I love sugar. The taste, the crystal sparkle of it, the way it can transform flour and water into a celebration. But I stumbled into the art of confectionery work quite by accident; a very happy spur of the moment decision.
I’ve been a professional artist since college. One autumn afternoon, as I was sketching out designs for a shop window display, I thought of making a large gingerbread house as the central focus. The shop sold Herend figurines; wonderful little porcelain animals. So I thought it would be fun to create a candy house where the figurines could be decorating a sugar cone tree, stringing lights along a candy cane window, hanging peppermint patty wreaths on doors made of chocolate. I pitched the idea and the owner loved it.
The house was an enormous success. It appeared in all the local papers, including Newsday, and on the news. Assisted living facilities were busing seniors in to look at the magical house. I’d set it up so that people had to come inside to see the interior, full of edible furniture on an icing piped rug, and porcelain bunnies tending a Tootsie Roll fire, resplendent with orange candy flames. The owner called the gingerbread house “A gold mine.” A customer came in, thrilled at the huge edible house, and asked me if I made small ones for individual sale. I blinked like a deer in headlights, and then said, “Yes.”
Thus was born Confectionery Masterpieces. Along with my partner, Sabatino Stefanile, we’ve created sugar displays for The Russian Tea Room in Manhattan, Oheka Castle of Long Island, the Alice Tully estate, The Long Island Shakespeare Society, and many private commissions. Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and corporate events have all seen our creations. Faeries, swans, whimsical cherubs, mighty phoenixes and brave princes astride savage black wolves; the only limit is the imagination. It’s wonderful working in a medium that delights so many of our senses. Sight, texture and taste. My partner and I are currently working on a mermaid who’s challenging every skill we have. She’ll be beautiful when we’ve finished her. Many clients keep our work for years inside glass cases, telling us “They’re too beautiful to eat.” A marvelous compliment.
So, to all you creatives out there, keep dreaming and creating. Who knows where and when you might stumble into the joy of a lifetime.
Visit www.confectionerymasterpieces.com to know more!