Shayna Leib’s French desserts may look delicious, but they are only meant to be savoured with the eyes. While these exquisite treats may appear to be the work of a talented confectioner, Leib is actually a porcelain and glass artist.
If, like me, you have an insatiable sweet tooth, you’re probably wondering how anyone could be so cruel as to tempt us with these positively mouth-watering desserts that we’ll never get to try. Well, in Shayna Leib’s case, the idea for her “Patisserie” porcelain and glass series was inspired by her own inability to indulge in decadent desserts. Apparently, her body reacts to food with high histamine, salicylate, and copper content, like puff pastry and chocolate mouse, which results in many dietary restriction. So by salivating over photos of her porcelain and glass desserts, you get a taste of how she feels every time she walks by a dessert shop.
“No food is as powerful as dessert or gets as tied up in our issues of guilt, longing, abstinence, and attraction,” Leib writes on her website. “We celebrate birthdays with it. Grandparents spoil children with it. It’s the first to get cut from a diet and the first some flock to for comfort. And yet for me, it represents the unattainable.”
“This body of work started as a therapeutic exercise in deconstruction and a re-training of the mind to look at dessert as form rather than food. It soon became a technical riddle, and I became a food taxidermist of french pastries,” the artist adds.
As you can imagine, getting porcelain and glass to look like realistic French confectionery is not the easiest thing in the world to do, even for an experienced artist like Leib. To pull it off, she needed to use “nearly every possible technique in both mediums; glassblowing, hot-sculpting, lampwork, fusing, casting, and grinding in glass and well as the ceramic techniques of hand-building, throwing, and using a good old fashioned pastry tube.”
According to USA Art News, “glass for all its fragility and beauty is a very difficult material for work. Working with it requires tremendous stress, attention, and knowledge of the many technical characteristics of this material. The creation of only a small part of such a composition may take more than a month of painstaking work.”
With all that being said, please, feel free to feast your eyes on these inedible treats for as long as you like!
Photos © Shayna Leib