Michael Joy, author of Confectionery Art Casting; Silicone Mold Making for the Pastry Chef, is a master mold maker and sculptor. His training began while attending The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and quickly evolved after graduation when he founded CLARO Art Studio, Inc., a sculptural fabrication studio where he undertakes a wide variety of commercial projects. Recognized for his commitment to superior craftsmanship, Michael’s commissioned works range from monument restoration to modifying the master model of the Oscar statuette for the Academy of Motion Pictures.
In 2003 he was invited to teach at the World Pastry Forum and has since assisted many chefs and teams win awards in numerous competitions around the world, including the US and World Pastry Team Championships, Pastry and Baking Team Championships, Chocolate Masters, Culinary Olympics, Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, Patis France, National Dessert Championship, Bocuse d’Or and the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (best craftsman). He has been featured on the cover of Pastry Art and Design, profiled in the New York Times, and he has appeared on the Food Network. Recently Michael was honored as the 143rd Distinguished Visiting Chef from Johnson & Wales Rhode Island, for his contributions to the culinary field.
Over the past 20 years, Michael has accumulated a wealth of technical skills encompassing several industries. He is proficient in a wide range of industrial mold making techniques, including those used for casting in clay (ceramic), resin, bronze, and ornamental plaster for applications in architectural restoration, photographic models/props, confectionery and other food-related mediums. His dedication to quality was recognized when the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation called upon him to mold a series of architectural ornaments on national and historic landmark buildings. In addition to commercial applications of mold making and casting, Michael produces his own sculpture that is based upon playful themes and imagery expressed in a unique surrealistic style that elevates industrial mold making to an art form.
In the culinary field, Michael’s mold making skills have found a new expression thanks to working with the great pastry chefs he has been fortunate enough to meet. Having become aware of the many creative possibilities of using molding techniques in the food industry, Michael sought to broaden this awareness through the establishment of a school where pastry chefs and others learn these skills and take them back to their kitchens. With that intention, he founded The Chicago School of Mold Making and Casting for the Arts, Inc. in 2002.
Michael is a regular contributor to several trade publications, including Pastry’s Best magazine, Dessert Professional, and Pasticceria Internazionale.
*A master mold maker’s knowledge and skill turn design concepts into reality.
The molds he/she creates and the techniques he suggests will determine a project’s
final physical form. To do this well, they must have a thorough knowledge of
industrial tooling, the full range of modern materials, and the various manufacturing
processes used by different industries. A client benefits from the master mold
maker’s technical knowledge and artistic sensibility, but these alone
are not enough. His third, and perhaps his most important, contribution is the
practical skill which he has acquired as a hands-on craftsman. Lastly, a strong
creative mind is critical when developing new products and an artistic education
is essential when a client wants to express a particular genre of art or culture.