Danniel messaged me at the beginning of September with photographs of a sugar paste figurine she had ordered that had clearly been made in a hurry and not with a huge amount of attention to detail for her 30th Birthday Cake that weekend. It was not in her budget to pay me for another figurine when I quoted her as she had already paid for the figurine from another baker. Realising how important this little figurine was to her, I said if she would travel to me from Pretoria then I could help her fix it.
As I was expecting her the next afternoon I had a look at the photos to come up with a solution to fix the figurine she had ordered. It really looked beyond just some cosmetic sugar touch ups and so I decided that I would make her a completely new figurine and I surprised Danniel as she arrived with this pretty Japanese Girl Figurine. Her message saying I had made her year was all the payment I needed for this little sugar piece. Thank you Danniel for trusting me to rescue your birthday cake.
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.