Toast Mosaics: You Could be Eating Art for Breakfast

Modern artists use a wider variety of art materials than their predecessors to create their artworks. It seems that nowadays, even a slice of bread cannot be protected from the rampant creativity of food artists.

The Marvellous History of Toast

Toast has got to be the greatest thing since bread came sliced. Sliced bread was first marketed and sold in 1928 by the Chillicothe Baking Company in Chillicouthe, Missouri. This revelation in bread production was labeled as “The greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped.” In 1943, US officials imposed a ban on sliced bread as a wartime conservation measure, as it was believed that sliced bread used a heavier wrapping than their unsliced cousins. Within three months the ban was lifted and bakeries were once again allowed to sell ready-sliced bread.

Above: A Chillicothe Baking Company poster advertising the advent of sliced bread in 1928.

Before the birth of the electric toaster, slices of bread were toasted by placing them into a metal frame and then holding the bread over an open fire or flame. There are records of electric toasters as far back as the 1870s, but it was not until the early 1900s that electric toasters became commercially available.

Above: Early toasters would toast one side of a slice at a time. The toast had to be turned manually.

Toast Art

Toast art can be created on a single slice of toast to create a stand-alone artwork, or several pieces of bread toasted to different shades can be arranged to create a mosaic image. 

Ingrid Falk and Gustavi Aguerre

Ingrid Falk and Gustavi Aguerre created their toast mosaic, The Toaster, using more than 3,000 pieces of toast. Toast that had been grilled for a longer period of time turned black, creating a contrast with slices of bread that had only been lightly toasted. Looks like art, smells like breakfast.

Arne Felix Magold

Arne Felix Magold’s Toast Pixels uses 612 slices of toasted bread to create an image of a woman’s eye. Magolduse digital imaging software to assist him in creating his original design, before putting his toaster to work.

David Reimondo

David Reimondo uses an aluminium mask to protect the areas of the bread that he wishes to keep as a light color. He then toasts the bread that is not protected by the mask, leaving behind his design. Once toasted, the slices of bread are then encapsulated in a transparent resin block, which preserves the artwork and adds to its aesthetic quality.

Maurice Bennet

Maurice Bennet’s designs are inspired by Native Australian Aboriginal artworks. In many of his mosaics, Bennettreats the pieces of bread like puzzles, cutting shapes from one slice to fill a similarly-shaped hole in another slice. This technique creates both textural and color contrasts. Bennet sometimes combines several different media to create his edible art, and has even created fashion items such as dresses and jewelry out of toast.

Videos of Toast Art

Toast art is being used as an advertising and marketing medium, as seen in the two videos below. The first video is more fan art than advertising, as it is a portrait of YouTube’s ‘Grandmother of YouTube”, TheHill88. The artist uses Vegemite, an Australian bread spread, to ‘paint’ the toast, while also scraping away parts of the browned toast to create shades of color on the bread.

The next video is a music video for the band, OK Go. The band is known for having unique music videos that go viral online soon after their creation. The artists used 215 loaves of bread to make this stop-frame animation. The bread was ‘rescued’ from certain disposal, as it was past its sell-by-date.

Create Your Own Digital Toast Art at The Bread Art Project

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