Marshmallow mortar and gingerbread tiles
Archived Articles 02 Jan 2008  EWR
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If you hurry, you might make it – the Piparkoogimaania (Gingerbread mania) exhibition is up in Tallinn’s Disaini- ja Arhitektuurigalerii (Design and Architecture Gallery) until January 5. For the second year running, piparkoogimaania has swept the capital. Last year, artists created never-before-made items out of gingerbread, including an entire kahhelkividest kamin (tiled fireplace) and marmalade-bejewelled lühter (chandelier) at the tiny HOP galerii.

This year, the roster had grown to include over 80 artists, including the team of KOKO architects seen here scrambling to finish their crispy-crunchy buildings out of gingerbreads, and tükksuhkur (sugarcubes), although vahukommid (marshmallows) or besee (meringues) may have proved more energy-efficient thermal insulation choices.

The group’s effort is entitled “Vastu taevast“, literally meaning “Against (or touching) the sky” as a tall building might, but ironically also an idiom used to express a failed effort. Kook läks vastu taevast = the cake is ruined – thrown up to the heavens, never to return (in a decent state at least). The implication of an explosion is similar to something "backfiring" in English.

This is a good example of Estonians’ dark, often self-deprecating humour and affinity for word-play. A few of the creations did come unglued and crumbled over the holidays, but most, including these towers, prevailed. For a very thorough overview of the entire project, including tons of visuals, visit

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Jan 31 2018 - Toronto Eesti Maja
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