Behind the Scenes: The Making of the Chocolate Terracotta Warriors

Allow me to take you on a journey through the process of making this installation. I was approached by the people from The Chocolate Festival to make a showpiece/ installation over the summer. The theme of this year was “Chocolates from Around the World”. I thought about trying to illustrate the different countries of where the bean is grown or the various species of cacao pods from all over the world in a showpiece. Then the idea came to me. Why not, make a chocolate installation based on where I am from? I know that there is actually no chocolate production from there, but perhaps I can create familiar objects out of chocolate from China.I started looking at different landscapes, buildings, sky scrapers, even The Great Wall and finally stumbled upon the “Terracotta Warriors and Horses”
The Terracotta Warriors is a collection of clay statues which was suppose to be a depiction of the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. The original Terracotta Warriors was a form of funerary art, to be buried with the Emperor and whose purpose was to protect him in his afterlife. 
I found the warriors in clay in a local Chinatown souvenir shop, and with the help of my mould maker (D Brigs), we began the mould making process with some silicon and moulding plaster. Once the moulds were made, I immediately started casting warriors. 4 became 8, 8 became 16 and before you know it, we were looking at hundreds of soldiers multiplying in the workshop.
Our Chocolate Terracotta Warriors include 4 styles of figures in various poses casted in the amount of several hundreds. The installation depicts soldiers in one of three pits. Our current estimates are that there are approximately 150 kilograms of chocolate used in this making of this installation. This piece took hundreds of hours to make and took over 3 months. 
Photography by Ted Diaz.  

A close up of the warriors. 

These chocolate warriors sat on my dining table for weeks. 
A picture of the installation after taking a 30 minute car ride with only a few casualties. The showpiece you see was transported in 4 different pieces in 3 vehicles with the help of my new commis (GL, RH, JB). The hardest job in a chocolatier’s life is to transport your creations from one location to another and they have done a fine job! 

A snap shot of the warriors on display for thousands of people to see. 

At approximately 6:00 pm on Sunday November 3, 2013, this installation was broken into many pieces to be melted down for my next project. But all the hard work didn’t go into waste, we had thousands of people taking pictures of the creation and we got a brief mentioned on 680 news and BT24. 

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