Fondant is the icing used to decorate or sculpt cakes and pastries. And the main character in this article, Zhou Yi, has reative incorporated traditional Chinese style beauty and hanfu into his fondant cakes.
Since he started using fondant to make Chinese-style dolls, the controversy for Zhou Yi has never stopped, but for Zhou Yi, fondant is just the medium, what is important is that he wants to make the world feel the charm of the China.
For his own works, Zhou Yi is very thoughtful. "Born in this era, you have to keep up with the times, the reason why things in the past became traditions is that they represented that era, now, it's our turn to create traditions."
The hanfu clothing is as light as gauze, and it is difficult to achieve this visual effect with fondant. Zhou Yi and his team experimented thousands of times, combining traditional Chinese dough sculpture techniques, using a rolling pin to press the flip sugar as thin as possible.
The traditional fondant is prone to cracking after drying, and the dolls have a short shelf time. So Zhou Yi spent another year, specifically adjusting the ratios and trying more than 1,000 kinds of ingredients before researching brand new materials. The resulting fondant, shaping, and shaping ability are better.
But unlike dough sculpture, the works of fondant need to be done quickly. The time limit for the head is 30 minutes, for the clothes is 2 hours, and for the flakes, it only takes 4 seconds before they are completely hardened and can no longer be used.
In Zhou Yi's case, the "artisan spirit" is on full display. In order to make the tiny bead flowers on the hair ornaments, he suffers through the pain of skin and flesh. The 80℃ syrup is pulled and plasticized in Zhou Yi's hands at a fast pace. This is the extreme temperature that human hands can endure. The high temperature in his hands scalded a blister, and turned into a scar. When shaking, the syrup splashes and burns on the skin, but Zhou Yi has no time to care.
As a craftsman in the new era, besides polishing skills, it is more difficult to fight against impetuous thoughts. In the early years, Zhou Yi made a pull sugar dragon as the theme of the work. The height was over 1.3 meters and the weight reached 30 pounds. When it was about to be completed, a few tiny cracks appeared in the base.
At this moment, the inexperienced Zhou Yi fell into hesitation. This work had been done for more than twenty days and his body fell into high fatigue. He decided to take a gamble, but to his surprise, just when he was taking pictures of the finished product, the cracks became bigger, and instantly, the support broke, and the dragon fell straight down, leaving a mess of debris. That image is still unforgettable to Zhou Yi.
As his skills deepened, Zhou Yi knew that a piece of work must also be evocative to be truly complete. So he began to study the human body structure, and even beauty and hairdressing, jewelry and jewelry, traditional hanfu costumes, all of which he studied slightly. He would often go to the theater and watch the actors' makeup and hairstyle.
After gaining an in-depth understanding of each field, Zhou Yi will think about each doll he makes. Putting himself into the character, experiencing the character's life, and pouring all his emotions into it.
In 2017, at the UK's Cake International Competition, Zhou Yi led the team and stood out from the contestants with the best entry "Wu Zetian", becoming the first Chinese to take the top prize in the history of the competition.
With traditional Chinese elements such as Suzhou gardening, Chinese-style painting, and palace lanterns, the dust of the Great Tang Dynasty is reflected in a slender woman.
"Lie Drunk in Nepenthic Land", which is also an award-winning work, shows a woman lying drunk on a stone platform with a delicate posture. The wine glass, the moss, the stone lion, and even the pattern of the small white lotus are all clearly visible.
In order to participate in the competition, Zhou Yi slept only three hours a day and practiced repeatedly for one week after another. Every accessory and every detail was done to the best before he stopped. It is this nature that has made him stand on the podium several times.
When Zhou Yi was young, he was not interested in learning and took the food arts and crafts program at the culinary school on the recommendation of his family. But Zhou Yi had a strong interest in model making, painting, and sculpting. In the school's ingredient sculpture course, he carved thousands of pounds of fruits and pumpkins, and his hands were covered with cuts made by razor blades. Success was not to be missed, and at the end of the semester, Zhou Yi successfully received the scholarship.
In 2007, at a temple gatherings in Kunming, Zhou Yi's dough sculpture were a big hit, and earn 8,000 yuan for per day. But traditional dough sculpture skills are not the mainstream of the times. In 2014, Zhou Yi touched fondant by chance. Looking at the beautiful cake pictures, Zhou Yi understood that he finally waited for what he wanted.
He stopped taking orders for dough sculpture and put all his energy into fondant. During the day, he worked as a small worker in the restaurant to make ends meet. At night, he gets off work at nine o'clock and dives headlong into the world of flipping sugar. Go to bed at 3 or 4 am, and get up again at 6 am to rush to work at the restaurant.
All the silence has finally echoed. He said, "If you have a bitter part of your life and then a sweet part, you will know how sweet the sweet stuff is." After becoming famous, Zhou Yi opened a dessert store and fondant training school in Foshan. In the ordinary days, looking for the heart's desire, life hurried dozens of years, not in vain.