Once the sugar is on the slab, I assume it is very hot. What do I wear to handle the mixture? Also, how hot of a lamp needs to be used to keep the main glob pliable while I work with pieces of it?
Yes, its very hot. And i will burn you to a blister instantaneously. You use spatulas to move it around on the slab, or even a Silpat. I've never worked with a heat bulb that had an adjustable setting. Just "on" and "off."
I phrased that poorly about the lamp. What watt bulb needs to be used? I know from experience that there are different bulbs. Or is there a specific "art" lamp that is used? Also, the sugar must still be hot when I want to create my pieces; are there special gloves to wear?
I watched a clip on a guy doing blown sugar and he was using the silicone mat corners to knead the glob of sugar until it was cool enough to handle. Just taking one corner and folding the glob over itself and then ripping the corner off and doing another corner.
i watched a demo of sugar pulling and asked what gloves he was using. he said they were regular latex gloves. but, mind you, he was no stranger to this art.
i tried a little sugar pulling at home and used heavy duty latex/nitrile gloves, the kind you wear for cleaning around your house.
they're not going to protect you from the heat, but i bet i can get them off quickly if need be!
You can wear gloves but they don't do much good. And if you get a piece of sugar stuck to your glove you better be prepared to fling it off asap or risk a burn. The reason you would wear them is only to prevent getting fingerprints on the sugar.
The easiest way to cool it is to fold the silpat over and move it around. You can also pick up the silpat and move it around the tabletop or marble board to move it to a cooler spot. Once it gets cooled enough to handle, it will still be too hot to hold more than a few seconds so you have to work really fast. A heat lamp is good to have but you can also use a microwave for a few seconds. The red lamps usually get hotter than the white ones. The ones we used in class were 250 watts.
I wear a pair of cotton gloves under my latex gloves. They provide more protection from heat and from liquid sugar.
definitely the silpat reply! Even when it finally comes together and it's "cool" enough to work, it's still ridiculously hot. But that's what the marble is for. You pull, then rest your hands on the marble. Pull again, rest your hands...
Also, with time, your hands will be able to handle more heat (for the working stage)
Is anyone else having trouble uploading pictures into the pulled/blown sugar album.. it doesn't show up on the list when I go to upload pictures.. and it looks like it's the only one that isn't there..
I can't change my avatar either..
attaching pics seems to have been broken for a while on the entire forum
when i make pulled sugar, i start it off on an sprayed cookie sheet, and then once it stays together, I plop it on a silicone mat and knead it with the mat
To the posts about gloves, I would strongly recommend wearing, either with the latex gloves or cotton gloves under the latex. But in any case the gloves not only protect the sugar from finger prints, it also protects the sugar from the oils of your hands which can contaminate the sugar, which then the sugar will crystallize faster.
I wear two pairs of latex gloves. After a few minutes I am switching them out since the tips melt. I work with the sugar on the silpat mat till it is "cool" enough to touch. But then I also dont have fingerprints and can work with it when it is still pretty hot.