Ame Zaiku, Candy Sculpture as an Art Form in the Hands of Takahiro Mizuki

We have candy canes, Japan has Ame Zaiku, candy sculpture as an art form.

Kit Nagamura features Takahiro Mizuki one of its current masters in 'Candy man' conjures up art to eat (Japan Times, December 19).

Here's the vivid first part of the article:

"Children and adults swarm the sanzun (small street cart) of Takahiro Mizuki as he creates traditional ame zaiku (candy sculptures).

Plucking out a chunk of scalding mizuame (boiled starch sugar) from a specially heated box at his stand, he bobbles it from hand to hand and stretches it like taffy, increasing the air content and bringing the temperature down a tad so his fingers don't burn.

Then, through swift legerdermain, Mizuki palms tiny dollops of shokubeni (food coloring) and the candy turns first yellow, then green — totally mystifying the kids. As he pinches the still-molten candy into a ball on a stick, though, he prepares for the real show.

In less than two minutes, before the candy ossifies, he snips at the blob with tiny scissors, then tugs, pulls, twists and paints it into a wee edible frog."

On his site Amezaiku, Takahiro Mizuki give us an overview of candy sculpture's technique.

We learn that "originally, amezaiku artisans used only a small amount of candy on the end of a reed stem, and enlarged and shaped it by blowing in air, similar to glass-blowing. And Mr.Mizuki sometimes uses this ancient technique by using a rubber pump instead."


Looking to add a 'wow' factor to a party, an event, you can always hire Takahiro Mizuki.

2 minute art pieces for Tokyo Thursdays # 171

Previously: Manga Meets Louvre at BankART 1929, Tokyo

(* Illustration above from Amezaiku website)

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