Originally posted April 7-11, 2008
Since I promised a posting about stilettos this week, I will break my last week of work at Planet Cake into a couple different postings. Here I’ll concentrate on the stiletto and my first set of bride and groom figurines.
The Bride and Groom
Planet Cake always obtains information about dress, hairstyle, colors, and more from clients so the figurines can be customized to follow the hairstyles, hair colors and dress/tuxedo of the bride and groom…so I picked out a couple images to learn from!
It actually took me three tries to get the body of the groom carved correctly out of styro (too skinny once, to high a waist the next time), and took me two tries to get the bride’s body right (her waist was right underneath her boobs the first time). After a while, Handi didn’t even give me a hard time about my multiple failed attempts, just silently shook his head and handed me the next piece of styro to start in on. After finally getting it right, I gave the bride some cleavage and skin on her back:
Then put the groom’s shirt and pants on, gave him some hair, and added a jacket, tie and flower. The groom was nearly done!
The bride took a bit more work. After letting the chest and back dry overnight, I put on a piece of white icing for the dress and carved the flow of the fabric into it.
After the dress was done, it was on to arms and hair. Since she was holding a cascading bouquet, I didn’t need to add details to the hands since they would be covered anyway. The arms were just a single piece of icing attached to each of the shoulders. Working on her hair…
…which took me two tries to get right too. The first attempt was kind of a disaster, partly due to the difficult style (having it shown both up and half down in the picture added to the confusion!), partly due to it being the end of the day and Handi and I each lacking concentration. We even had to make diagrams on the white board!
I stayed for a while after work was over to give it my best shot, but it still came out looking a little bit like Medusa was starting to emerge from the barette on the back of her head.
Scary, I know. Needless to say, I scraped this off and gave it another try. When Handi and I were both fresh the next morning, we tried again and it came out so much better:
Then just some color on the faces…
and a face or two!
So, there is room for improvement…it would be nice to make one attempt at everything and have it turn out right the first time!
I wish I had some more pictures of the stiletto in progress, but my description will have to suffice for now. I chose a picture out of Anna-Maria’s fabulous shoe book…a Manolo Blahnik, of course. I figured if I can’t afford a real one (let alone a pair!), I might as well make myself one out of icing.
Anna-Maria is more obsessed with shoes than anyone I know, except perhaps Carrie Bradshaw. She had a lot of great models for me to look at, including a few different heel types carved out of styro, and two different shoe types (pointy-toed and a regular rounded toe).
The first thing I did was cut the sole of the shoe out of very thin corrugated cardboard, with the “grain” of the cardboard running from the toe to the heel of the shoe. This was so I could insert #26 wires into the cardboard in about 3 different places, which made the cardboard hold its shape when I bent it.
Next, the heel was carved out of Styrofoam, and a small bamboo skewer was inserted and glued into place. This gave me something to hold onto, and would be used to insert into the cake to hold the shoe in place.
The top of the sole of the shoe was covered first, with both black and a beige color to match the picture. Next, I used strips of acetate (cut in the pasta machine to make sure they were all even) to construct the straps. The straps were attached to the bottom of the shoe with masking tape and held together where they met on the top of the foot with double sided tape. Once they were all in place, it was time to cover the bottom of the shoe, leaving a place for the heel to be glued on.
Both colors were then used to cover the heel, and icing strips were used to cover the acetate straps, secured with a bit of gel.
Here, Anna-Maria shows me what to do next:
Next I glued the heel to the cardboard (covering the styro with masking tape first so that it wouldn’t melt) and covered the sides of the shoe with a very thin strip of black icing.
A label printed on rice paper and a bit of bling were the finishing touches.
Over and out for now…