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Sculpting Chocolate

((Banner: Sculpting Chocolate))
((Executive Producer: Marsha James))
((Camera: Kaveh Rezaei))
((Map: Tucson, Arizona))

((Juliana Desmond, Chocolate Artist))
When I work with chocolate, I feel like a passion just take
over me. The connection I have with chocolate feels really
ancient like it goes back lifetimes. I love everything about
chocolate. Making it, working with it and especially the
reaction I get from people when they try my chocolate.
((Juliana Desmond, Chocolate Artist))
My name is Juliana Desmond and I am a chocolate artist.
((Juliana Desmond, Chocolate Artist))
I became inspired to work with chocolate after seven trips
that I had taken to Mexico.
((Courtesy: Ramon Garcia))
During my travels, I had a lot of ideas for art that I wanted to
create. I do hand-building, mostly sculptures because I was
traveling so much, I didn't have the opportunity to create.
((end courtesy))
When I came back to Tucson and was a little more
grounded, I got the idea why not make molds that are food
safe and I can pour chocolate in them.
((Juliana Desmond, Chocolate Artist))
So first, we're going to start with making a mold with a
thermo-forming machine. This is typically used by dentists
for making dental implants. I use it for making chocolate
molds. Turn the heat on. In this top part will heat up.
It's going to get pretty loud once I turn it on the vacuum.
((Juliana Desmond, Chocolate Artist))
And that's the mold.
Originally, I was doing the chocolate art as a business and I
realized that it wasn't bringing me as much joy. I was losing
my passion and enthusiasm for it as an art. It became
repetitive and realized that I had to shift my perspective. I
allowed myself to dream up a plan to take the art of
chocolate making to Mexico because that's where cocoa
originated, but the people there don't have access to
equipment, to the practices of fine chocolate making. Those
were all developed in Europe and never made it back to the
land where cacao originated.
((Juliana Desmond, Chocolate Artist))
So now that it's cooled, take the tray out of there and pop the
design out and there's your mold. This here is a silicone
mold that I made of some cactus. And this is the thermal
formed mold that we just made. Now I'm going to pour the
chocolate into the molds. Now put it in the fridge.
((Juliana Desmond, Chocolate Artist))
Besides learning techniques for chocolate making, I also
learned about many unjust practices in the cacao industry.
((Courtesy: Ramon Garcia))
I planned a trip to Tabasco, Mexico where most of the cacao
grown in Mexico comes from and I reached out to a co-op
that helps farmers process their beans dry and ferment
them. I took with me a thermal-forming machine that I
donated to them so they could create their own culturally-
inspired custom molds. They gave me a tour of their co-op
and that's when I realized I could make a difference. And I
taught a two-day workshop so they could learn how to make
truffles themselves. The class that I taught was mostly
((end courtesy))
and they were all very excited and enthusiastic

((Courtesy: Ramon Garcia))
about learning new methods of processing their cacao and
new recipes to make with it, because typically in that region
of Mexico, what they make is a beverage and they were very
excited to learn how to make more than just beverages.
((Juliana Desmond, Chocolate Artist))
My favorite chocolate is a truffle because it has cream and
butter. As far as tempering and chocolate art goes, dark
chocolate is the easiest to work with.
Oh, wow.
I like the way you pack them because it’s a single serving, I
like that.
Yeah, they are.
Thank you so much.
You’re welcome.
We've got desserts for the whole weekend.
((Juliana Desmond, Chocolate Artist))
Now I only make chocolate occasionally for friends and
family and I take orders on my web site seasonally and for
the holidays.
((Juliana Desmond, Chocolate Artist))
I keep in contact with the ladies and they've told me that
((Courtesy: Ramon Garcia))
the melanger has revolutionized the way that they make
chocolate. Seeing the reaction brought so much fulfillment
and I felt like it was my calling as an artist. It gave me a lot
of satisfaction.
((end courtesy))
My hope is to empower the women with work opportunities
that preserve their culture and they can pass on to their
future generations.