The Art of Darkness

Sugar Skull and Bones

September 17th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Sugar Skull and BonesThis image has been widely shared across the intertubes, and a couple of months ago BoingBoing tracked the original concept back to an artist by the name of Ash Violette; the maker of the prototype is named as “DR.HC.”

The post about the initial concept art is here, and two followup posts with lots of photos are here and here. Unfortunately, that’s all they are: Photos. There are no details on how they were made (or, indeed, if they’re even edible or just “for show”). DR.HC.’s deviantART account has been deactivated, so there’s no information to be found there.

This is a crying shame, because these are just wonderful. (A couple of the best suggestions I’ve seen for using these is as part of an absinthe bar, and as a feature at a twisted Alice in Wonderland-themed tea party. How perfect is that?)

The skulls wouldn’t be too hard to replicate; Mexican Sugar Skulls sells a mini skull mold, and Wilton has a skull candy mold which has a more 3-D appearance. Mexican Sugar Skulls also has a recipe and instructions for making the skulls, although their site is so eye-searing that I’m paraphrasing it below:

Mix together 1 C granulated sugar and 1 tsp meringue powder*. Sprinkle mixture with 1 tsp water and blend thoroughly until all sugar is moistened. Pack tightly into molds, invert onto a flat surface (like a cookie sheet) and let dry. For colored skulls, mix a bit of paste food coloring into the water before adding it to the sugar.

(Incidentally, if making your own seems like too much work, there’s also an Etsy shop which sells the little skulls.)

I’m a little less sure about the long bones; they seem so skinny that I don’t think they’re made of packed sugar. In the photos they look a little smoother than the skulls, so I’m thinking they might be piped meringue. Meringue “bones” are a fairly common Halloween treat, so there are lots of recipes available; typical ones are here and here. (If you’re making your own skulls you’ll have meringue powder anyway, so you might also try using that instead of fresh egg whites.) Update: In the comments, xJane suggests SugarVeil for the bones. I’d never heard of this stuff, but it looks promising. Thanks, xJane!

Package in bags or little boxes, with pretty labels.

Bonus links: The artist’s site has a lot of other neat stuff too; like bone dominoes (which could be made with polymer clay) and Decadence playing cards featuring notable figures like Aubrey Beardsley and Charles Baudelaire.


*The brand of meringue powder used apparently makes a difference, since the stuff used for cake icing isn’t strong enough; they recommend the stuff produced by CK Products.

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