Springtime Chocolate Sculpture

It's late April in Vermont and that means it's snowing, naturally. But before today's unwelcome storm we did have a taste of the warm sun and vibrant colors of spring.

Those warmer thoughts are what inspired my springtime chocolate sculpture.

I learned how to make this 3D, hollowed out egg while attending a class with the masterful (and wonderful) Derrick Tu Tan Pho back in 2008.

Chocolate Strawberry-a-thon

Strawberries are one of my daughter's favorite fruits. What's not to like? They're beautiful, vibrant, and have a built in handle. But like most things in life, they're even better when dipped in chocolate.

Leading up to Valentine's Day this year, the team at Lake Champlain Chocolates, including myself, dipped and decorated thousands to get them ready for the holiday. And yes ... I made sure to buy a few for my little girl!


WCAX Visits

Local TV station WCAX stopped by to view the decorations in progress.

We talked about how I might need three things when Valentine's Day is all said and done:

  1. A couch
  2. An icepack for my shoulder
  3. A box of chocolate strawberries

You can checkout their post about it on Facebook.

Valentine's Day Frames

For the first time a limited number of my custom Valentine's Day frames will be on sale. Step up your chocolate giving this holiday!

The frames will be available for purchase at Lake Champlain Chocolates' Burlington locations.

 

Painting the (Chocolate) Roses Red

For the 2015 Burlington, VT ArtHop I wanted to pay tribute to my favorite story of all-time – Lewis Carroll's Adventures in Wonderland.

I tried to pick out some of my favorite scenes and find a way to represent them in chocolate. Narrowing it down was hard! There is so much rich and fantastical imagery in the book.

You can see my completed sculptures on my event page

"Painting the (chocolate) roses red"

"Painting the (chocolate) roses red"

"Falling Stack of Cards"

"Falling Stack of Cards"

"The Playing Cards"

"The Playing Cards"

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Discover Jazz Festival 2015

The Burlington discovered jazz festival is an annual looking to broaden awareness and appreciation of jazz with really amazing performances. It's one of the many reasons I love living in Vermont.

To celebrate this year I made jazz inspired chocolate sculpture that will be on display at Lake Champlain Chocolates on Church Street.

if you happen to be downtown for this years event, swing by Lake Champlain chocolates and check it out. Oh, and grab yourself a truffle while you're there!

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A Dream Come True

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From the time I started sculpting with chocolate I had a goal of making it on the Food Network. It was ambitious, to say the least, especially when you consider the strange path I took to becoming a chocolate sculptress.

 

Food Network Comes Calling

A recruiter for Food Network had seen my work online and wanted to know if I could make a sculpture 4 to 5 feet tall for a new special called “Outrageous Chocolate.” I had never built anything that large and I only had a week to do it, but there was nothing that was going to keep me away from the challenge. This was it, my dream was coming true.

A very small part of the very large sculpture

I worked up until the very end of my deadline. I had to come up with new ways on the fly of how to support the massive 5 foot tall, 65+ lbs sculpture. Some worked, some didn't.

I won't give away too many details about my sculpture quite yet, but let's just say it's "for the birds." 

When the film crew arrived I was excited but also nervous. But Cary and her crew quickly made me feel at ease and I had the time of my life filming my segment. I learned so much from them and hope someday to get the opportunity again.

The Premiere of “Outrageous Chocolate”

The show airs tonight, February 7th at 8pm (EST). It re-airs at 3am (for you night owls) and then again on Sunday (02/08) at 5pm.

The team at Lake Champlain Chocolates has become my family. Without them, this wouldn’t have been possible. I’m thrilled to represent our company – and the Burlington, VT arts community – on national TV.

It’s an honor and I hope you’ll tune in.

The "Chocolate Sculptress" on Food Network. A dream come true.

The "Chocolate Sculptress" on Food Network. A dream come true.

 

 

"Odd Jobs" Segment

Many thanks to Jennifer Costa for coming by the chocolate factory and filming me at work for her "Odd Jobs" segment on WCAX. Jennifer is traveling around Vermont and highlighting hard-working or creative people with unusual careers. I love that my career is considered unusual. I wouldn't have it any other way. You can watch the segment here:

McCracken’s loved three dimensional art for as long as she can remember. But after graduating art school, a degree in 3D illustration and ceramics wasn’t paying the bills. So, she traded clay for cocoa and took a job managing the chocolate company’s retail store. That is until her bosses discovered her background.
— Jennifer Costa