Sugar Skull Workshop

Sugar Skulls designed by Black Calavera & Sean Breasley at the Immigration Museum 

3/11/12 – First Attempt at Sugar Skulls!

Today I attended a sugar skull workshop at the Immigration museum and I was so excited, I’ve been counting down the days since last Monday! It was by far the most exciting workshop I have ever been to, we actually got to design our own sugar skulls. At the beginning, a young artist from Mexico had conducted a presentation about the Day of the Dead which was quite fascinating.

The artist had explained that the Day of the Dead is a colourful and joyous event that allows families and friends to honour the departed spirits. What I do find really interesting is when the artist had said that children are encouraged to celebrate the Day of the Dead through activities, such as sugar skull making or face painting. So the Day of the Dead is designed for both adults and children!

Sugar Skulls on Mini Altar

At  the front of the room, the artist had installed a table with items that are usually included into the Day of the Dead altar. In the Day of the Dead, that are decorated with white chocolate. I didn’t even know about this and I am tempted to make my own chocolate skulls. There was a large group of people that attended the workshop, both adults and young children were invited to decorate the sugar skulls.

There were more women than men at the workshop, perhaps the sugar skull decorating attracts more of a female audience. The moulds were placed onto the tables alon with sequins, fabric, paper, cotton and icing sugar. In order to decorate the skull you had to squeeze the icing sugar from plastic zip lock bags, the processes was quite difficult to start off with, although I did get used to towards the end of the workshop.

The icing sugar came in pink, blue, yellow and purple, the different colours created some interesting designs. My boyfriend also made a sugar skull that looks very cool, he also decorated his skull with icing sugar, sequins and feathers.

The workshop was definitely entertaining and I didn’t want to leave, I would definitely recommend this event to anyone who has an interest for the Mexican sugar skulls or for those who are interested in craft. I decided to buy a sugar skull mould from a Day of the Dead shop in Melbourne, I do intend to create my own moulds for my exhibiton. I’m not too sure how well they will work, although I shall document the process, stay tuned for further updates!

I do like the fact that the sugar skulls are a little messy, provides a personal touch to the final piece. I have currently displayed my sugar skull on the side of my bed side table, I do feel connected to it considering that I had decorated and designed the sugar skull, the work shop had definitely provided ideas for future projects and exhibition.


2 responses to “Sugar Skull Workshop

  • Katherine Jackson

    Great article! I actually called up to book myself in and was advised it was a children-only workshop! Very disappointed I didn’t go now!

    • Black Calavera

      Thanks for the reply! do you mean the sugar skull workshop at the immigration museum? I called up and I just booked a spot for myself; there were a lot of adults at the last one, I thought it was open to anyone who was interested. It is definitely worth going, I would just recommend phoning again and just ask.

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