Rock Factory

We went to visit a rock factory, where they make an array of yummy confectionery including sticks of rock, sweets/candies and lollipops. Rock is made of boiled sugar and is hard similar to a candy cane, it is an essential part of a British seaside holiday and is often bought by tourists for themselves or as presents. My hubby remembers as a child often receiving sticks of rock from people who had been on holiday. At the factory we saw first-hand how they made the confectionery and we had so much fun that I was inspired to create this page.

I started by stamping round circles by alternating Picked Raspberry and Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink on a circle stamp which was made from an empty tube from the roll of a sticky tape. Next I divided the page diagonally with washi tape to create four sections. I’ve had this tape in my craft stash for a while and if you look closely you’ll see it has tiny sweets on it. Then I used a mask to ensure the inside of the circles remained white and stencilled different coloured stripes in each of the four sections using Festive Berries, Cracked Pistachio, Spiced Marmalade and Seedless Preserves Distress Ink. These colours and stripes reminded me of the rock at the factory. To add more definition to the stripes I used a ruler to draw a line in a corresponding colour using Uni Posca paint pens (another new crafting goody, grin!). Then I placed a polka dot flower in the centre of each circle to represent the centre of the rock. The striped canopy, border, sticks of rock and wording are fussy cut from an advertising leaflet which I stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. The owners of the factory kindly gave me a copy of their logo to use for my page, which I fussy cut and stuck down using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried I outlined the logo with a pink and a blue Uni Posca paint pen. I also used the blue paint pen to outline the canopy, border and leaflet wording. Next I added the words “fun; trip; sweet; gobble; happy” which are rub-on transfers; they remind me of the great time we had at the factory. To finish the page, I embellished the sections with tiny sweets that I had cut from the washi tape and gem stars, and I added strips of gems along the edge of the washi tape, canopy and border.

I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie’s theme over at Art Journal Journey with my “Circles” of rock .

I thought you might like to join us on our tour. We arrived at the Coronation World factory which is the home of Coronation Rock just before lunchtime. We found out that they were established in 1927 and have always been a family run business; it is the largest rock factory in Blackpool being one of the only three rock factories remaining.

We went to the factory shop and were greeted by one of the owners, who very kindly explained the different processes we could see from the viewing gallery and answered our questions. As you can see the factory was a hive of industry, on the back wall behind the blue table is where they make the rock from the raw ingredients, which are heated in big copper pans. It is then poured onto the cooling slabs (the tables behind the blue table) and when it is ready it is then used in different ways to make either sticks of rock, individual sweets/candies or lollipops.

We found out that they have both a wholesale range and custom range of products and that they don’t need to advertise as they are always inundated with orders from companies and stores worldwide.

This was a HUGE stick of rock which was custom-made for a company! We also found out more about the history of Blackpool rock making – “How do they put the letters in the rock?” by watching the video they have screening in the shop. You can also steer the CCTV cameras to get a really close look at the action on the factory floor!

To make the sweets, they add colour and flavour when the rock mixture is on the cooling slab, then as it cools it is worked and once at the right temperature they form it into a design on the blue heated table. It is then transferred to the batch roller on the sweet line, which rolls the batch into a continuous rope. Once the rope has reduced to the correct size it is fed into the sweet wrapping machine, which cuts it into small sweets/candies and wraps them.

They were also making lollipops for a very famous store – Harrods! How cool is that, I bet you can’t guess what my friends are getting for presents this year, well if it’s good enough for Harrods it’s good enough for us (grin!).

As you can see from these moulds, they produce lollipops for some famous companies too.

We were kindly given a free sample to try; these are lime flavoured sweets and they were still warm from the machine and tasted very yummy! We were told that the three most popular flavours are traditional mint, fruit cocktail and aniseed. In the shop we also spotted blackcurrant, cherry, coconut, cola, pineapple, raspberry, rhubarb and strawberry as well stranger flavours like curry, chili, beer, whiskey and gin & tonic.

We had the most wonderful time and it was fascinating to watch them making the sweets and lollipops. If you want to see how they make the different rock products at this factory then take a look at this amazing video – I think the staff must have asbestos hands (grin!).

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry, Chipped Sapphire, Festive Berries, Cracked Pistachio, Spiced Marmalade, Seedless Preserves)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Pink, Light Green, Violet, Blue)
  • Ranger Claudine Hellmuth Studio 6×6 Stencil (Our Town HSC36920)
  • Circle stamp – tube
  • Logo and leaflet
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (Spring #ROY-506, Summer #ROY505, Thanksgiving #ROY-522)
  • The Works (Printed Washi Tape)
  • Wilko stickers (Flower Embellishments)
  • The Range Adhesive Craft Gems (Assorted Shapes CR0869)
  • UHU Stic
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34 thoughts on “Rock Factory

  1. Your made a fun and colourful journal page inspired by your ‘sweet’ visit to the rock factory. I haven’t see rock since I was a kid!, but I know it was a big treat back then, sucking it all the way back home! Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fantastic fun and colourful page – wow- thank you for linking this to AJJ again! A great entry. I like the film as well( thanks for sharing) – this must smell all so delicious in this factory – and even the workers all have a laugh on their faces – no wonder – they work in a sweet paradise there!
    Amazing blogpost Jo!
    Happy weekend to you and your hubby!
    oxo Susi

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! It was great fun and I love Elvis 😁. I’ve visited Graceland quite a few times and it gets me every time when you enter the gates and he sings “Welcome to my world”. Wishing you a lovely weekend! J 😊

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  3. Fun…and not what I was expecting from Rock factory at all. Great page as usual! Some interesting flavours..I would be very curious to try some of them. Intriguing..would the beer, whiskey, g and t replace a craving for alcohol? Or would it make one want a drink? 😉 The molds are cool. Would you get the health benefits from curry, in a placebo effect? I use gin gins to power up my run, but that may be a placebo effect too! I would like the citrus and anise ones but I do love rhubarb! Happy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had so much fun and there were so many flavours to choose from … lol… it sounds like you’d have to try them all to satisfy your curiosity and decide which you liked the best, I’d be more than happy to join you … lol 😁. Thanks so much and wishing you a very happy weekend too! J 😊

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  4. Now that was interesting. I have just finished watching the video. I never knew (and I also wanted to know how they put the letters in….) I remember rock from my childhood when I used to suck it like a lollipop. As an adult I’m not too keen. Much too sweet and too hard.
    Your page is great and represents the subject very well.
    I bet you had fun that day, and as a bonus, you have a few Xmas pressies ready, lol.
    Have a good week,
    Lisca

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The video was astonishing. The big red splodge, the bare hands and the kneading of large lumps – maybe I’ve gone off sweets a bit! (until the next time). I remember now how people used to bring back a stick of rock with the name of the place where they were on holiday right through the rock. You’ve given a very nice description of the tour too.
    Your art piece is tremendous, gives the whole idea of rock and sweets with the stripes and flower circles and pretty sweetie colours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol … probably best not to think of all that while you are eating them … lol! The factory was great fun and I’m glad I was able to capture such happy memories on my page 😀. Thanks so much and wishing you a lovely weekend! J 😊

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  6. Oh you have given me a trip down memory lane reading your post tonight.
    I used to love mint rock as a kid, many moons ago. It looks like you had an amazing visit to see how it is made. The samples sounded yummy and you seem to have a few gift ideas as well.
    I loved the fabulous journal page, with the candy colours and the round shapes which looked like sweets.
    Have a good weekend.
    Yvonne xx

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  7. That is a great page. I love how you made it feel like the front of a candy store with that awning effect. 🙂 I’ve never been to a candy factory and I enjoyed your photos. I don’t know the term rock candy and I don’t know if we have it here in the US. It looks tasty and fun though-and I’m glad they gave you a sample. Happy weekend. Hugs-Erika

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks Erika! I think you may have something similar in the US, although salt water taffy is far more popular – yum! (and we don’t get it here). I know you are not far away from Maine so if it helps, I’ve seen similar looking rock swirl lollipops at Dickinson Candy in Old Orchard Beach and Scrummy Afters Candy Shoppe in Portland. Happy Saturday and enjoy your weekend! J 😊

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    • Thanks so much! My grandad had a sweet/candy shop and I enjoyed helping out and going to the cash & carry with him to buy the sweets, I must say though that I always preferred to have the ice cream …Lol 😉. Have a fun weekend too! J 😊

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  8. A lovely page Jo and your visit looks interesting and fun. Hubby still likes his candy rock and daughter often buys him a stick of rock on days out. I always preferred chocolate!
    Have a great weekend.
    Avril xx

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  9. I was most impressed by your journal page. I read every word and followed your thought process to completion. Never heard of those Uni Posca paint pens, though.

    Rock has a bit of a different connotation where I come from. It’s like crack cocaine in rock form. I was glad to see that was not the case for most of the people who visited you. Most even knew about it. I often make something similar at Christmas using sugar, water, and corn syrup that I heat. If I allow it to reach a soft boil, I get something like a cream mint. If I allow it to come to a hard boil, I get something similar to rock, but without all the beauty, the rolling, and the wrapping. This was a fun place to visit, and I enjoyed it immensely. Once again, I LOVE how your art imitates life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! Uni Posca pens are fabulous they cover really well and yet you can paint fine details with them 😀. Oh my, I didn’t know that! Your candy sounds yummy, I like the idea of cream mint 😀. Glad you had fun visiting the factory with me and wishing you a very Happy Sunday! J 😊

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      • I could never just have a taster! That’s why I had to give it up! Lol! Regarding my father’s day card that you commented on, the background was a piece of brayer clean up scrap paper that I saved, as it looked so nice. I don’t know how to reply from blogger and I can’t find your email address to reply. Alison xx

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