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Artists Sculpt Sweet Cityscapes out of Sugar Cubes

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See this project and more in Make: Vol. 44. Don't have the issue? Get yours today!
Build this project and more in Make: Vol. 44. Don’t have the issue? Get yours today!

The next time you take your tea with a lump or two, spare a thought for Brendan Jamison’s sculptural work and the incredible potential of the humble sugar cube dissolving in your cup. According to Jamison, what initially began as “an attraction to the architectural properties of the brick-like form” grew into works that push the architectural limits of these commonplace materials.

Over the past decade, Jamison has constructed a myriad of elaborate structures, from a calf-high fireplace to a miniature Great Wall of China, using nothing but sugar cubes and adhesive. More recently he’s partnered with sculptor Mark Revels to create even more ambitious works, including a series of cityscapes called Sugar Metropolis, comprised entirely of sugar-cube structures and installed in cities from New York and Los Angeles to Belfast.

“The beauty of working with sugar is that it is has so many associations and can operate on many different levels simultaneously,” says Jamison. The shape, the texture, and even the imagined taste all feed into the viewer’s experience.

Image62SugarMetropolis2013atUlsterMuseumBelfast (1)

Image64SugarMetropolis2013atUlsterMuseumBelfast (1)



Artist, writer, and teacher who makes work about popular culture, technology, and traditional craft processes.

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