This is my summary of my and Peo’s stuff from this year’s big cake show in Austin.
My main entry was a completely new technique I invented that I call Flexible, Edible Stained Glass. I recreated John William Waterhouse’s “The Lady of Shalott” in a stained-glass look using gummy medium, all mounted on a plexiglass backing so it could be displayed upright but that the judges would still be able to flex it. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, the judges decided to penalize me for using the plexiglass even though structures are allowed in that category (Special Techniques Not On A Cake) and other structures such as picture frames have been used in the past without penalty. As a result, I won no awards this year. On the upside, a lot of other people – including some highly influential celebrity bakers like Mike McCarey – did like it, and I demonstrated the methodology for them. I’ll be generating a PDF/ebook of the technique for sale in the next few weeks, so stay tuned to this blog if you’re interested in learning how to do it.
Here’s the piece partially complete, so you can see the plexiglass backing:
Here it is complete with backlighting from my kitchen window:
Detail of the Lady:
Here’s the piece at the show, unlit:
Corran bodged me some battery-driven LEDs on the Friday night so I could light it up on Saturday. Here it is lit up (and slightly blurry since I didn’t have a tripod handy, but the official show photographer did some tricks with lighting to get a glowing version so I’ll post that once I get it myself):
My other piece was what I’d long been calling my Mike McCarey homework. Mike liked the fondant canework I did on my 2010 Alien Film Festival show cake and told me that year that he wanted to see me experiment with modelling chocolate canes. I didn’t get a chance to do so for the 2011 show, but since I didn’t do a massive cake this year, I was able to play around with it. I’ll post more details of those experiments later, but here’s the somewhat rough cake I made as my homework (rough mostly because I’ve had pneumonia for the past week and a half):
Here’s the lower tier of that in progress, where you can see that I built up layers of colours that I could then cut into as with candle-carving techniques:
Here is my daughter Peo’s cake. She’s six, and wanted to do Lumiere as a free-standing figure, but I had to convince her that mounting weight on skinny arms was a highly advanced project that would require stages of drying time, so she eventually agreed to do him lying down. I wasn’t home when she made him, but I did teach her in advance to use a printout as a guide and Corran reports that she did that very well. I think this is awesome figure sculpting for a little kid!
After the show, one of my multi-year-earned mega-volunteer perks was to assist in Mike McCarey’s classes. For his guitar class today, he insisted he didn’t need much help so I should take the class; Mike’s not only the greatest decorator on the planet ever, he’s probably also the nicest. And definitely one of the greatest teachers.
So here we are posing with the guitar cake I made:
Here are some more photos of it at home:
Now I’m going to relax for a few days! Then I’ll get to work on that ebook of the stained glass technique.