How is rock made?
A two-to-one mix of sugar and glucose is boiled to nearly 150 degrees (300 degrees F) before being poured on to water-cooled steel plates. Coloured elements – including the outer casing and lettering – are created using food colouring. The cooling mix forms a skin so it can be cut with shears. Part of the mix is aerated by a ‘pulling machine’ with fixed and rotating arms to create a white centre from a creamy mix. Lettering skills – cutting shapes spaced by white fill – take years to master. Round characters are made last because they lose their shape more easily. The completed wording is rolled around a stiffened centre and the casing added before the thick stick is reduced in size using tapered rollers which are heated to keep the mix workable. Once set, the rock is cut into short lengths and wrapped, with a landmark picture, inside clear plastic.
Step 7 Stephen Docwra with the finished product
Step 5 Sticks in their finished size ready for cutting and wrapping
Step 1 Rock and roll – the giant rock is rolled into shape at Docwra’s rock factory in Great Yarmouth
Step 4 Making words
Step 6 Sweet message from a happy holiday
Step 3 Putting the rock into the rollers to slim it down
Step 2 Shaping letters