Having only started cake decorating in May, when I made a cake for my boyfriends’ brother; when my dad first approached me in August to say he wanted me to enter the Competition at Cake International in November I laughed in his face. There was no way that I was going to enter a Competition at the biggest and best cake decorating show in the world. I told him ‘maybe next year’.
This is the first novelty cake I ever made. It was for my boyfriends’ brother who loves kayaking.
Over the following few weeks I designed two new moulds for my parents’ business Karen Davies Sugarcraft Ltd and began working there full-time creating more and more cakes and practising various techniques within Sugarcraft. I soon realised that I had a hidden talent. I’ve always been good at Art and I am slightly obsessed with fine detail when it comes to drawing. It turned out that this also applied to cake decorating.
This is the first mould I created for Karen Davies Sugarcraft Ltd. I wanted to design a Love Bird mould after noticing the trend in vintage cakes and themes being popular at weddings with bird cages being a noticeable feature.
My mum was then invited to be a judge for Renshaw’s Celebration Cake Business of the year Award and I asked if I could go along with her to see the cakes. As soon as I walked into the room I was blown away. I’d never seen cakes with so much detail and different elements about them up close before. Looking at them all made me feel excited and inspired about the industry I’d just walked into. I came out of there knowing that I’d changed my mind and I wanted to accept my dads’ challenge.
When thinking about what design to do for my cake I knew that I wanted to well and truly challenge myself and give myself the opportunity to practise and attempt to try out various sugar craft techniques. I’m not one for doing things half heartedly and even though I’d only ever had one go at figure modelling I was determined from the off set to have figures as a main feature on my cake.
Early August my boyfriend and I went to see Monsters University at the cinema. The film was so vivid, colourful, playful and humorous and I thought to myself what a brilliant cake theme it would make. I played various other ideas over and over through my mind but still Monsters University was the one that obviously stood out to me. I saw it as a brilliant opportunity to practise my figure modelling skills as the characters are all so diverse and each and every one has their own distinctive personality and I wanted to be able to express these through my chosen medium.
Scott “Squishy” Squibbles is the tritagonist in Monsters University. He is a five-eyes jelly-like monster. A student at Monsters University, he is a member of the Oozma Kappa fraternity.
I chose to start with Scott as I wanted to start with the main characters who are all in the fraternity Oozma Kappa. Scott looked to me as though he had the most simple shape and as I wasn’t confident with figure modelling I thought I’d give myself the easiest start possible.
1. I started by mixing a pale fleshy pink colour from white modelling chocolate. Using my picture reference, judging the size difference between him and some of the other characters I was able to estimate accurately how big he should be. I coloured enough modelling chocolate to create the entire body and leave enough left over for any extras. From this, I then rolled a smooth ball and made it into a pear shape, rounding and shaping the head with my fingers. I then smoothed out any marks with a damp flat paintbrush. Next, I flattened his bottom end against my work surface and began to manoeuver it with my fingers at the sides, back and front to create his feet. I then carefully sliced through the middle with a small palette knife to create two feet. Using my fingertips I then gently pressed on each foot to create the shape of his foot. I defined this further with a Dresden tool. I then used the Dresden tool to mark his mouth. With a ball tool I then created five evenly spaced eye sockets. Taking my coloured modelling chocolate that I’d made for extras, I took two small pieces, gently flattened them to shape with my fingers and using a damp paintbrush I smoothed them above the corners of his smile to create two cheeks.
2. From uncoloured white modelling chocolate I then created five small balls for his eyes. I dabbed each eye socket with glue and placed the eyes inside.
3. I then painted on his eyes and eyebrows with a small paintbrush using rainbow dust colours and isopropyl alcohol. With a slightly larger brush I then lightly dusted him with pink Rainbow Dust, giving shadow and definition to areas such as his mouth and feet.
4. Next, I coloured some modelling chocolate pale green. I rolled a small fat sausage and then rolled it out with a rolling pin. Using a cutting wheel I then cut off the ends so as I had a flat rectangle long enough to wrap around his body. With a stitching wheel I then created the knitted jumper effect. I lightly glued his body and placed the jumper around him, carefully trimming it to size. I then blended the joins together using a damp paintbrush. Using a Dresden tool I then marked a neckline and a bottom trim. From my pink modelling chocolate I then shaped two even arms, gently flattening the ends for his hands and snipping a small thumb using a small pair of scissors. I glued one on so as it was at his side and the other so as it was bent into a waving position.
5. From my green modelling chocolate I then made him a hat by rolling a small ball measuring it against his head for size and then flattening it gently, rounding the edges with my fingers. I then attached it to the centre of his head with glue. Next I made the peak of the cap by rolling out a small piece of modelling chocolate and cutting the shape out using a cutting wheel. I then rolled a small ball for the centre and attached it with glue. I finished it off by making markings with a Dresden tool. I then rolled out some modelling chocolate for the sleeves of his jumper. Again I made two small rectangles and made their markings with a stitching wheel. I attached each one around the arms, trimmed to size and blended in the joins with a damp paintbrush. I then gently dusted his hat and jumper with rainforest green Rainbow Dust.
6. Using Royal Icing coloured brown I then piped his hair coming out from under his hat using a number two nozzle. To finish him off I painted ‘OK’ on his jumper using mustard Rainbow Dust, which is the abbreviation for his fraternity ‘Oozma Kappa’.
Michael “Mike” Wazowski is the deuteragonist in Monsters. Inc and the protagonist in Monsters University. Mike is a light green spherical monster with one large green eye, two small horns on his head, and thin arms and legs attached to either side of his torso.