Category Archives: Ceramics

French Kiss Kiss – Sweetness Sundays

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French Macarons Are A Sweet Trend, 4/6/2010. Photo Credit: Tony Bock/Toronto Star

In recent years, there is one sweet patisserie treat that is not only as beautiful to look at as it is to savor, and is also endlessly suitable to personalization. It synonymous with the luxurious life and real culinary credentials, simultaneously attaining an almost iconic image as well as a modern gustatory revolution. The French Macaron is just such a creation, with a deep rooted history, and a modern enthusiastic following at the same time. As early as 2010, they started popping up in my Toronto area bakeshops as something you could pick up on any given shop day. 

LOVE Ceramic Macaron Sachet – Fragrance Object by Hideminy, Etsy.

Valentine Jewelry Macaron Necklace by Miniature Patisserie, Etsy.

This is no easy feat, particularly for what is, when you come right down to it, a sandwich biscuit.  I somehow can’t imagine an Oreo cookie starting such a revolution on the European Continent as the Macaron has in the United States and Canada both, as of late.

Dreamy Macarons Facial Scrubs [2 Pack] by Mrs. Browns Bath Bakery, Etsy.

French Macaron Hand Soap [2 Pack] by JAKEALA, Etsy.

There is just something so fragile and special about a Macaron that cannot be mass produced. It is this fragility, the candy like colours, and the endless combinations that make up the lure of the Macaron. Movies like Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, starring Kirsten Dunst have given a new spotlight to the over-the-top decadence and girly prettiness of this petite confection.

Blueberry Macarons [Box of 12, Custom Orders Welcome] by Madeline Bake Shop, Etsy.

Parisian Macaron Stand for French Macarons/Cupcakes/Wedding Cake – Peach Cake Stand 16″ by The Roche Studio, Etsy

 
If you look at a well made French Macaron, not to be confused with what North Americans call a Macaroon [a moist coconut based drop cookie], you will see the subtle beauty of the treat.  Put together from two smoothly topped baked round wafers, with a crumbled edge called the foot, these pieces share many of the characteristics of a meringue.  Powdered sugar, egg whites, and ground almonds make up the basic recipe, but endless flavor concentrates and colorings make them absolutely breathtaking to see.

French Macarons – Set Of Three [Felted Merino Wool] by woollyduck, Etsy.

DIY Felt French Macarons [Felt & Instructions For 18 Felt Cookies] by sweet emma jean, Etsy.

 
The exterior wafers of the Macaron have a natural opalescent shimmer over the surface, almost evoking images of fairy wings, and they are soft and moist and melt in the mouth in the most delicate of ways.  I rather predict that the cup-cake craze, while not over, will give way to the pleasures of the Macaron very soon. Similar to cupcakes, the filling, or ‘icing’ between the two wafers can take many forms.  It can be a delicious butter-cream, jam or preserves, or ganache filling.

French Macarons – Pastel Pink 10×10 Size [Home Decor] by Filamento TGS, Etsy.

French Macarons/Macaroons Fine Art Photograph 8×10 Size [Home Decor] by Keri Bevan Photography, Etsy.

While traditional flavors are vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry combinations, cutting edge pastry chefs are busy inventing brilliant alternative flavors from the familiarity of lemons to the sublime Matcha green tea flavorings. Whether flavoring the wafers or the filling, they are served in a sandwich mode, with two rounded smooth ‘caps’ with the foot facing the filling, and a thin but ample layer of filling piped or spread in between. 

Macaroon Cakes Upcycled Tea Towel Cushion/Pillow Cover by Emma Mount, Etsy.

French Macarons – Hemp And Organic Cotton Cushion 12×12 by Sarah Smile Design, Etsy.

The popularity of the French Macaron in North America is blossoming, and confectionery shops have windows full of towers of these jewel like biscuits and special long narrow boxes with ribbons, ready for Valentine’s day sales.  French Macaron are a much sexier and cleaner on the fingers ‘eat’ than an icing covered giant cupcake, with just 88 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 11 grams of carbohydrate for each delicate and sweet sandwich.  The average small specialty cupcake has 178 calories, 5.3 grams of fat, and a whopping 32.5 grams of carbohydrate in all that over-sweet sticky goodness.

Raspberry And Pistachio Ganache Macaron – Silver Plated Ring [Polymer Clay] by Pink Island, Etsy.

French Macaron Necklace With Eiffel Tower Charm by Plushable, Etsy.

 Macarons have reached epic popularity in France, being offered on the menu at McDonald’s restaurants in that country.  This new status of the french treat is making waves in the fashion world, as well as art, sculpture, and crafting.  Pastel colours are all over the runways, and the garments seem to look as delicious and light as the cookie itself.  There are heaps of photographs of French Macarons, in wild and enticing colours, as well as ‘fake’ props for your home, soaps, toys, and accessories.

Set of 2 Funny Macarons In A Pretty Box – Tea Party OOAK Art Doll Sculpt by Sandra ArteagaA, Etsy.

Sweet Treats Dessert Hand Embroidery Pattern [PDF] by Wild Olive, Etsy.

So much of what we eat, and crave, has to do with what it looks like.  Seeing the sheer volume of jewelry, trinkets, dollhouse sized treats, and non-edibles inspired by the lovely French Macaron, you can see that people have fallen in love with this iconic ‘cookie’, and though they may be a bit complicated for the baking novice to master, they are actually not impossible to make right at home. It takes a bit of practice with the piping bag to get the exterior meringues to shape up perfectly and match in size, but then you have the fun of eating all your ‘mistakes’, which may be the best part.

French Macaron Trinket Box – Mint Green/Pistachio Polymer Clay [Limoges Style] by The Mermaid Articles, Etsy.

Macaron Mercerie Sewing Accessories PDF Pattern [Pin Cushion, Needle Case, Scissors Fob] by Quilting Gems, Etsy.

So grab a great recipe for a French Macaron from a cookbook or the internet, flavor it any way you like, be it pomegranate and orange, or espresso and match tea, and whip up a batch of sweet French Kisses for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Now if I can just sort out a vegan version of this amazing treat. That would be truly fabulous my darlings!

Vanilla Macaron Perfume AMUSE Perfume Oil [Spray or Roll On] by Theme Fragrance, Etsy.

French Macaron Water Transfer Nail Sticker Set by Js Utopia, Etsy.
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Imagination Factory – Found On A Friday

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Double Rainbow – Miniature Ceramic Rainbow Factory Duo by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

 Thank goodness it’s Friday, and thank goodness I am feeling more like myself so that I can share today’s Fab find with you all. It’s been a while since I have blogged, about 2 weeks actually. Being sick is never part of ones plans or on the schedule, it happens, often out of the blue, and it forces us to pay attention to our bodies and get better. Sometimes when we are feverish and in that half sleep state, we get wonderful inspirations for work we want to do, unfortunately, we are often too ill to remember to write those ideas down or follow through. Just as well, I suspect some of those feverish great ideas are actually not so great.

Chartreuse Sea Lion with a Toy Top – Ceramic Figurine by PearsonMaron on Etsy.
Rolling Blue Cat Fish – Miniature Ceramic Sculpture on Wheels by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Today I want to show you some absolutely wonderful and whimsical sculpture work that seems born of that fevered dream state. Not to say that it is exceptionally odd or strange, just that it is quite magical. The “Handmade Curiosities” of PearsonMaron on Etsy are wonderful little bits of inspiration and ingenuity, all wrapped up in a bundle of kitsch.  Colors pop against pure white ceramic backdrops, small creatures come to life with spinning wheels and a healthy dose of whimsy.

A Nuclear Love Story – Miniature Nuclear Cooling Towers With Hearts – Geeky Wedding Cake Toppers – White Ceramic Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.
Bigfoot Diorama – Limited Edition Ceramic Mini Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Married couple Adam and Quincy together produce a marvelous menagerie of urban legends, sweet and poignant statements, and playful creatures from a blend of ceramics and other mixed media. While they work collaboratively on many items, some are the work on one or the other alone.  The Etsy Shop of PearsonMaron is chock full of an amazing array of items, from Prints and Paintings, Buttons, Magnets, Sculptures and Figurines, Dioramas, and even some Housewares. What that adds up to is a whole lot of wonderful.

Green One Eyed Octopus on Wheels – Mini Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.
Black Birds On A Wire – Miniature Ceramic Telephone Pole Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Adam and Quincy, who reside in Southern California, have a good thing going on in their Etsy Shop, and it is definitely worth a click on over to check it out. Prices range from just a few dollars for their Pin Back Buttons, to a whole lot more for one of the amazingly detailed sculptural pieces such as the one below. Most of the items featured on this page range from $20.00 to $95.00 USD, so there is a wide range of prices for any budget, whether you are a collector yourself, or looking for a unique gift for a special someone.  Thank goodness I found PearsonMaron on a Friday, and thank goodness I am back in the blogging groove once again.
 

The Astronaut – Space Exploration – Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.