The Good Food and Wine Show in Johannesburg has come and gone and it was more than just a wining and dining experience for me. I have my Embracing Nature Figurines as a daily reminder of the challenge of entering a competition piece for the show and having a fun weekend. This sugar paste couple was my entry into the Cake Competition hosted by the South African Cake Decorators Guild (SACDG). I was so chuffed that the judges noted that they liked my “two enchanting figurines in a field of daisies”. Constructive criticism was that I needed to roll my paste thinner for my flowers.
The detailed painting Nature’s Embrace by Josephine Wall, was my inspiration for this piece as I could really choose any celebratory piece to enter in the competition. Josephine captures equally the power of nature and its gentleness and grace and her artwork resounded with me as Knysna had just been devastated by ferocious fires. Immediately following the heartbreak that came with images of families and animals left either homeless, or having lost their possessions in the fires, came the beautiful images of a caring and compassionate and generous country that came together to support those who had been affected. My two sugar characters only have eyes for each other in this piece and hopefully I managed to portray the gentleness of Josephine’s embracing trees.
Josephine Wall’s Nature’s Embrace
I hand moulded the faces using Saracino Modelling Paste and then used the Zeelandia for the bark covering, making sure to mark the paste to recreate the bark and then allow it to fold over their backs and waists to show their emerging torsos. Nature’s trail follows them in the ivy and daisies resting on the edible moss floor and gently chasing up the roots and bark surrounding them.
Natanya and her family have 2 gorgeous labradors and 5 beautiful cats that they not only adore, but that all had to fit onto one cake for her daughter, Kirsten’s 17th Birthday Cake. Thank you Natanya for sending through loads of photos of these furry friends. Luckily for me non of them are camera shy and I was able to try and represent each of them in sugar for Kirsten.
I am guessing that at times they cause chaos and mayhem in their household, but I have shown them here sitting peacefully together, all looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths! It was great to make you all, Spock, Mac, Leo, Luna, Pixie, Bella and Astro! Happy 17th Birthday Kirsten and I am so pleased you loved your cakes and all your little sugar animal figurines!
Bella and Astro below looking as good as gold, but bet they are as mischievous as all labradors can be!
Pixie is a cute white kitten and I made her with Zeelandia Sugar Paste!
This Bridal Figurine Cake deserved first and foremost a mention of the occasion that it was created for and the wonderful women I had the privilege to meet on that occasion. My previous post has the full story of this wonderful day. As she turned out to be a really pretty figurine I have added here extra photos I took of her just prior to the competition.
I created her using Sweet Revolutions by Domy Woman Mould for her face and torso. These moulds have been amazing in that they allow me to make a figurine in a much shorter time frame. The beautiful Saracino paste, as always was amazing to work with and gave my bridal figurine a soft, gentle look as she stood elegantly in her lace dress.
I chose one of my favourite lace designs from Crystal Candy, Will-o-the-Wisp Mould for the lace covering of the dress. Underneath the lace I added a paper thin white Zeelandia paste dress from the waist down. The lace layer I wanted to be a separate layer so I attached it in a few places leaving the remaining lace to fall naturally over the bridal figurine and spill around her onto her cake. I cut out tiny pieces of the lace design to add as shoulder and bodice details and completed her with a simple swish of brunette sugar paste hair.
I had no idea that creating this simple cake and figurine would lead to such an extraordinary day (so many of my sugar experiences are adventures …. but this one took the cake…!) Thank you to Santi Britz of iDUC and to Vanessa Broughton of Hostess Pro for your wonderful gifts you have given and continue giving in your own ways to women everywhere.
This tiny sugar paste duck I moulded using Zeelandia sugar paste and it represented the logo and the colours of the iDUC organisation. The iDUC sat proudly on my cake and now holds a special place in my heart as we learned the story of this humble symbol of comfort from Santi Britz herself.
Inspired by the photo of this bride’s exquisite lace dress for her wedding day, the groom’s elegant suit and the fun photos of this couple together, I created this Bride and Groom Sugar Paste Couple for Mandy-Lou of Annah-Fudge Gourmet Cupcakes. After having tried every sugar paste available on our South African market for modelling faces and figurines, I am delighted to say I finally found one that is just so easy to use for modelling and that is, Zeelandia Sugar Paste. It is not quite as magnificent as the Italian modelling paste I have been privileged to use but it rushes up to the winning post as a really close 2nd. It is beautifully pliable and does not get the cracks and quick drying out flaws that our other pastes so easily get. It also colours beautifully with gel and powder colours. A huge thank you to Kelly Jayne’s in Decor Park for stocking this wonderful paste, it has made a huge difference to the quality of my modelling work and is saving me loads of time with it being so easy to use. No more tearing my hair out to create beautiful faces! These 2 characters perfectly show off the soft translucency of this paste for figurine work.
The Zeelandia paste was also perfect for this bride’s dress as I needed it to fall as elegantly and simply as the actual wedding dress. I draped the paste on my petite figurine and then added the lace detail of the dress by first making some lace using the Crystal Candy Midnight Garden Lace Silicone Mould and their Crystal Lace-Signature Blend. The lace mimicked the intricate details of the brides lace dress and with this lace detail I was able to capture the open lacey back of the dress with the added pearls for the button detail. No wonder this sugar bride looks so beautifully radiant and serene showing off her gorgeous dress. The sugar groom was not to be totally outshone by his bride and he is proudly wearing his long-tailed jacket and bright purple cravat and waist coat. Once again Zeelandia paste to my rescue for the soft cuff, tails and collar details of his crisp white shirt. Wishing this couple all joy and love as they begin their journey as husband and wife!