that could resemble skin, which may be useful. The green loveheart paste on the other hand looked awfully sickly!