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Need help with standing gumpaste figure!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have agreed to make a cake topper for a wedding. I have never made a standing gumpaste figure but love a challenge. But now when I am thinking of how to do it I just don't know how! I know I should start with the pants but how do I do pants? What is the best support system? I also read that form the fondant/gumpaste around a wire sculpture is the best option. How would I make a wire sculpture? Below is a link to the photo of it. I know it's going to be hard but I really need to do it! Also on a side note I mixed 50/50 gumpaste and fondant and there are some "seams" that are not sticking together they just remain sort of open when I try to mold something. Any suggestion? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ancarja/3748205480/
post #2 of 17
I'v never heard of wires but I've heard of people using rice crispie treats. I'm new at doing cakes but I would like to know about this too. Good luck. icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 17
I use Spagetthi sticks, if you make your figurine in parts, then they should be fine, do the shoes and legs first let them set for a day then do the rest. Make sure then stand right from the beginning and they should stay that way, unless the head is much larger than normal
post #4 of 17
On cake shows they sometimes use a wire base to form their figures around. They will mainly use modeling chocolate or rice crispie treats. I have never done anything like this myself but I would love to see yours when you finish. Please post a picture.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Where would I get a wire sculpture? I was in Michaels yesterday and saw one of those wooden mannequins. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to glue the position that I want it in and mold the fondant/gumpaste around it. The bride said she doesnt care if its edible or not so there will not be an issue with the glue underneath. Any thoughts?
post #6 of 17
google "making an armature" and you will get some good ideas on how to create the internal structure.

I made one with floral wire for the cheerleaders I made - just make the "skeleton" and then use modelling chocolate or fondant/gumpaste mix to build up the structure.
post #7 of 17
The ones I have seen made were made by the decorators themselves-not something they purchased. They formed the figures out of wire. Each one is different depending on what type of figure you are making and how you want it to be posed. I am specifically thinking of some I have seen made on Cake Boss.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am going to go to the craft store to see if they have the type of wire thats needed but what do you guys think about the wooden mannequin idea? I really appreciate all the advice! icon_smile.gif
post #9 of 17
A lot depends on the size you plan to make the figure. I don't know what you were thinking for size but my guess the mannequin figure for artists would be too big for on top of a cake. One thing to take into consideration when shaping a form is that when you apply fondant/gumpaste over that form, your dimensions automatically increase by the width of the fondant. The artists' form may look perfectly to scale now but once you cover it...

If the size you are making is not that big, you shouldn't need any wires or armatures. Like a pp, just model in parts so that pieces can dry and be stable enough to hold the weight of the next part on top of it. I use spaghetti and gumpaste glue to join the pieces together. I do use dowels or toothpicks to stick legs into cake though because the BC frosting softens the spaghetti too much and it can break. That happened once with my cornstalks for my garden cake.

If you feel you do need something larger, I once used aluminum wire (can't remember what gauge, but fairly thick) from the jewelry making section at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. It's strong but very pliable. I did this to form a cow skeleton over which I shaped rkt before covering with fondant. Good luck!
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
That would be true about it increasing in size once I apply the fondant. The mannequin that I saw was only about 4 inches so it was the perfect size. Going to go to Michaels in a few to see what I find!
post #11 of 17
I use an armature that I make. Basically, I take two pieces of wire and twist them together to make arms and legs. I then cover the "body" with tin foil. I use a block of styrofoam to hold the person up - I always make the legs longer than I want so I have enough to stick in the styrofoam and eventually the cake. Make sure you make the tin foil to shape of the body you want, but much skinnier, because when you add fondant/gumpaste, it will thicken. It is always easier to add fondant than to take away tin foil. There are 2 ways to do the head - you can either make it separate and use a toothpick and shove it into the neck or you can twist a fifth piece of wire and put it on the arm and leg armature before you put tinfoil on. It sounds complicated, but once you've done it a couple times, it turns out neat. That's how I made this guy. He is about 5" high. Hope this helps!
Music and cake make me happy!
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Music and cake make me happy!
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post #12 of 17
Eh, he didn't come up. My computer must be off. Sorry. There might be one in my gallery, but I honestly forget. Good luck!
Music and cake make me happy!
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Music and cake make me happy!
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post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
I finished the figure. I'm not so thrilled with it, but think I did ok for my first try. It is in my photos if anyone wants to take a look. Thanks for your help everyone!
post #14 of 17
Are you kidding, They are great, so cute Nice job thumbs_up.gif
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I made it for my mother's friend and left it at her place so the bride to be could pick it up. My mother said that she doesn't think she's going it use it and she has not even emailed me to thank me or anything. What nerve right? Anyway, thank you so much!
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