Michael Joy, author of Confectionery Art Casting; Silicone Mold Making for the Pastry Chef, is a master mold maker, a sculptor and a conceptual artist. Upon graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago, his skills quickly evolved when he founded a sculptural fabrication studio where he undertook 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.
Over the past 25 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, ornamental plaster for applications in architectural restoration, photographic models/props, museum work, confectionery and other food-related mediums. Most recently, Michael’s skills have been applied in medicine, dental work, other industrial sciences as well as food-contact safe mold making.
In addition to commercial applications of mold making and casting, Michael produces remarkable turn-of-the-century style artwork (MichaelJoyArt.com) that is based on playful themes and imagery expressed in a unique, surrealistic style that elevates industrial mold making to a fine art form.
Having become aware of the many creative possibilities of using molding techniques in the culinary field, Michael founded The Chicago School of Mold Making and Casting for the Arts, Inc. in 2002 with Beatrice S. Schneider. Since then, his mold making skills have found a new expression, thanks to working with so many innovative pastry & savory chefs around the globe. Over the years Michael and Beatrice developed over 150 new products never before seen in the culinary industry as well as partnered in hundreds of notable collaborations with world renowned chefs and companies including:
- Executive Chef Curtis Duffy, Grace
- Executive Chef Thomas Keller, The French Laundry
- Master Chef Rudolph van Veen, Lady Gaga sculpture
- Chefs Albert & Ferran Adria, El Bulli
- Chef Laurent Gras, L20
- Chef Jose Andres, Think Food Group
- Godiva Chocolatier
In 2003, Michael was invited to teach at the World Pastry Forum and has since taught classes and workshops at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art. His skills have been used to assist many chefs and teams win awards in numerous competitions around the world, including the US and World Pastry Team Championships, US Army Culinary Arts Competition, Pastry and Baking Team Championships, World 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).
Michael is also the co-founder of Pastry Live, an annual national pastry competition held in Atlanta each summer. Additionally, Michael is a collaborator and host to the three-time Emmy award-winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition. He has been featured on the cover of Pastry Art and Design, and has appeared on the Food Network and was recently featured in Crain’s Business Journal . Michael has been honored as the 143rd Distinguished Visiting Chef at two of Johnson & Wales University campuses (Rhode Island & Charlotte, NC) for his contributions to the culinary field. In the summer of 2013, he was awarded an honorary lifetime membership to the American Culinary Federation.
Michael has been a regular contributor to several trade publications, including Pastry’s Best magazine, Dessert Professional, Pasticceria Internazionale and is currently working on his second book.
*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.