If you have a serious sweet tooth, almost anything chocolatey is already a work of art. People can pretend to find frumpy paintings in dusty galleries interesting, but most of us know we’d rather spend a few hours on the sofa in the company of Cadbury’s, bathed in the warm glow of Netflix. However, in glorious news for the cultured chocoholic, one man has found an ingenious way to bring the two worlds together.
Ciro Wai is a sculptor like no other. Instead of hacking away at a lump of rock or frantically polishing something bronze and awkward, he relies on an altogether tastier material. Using discarded foil from Ferrero Rocher confectionary, he is able to create beautifully intricate miniature models that look like they’ve come straight out of a tiny fantasy novel.
The 35 year-old artist’s first effort was a dinosaur, created for his daughter Tami. What was originally a flight of fancy has now turned into a unique and fully formed style. Ciro’s gallery is now stocked with dozens of different figures, from animals, to pokemon, to Chinese zodiac symbols. He has even managed to craft a minute version of the Statue of Liberty, all from a single, expertly worked piece of chocolate foil.
Ciro recently described the inspiration for his art in an interview with the UK’s Metro newspaper. Discussing how he came to create that first, key model, he revealed, “One day, I ate some Ferrero chocolate with my daughter. She always asks me to do some tiny handmade artwork or drawing, like character or animals with Blu Tack or paper origami. She passed me the Ferrero golden packing foil and asked me to make her a dinosaur. It was then I started the first Ferrero artwork.”
Since his first sculpture, Ciro has looked for further inspiration from the world around him, and particularly pop culture. He also revealed to The Metro that, “‘I also love a Japanese animation called ‘Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac’ about warriors who wear armour derived from the various constellations, so I thought that it is possible to make my own collection of it.” This is just one aspect of his ever expanding repertoire.
When it comes to construction, Ciro has a few techniques that give him an edge over other would-be artisans. He explains that, “‘I usually make them with only my fingers and sometimes with toothpicks and pliers. It takes around half an hour to complete, maybe 2-3 hours for detailed work,” before adding, “‘Sometimes I use more then one foil for bigger items, but I have a rule: works should only be made by Ferrero foil or packaging, and the size normally can put on the Ferrero base [sic].” It is clearly a patient, painstaking process.
To any classically trained artist, chocolate foil might not seem like the most naturally suitable material for a masterwork. However, one look at Ciro’s collection proves that you can make something seriously awesome from almost anything. That you also get to eat something sweet is just an added bonus.