Susan Pietzsch: Simply Scrumptious

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By Helena LambertMore from this author

Strings of sweets, chocolate bars set in porcelain and bras made from colorful chocolate sweets - the diversity of the international confectionary industry serves as an endless source of inspiration for German jewelry designer Susan Pietzsch.

Susan Pietzsch

Inspired by sweets: jewelry designer Susan Pietzsch

'Sugarboots' pendant made from sugar, acrylic and gold

'Staniolmouse' brooch made from cast acrylic, staniol paper, Swarovski beads, silver

'Kokuhaku' porcelain figure created in collaboration with Julia Kunkel

It doesn't get any richer in contrast: jewelry designer Susan Pietzsch spends part of the year on the flat and introspective terrains of the German Baltic Sea coast, close to Heiligendamm. The rest of the year she spends in the turbulent capital of Japan, in Tokyo. "Many artists say that they derive their inspiration from nature. With me, it's the opposite: I am inspired by the global chaos - so Tokyo is the perfect place for me. The contrast between the definite sense of aesthetic on the one hand and a high level of 'consumer waste' on the other is the motivation behind my work," explains the 38 year old designer. This inspiration is expressed in her jewelry which goes beyond the norm and catches the eye with its luminous packaging and unusual materials. And what's more: the sight of her jewelry is enough to make your mouth water Susan Pietzsch does not work with the classic precious metals or stones. Her current jewelry consists of sweets and sugar. "I grew up in the former East Germany - and sweets were scarce I wasn't that much interested in chocolate itself but in the unbelievable colors of packaging and paper," says Susan Pietzsch. During a long break in Mexico, she became familiar with the 'Dia de los Muertos' customs (all saints and all souls day): sugar-cast skulls and skeletons are placed on the graves of the deceased. The skilled goldsmith and metal worker perfected this sugar casting technique to create an astounding and unique collection of sugar pieces. The 'Apollo' pin and 'Apollo' earring are based on a typical Japanese chocolate - although the tasty insides have been replaced with acrylic so that the chocolate does not melt on the body. She creates a cast from bars of fine chocolate and pours the chocolate into fine white porcelain. "The technique underlying my jewelry is a big topic for me. Producing the porcelain bars is very time-consuming. Preparing the cast the chocolate melts during heating. So I had to think about an intermediate step first of all. It can take months to create a piece of jewelry the way I envisaged it," explains Susan Pietzsch. Sometimes she has to seek advice from an expert from the foodstuffs industry. A great deal of skill and dexterity is required to make the chains of chocolate sweets. The sugar is very delicate and breaks very easily during drilling. "There is lots of waste material - to the great delight of those around me," says the jewelry designer. In addition to her freelance design work, she is also co-founder of the 'Schmuck2 e.V' association which has initiated and implemented many projects and exhibitions over the last 11 years. Presentations in the fields of jewelry, architecture, design and art join the unique disciplines and create a meaningful link. This year, a public installation is planned focusing on cars as decorative items.

Requires a great deal of skill and produces a lot of sweet waste: 'Smarties Bra' made from chocolate sweets and string

'Flavored Coffee Beans' chain made from cast porcelain, glazed and acrylic. The beans are assembled using a strong and transparent Japanese rubber band

Just one lick and it's gone! 'Chupa-Chups/ love edition' made from sugar, silver and gold leaf

According to Japanese tradition, valuable sweets are traded in these wooden bowls, adding extra value. The chains of beads are cast from isomalt (dietetic sugar)

by Helena Lambert

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Helena Lambert

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