Papabubble is by no means "new". They have, in fact, achieved cult status in some of the most design conscious cities in the world: Barcelona, Tokyo, and my own home town of New York. Martha has been there, naturally. But when I stumbled across their Soho store the other night and saw their lab-like set up, it was like a very small lightening bolt hit me in the forehead. Hold onto your chair if you haven't heard.... THIS COMPANY MAKES EDIBLE - NO - DELICIOUS FIMO BEAD-LIKE CANDY.
You remember Fimo, right? That squishy clay that you mold into an image (perhaps of the Lorax or some other copyrighted image, because you are twenty three and don't know anything about those things) and then roll into a long thin tube which you then slice up into little beads to put on a bit of waxed string sell in order to pay for the gas required to drive your limping hatchback over Yosemite's Old Priest Grade (with the heat on, even though its august, so the engine doesn't overheat) to go to the Strawberry Music Festival? or maybe that was just me.
That was before I had heard the term "millefiori", or understood that this was an art form originally developed for glassworking, before things like plastic (and twenty-three year olds who needed gas money) existed. You can learn more about Papabubble and their limitless custom candy program, and you can see some still pictures of their process here.