Thursday, July 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Artist finds unique medium in sugar art

sugar artist, 11/28/12

Michele Guerra is the owner of Express Sugar Designs where she makes sugar sculptures for her clients. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page B10 | December 08, 2012 |

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield artist Michele Guerra sees the appeal of one-dimensional art – such as drawings and paintings. Just not for herself.

When it comes to creating one of her pieces, she finds one-dimensional rather, well, flat – literally and metaphorically.

“I don’t like to do anything one-dimensional,” she said.

Considering what Guerra’s choice of substance is for her compositions, her choice to only create three-dimensional art is both challenging and unique. She doesn’t like to use standard substances, such as clay or glass, for her sculptures – she prefers sugar. And, on occasion, cookies.

Sugar art is an up-and-coming medium growing in popularity thanks to the exposure on TV channels, such as the Food Network.

While it’s a popular art form, both for its visual and edible appeal, it’s also a difficult one, Guerra said.

She caught on to the trend in 2007 when she took a class on sugar art in Berkeley. She discovered she had a knack for the medium and a great interest in it, too.

Guerra continued to practice sugar art after the class and discovered that she was a well-rounded artist. She used other edible products, such as chocolate and candy, in her pieces and was also succesful at air brushing and designs.

The workload itself didn’t seem to bother her, either. Sugar as an art substance can be challenging, she said. It’s a very hot, temperamental medium that can either hold well or break easily, depending on the humidity of a room.

In general, Guerra has to create her pieces quickly and continuously. Most pieces she’ll create within a day.

The pieces can last anywhere from a couple of hours to several years, Guerra said. It all depends on how they’re maintained after they’re created. If, for instance, they sit in a humid environment, they probably won’t last more than a few hours, Guerra said. But if they’re well protected and don’t absorb moisture, they can last years.

A trick Guerra uses is to put shoe packs – the ones that say “don’t eat” – in a sculpture. This helps absorb moisture.

Over the years, Guerra has learned many tricks to creating and maintaining sugar art.

Her cake design business, Express Sugar Designs, requires her to send many of her delicate pieces through the mail, so she created a plexiglass box to protect them. Today, she sends her sugar art all over the world, as far as Germany and as local as Fairfield.

She also helps the owners of Fairfield’s Rosanna’s European Delights with cake decoration and very intricate figurine decor. Owner Roland Hajszan said Guerra is a great help for time-consuming projects such as cake decor. Plus, her culinary artistry is unique, he said.

“It’s hard to find someone with her skills,” he said. “(Her work) is very excellent.”

Fairfield residents can see her pieces all over the city, decorating the displays of Rosanna’s or inside some of the fire department houses.

While sugar artists are on the rise, Guerra was surprised to learn many culinary artists aren’t adept at artistry. So, she helps teach both culinary wizards and casual learners at a Michael’s store in Berkeley.

“If you can follow a pattern or color in the lines, you can decorate a cake,” she said.

Guerra continues to dabble with baking in addition to her sugar art, but for now, she said, she loves her multi-dimensional career.

“Doing sugar art . . . there’s nothing, not a better career,” she said. “It makes everyone happy.”

To learn more about Guerra’s sugar art, visit www.expresssugardesigns.com.

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or hahsan@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San covers Rio Vista, features and general news for the Daily Republic. She received her bachelors of art degree from the University of Oregon.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

It’s ‘camping for 30′ at the Solano fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Cities dealing with state drought rules

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Muralist helps locals ready for some painted wall history

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rejection makes us each stronger

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
Highway 12 crash sends 2 to hospital

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Mall to host Ultimate Army Throw Down

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Price will seek re-election as Fairfield mayor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Police release name of Vallejo homicide victim

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Peace Corps evacuates over Ebola as 2 isolated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Dissent quieted with most Israelis behind Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
AP Analysis: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ex-IRS official called conservatives ‘crazies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Congress cooperates – and fights – as recess nears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Powell maybe not told early about CIA techniques

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Crews work to keep Yosemite fire from sequoias

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Sanctions will damage Russia if not lifted quickly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Clashes prevent experts from reaching bodies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

 
Cruz gets border crisis wrong

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

Editorial Cartoons: July 31, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
What happened to the US?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Am I blaming victims?

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

 
Why ‘compassionate conservatism’ is still dead

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History for July 31, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 31, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I want to change my daughters last name to my maiden name

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Commentary: ‘Orphan Black,’ Emmy snubs and questions of identity

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Allison Williams headed skyward as NBC’s Peter Pan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Contract dispute delays ‘Big Bang’ production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

SF benefits from Pirates’ blunder, ends skid at 6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Complete game shutout lifts Expos to State Tournament win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Hammel fails again for Athletics in loss to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ray Guy’s long wait for Hall of Fame comes to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders owner confirms talks with San Antonio

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lloyd’s film watching impresses 49ers teammates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanford star Ty Montgomery rehabbing shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Greg Ives to crew chief Earnhardt in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Steelers to retire Hall of Famer Greene’s No. 75

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Fairfield-Suisun 6U Bobby Sox win titles

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Usain Bolt in controversy at Commonwealth Games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Indians trade pitcher Masterson to Cardinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Riley speaks out, insists Heat will be competitive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Nadal out of 2 tournaments because of right wrist

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US judge slaps $1.3B fine on Bank of America

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

 
A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Judge says Crystal CEO should testify in lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Louise Scholten

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Ronald Witt Escue Sr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Scott Allen Shaver

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9