Friday, July 13, 2012

Spun Cotton Candy

One day a few months ago I was minding my own business as I usually do, when I suddenly got an unusual request...spun cotton candy! Michele Outland (who worked for Domino magazine, Everyday Foods, and Martha Stewart Living, among others), the Creative Director of a new food magazine called "Gather", was asking if I had ever thought about making spun cotton candy. To be honest the thought never did cross my mind...but I'm always up for a new challenge, so what the heck?

The theme of the premiere issue is "float". So I created light and airy, and yummy sea creatures that would, in their natural habitat, float, suspended in the ocean.

Crafting with cotton candy wasn't as easy as I thought it would be...but I was surprised to learn that they made gray cotton candy...perfect for the narwhal! Photographing them was challenging too. I couldn't ship them to New York (we tried), so the photographer came to me and set up his workspace in the dining was quite entertaining.

They have a marketplace section at the back of the magazine where you can buy a more sturdy real cotton cotton narwhal, among other things. The metal drinking straws are particularly cool.

The stars of the show are now retired. Cotton candy, it turns out, is a very unstable substance. During the shoot they were shrinking by the hour and I kept having to reapply cotton candy to keep them looking plump and fluffy. Here they are today. Their skeletons showing through and them looking quite gaunt. I'll eventually rinse them under the sink and let them melt away completely before reusing their skeletons. :)

Gather magazine is not only a wonderful source for new and inventive recipes and inspiration for mealtime, but it's a beautiful work of art. The photos are printed large and bleed off the page. The paper feels good against your fingers and the words are poetic, yet practical. I believe you can find the magazine at Barnes and Noble and places like that. If you like to cook, or just like beautiful things...I recommend picking it up!

Also check out their website - - so pretty!


Grace said...

OMG! That is so cool and so hysterical! As I was reading I was asking in my head, "how will she deliver them? How long will they stay cotton candy fluffy?" Thanks for sharing this fun story. Grace xoox

laurie -magpie ethel said...

What a fun experience! Who would have thought of crafting with cotton candy..and that it shrinks! The things I learn in blogland.

Lisa W. said...

Good for you Crystal ! Your cotton candy creatures looked beautiful ! What a pretty magazine - I will be sure to pick up a copy.

Barbara said...

These are so pretty! I think working with cotton candy would be pretty tricky - I remember how sticky my fingers would get on the rare occasion I was allowed to have some.

Mary said...

This is so cool! What a neat idea and the sugar sea creatures were adorable!!

sMacThoughts said...

OH my gosh, your talents are endless!!