So here she is, this years competition entry for the Decorative Exhibit class at the NEC Cake International 2011. Based upon the character of Poison Ivy, covered in chocolate paste and handsculpted, painted and decorated. A true labour of love and I truly do love her! I am so happy with the finished piece now all that remains is just to wait and see what the judges think….
Yesterday I found out that Ivy was awarded a silver and I initially went through a slight grieving process haha – first there was deflation and then denial, anger, resentment, upset and finally….acceptance!
After entering a different category last year with Eric and being fortunate enough to win a Gold on my first ever competition the pressure was on to follow suit with another, and I think it was that pressure (that I placed upon myself) that became my downfall. I ummed and ahhed about what cake to create and I decided upon her after creating the Silent Hill Nurse cake earlier this year, I thought I would create a prettier version of her, but not only that but to throw another challenge in there of making ther bust taller and adding hands to her!
Why I do this sort of thing to myself I will never know haha – I was going to do her without hands as they are so notoriously difficult to draw and sculpt. But then thought – “nope I will add hands there is no reason why I can’t do them!” I chose Poison Ivy as I wanted to create a face that had a beautiful graphic novel /computer animation aspect to it as that is how she was originally created after all.
This also allowed me to add in other elements of design such as flower and leaf work. To create the smooth facial features I created her predominantly from chocolate as it is a great medium to work with for characters.I was hugely proud of her when she was finished apart from a couple of bumps on her back by the shoulder
Then she got her silver and after all the gorgeous lovely comments I had received about her and certainties that I would win gold I was upset. Once I saw her again on the judging table I noticed that the bumps had become more apparent on her back and I started to understand why she had lost a few marks but I had thought she would have still achieved over 90%. So I was bitter and angry at this point and thinking it was all sooo unfair, I was never going to enter any comps again …ever!! haha.
However acceptance soon came after speaking with one of the judges this evening – they commented first and foremost that the flowers and leaves didn’t have as much finesse as they would like – which is fine – I would have to agree because they were made from choc paste and this must have let me down, the slight bumps on the back also let me down – which again is fine and myself and the judge believe they became worse in the heat of the NEC (it had happened to one of her own judged cakes before). They would have preferred her to have been covered in sugarpaste rather than chocolate and also the hands needed a bit more detailing!
These critiques I could take and accept, but the ones I disagreed with were; they believed the eyes were too large for the face and that the hair was too clumped together. This was not true to life – now obviously this is how she should be as she is based upon a computer illustration figure and so I mentioned that, the reply to this is that the judges can not know this and so judge on what they see. Had she have been entered into a chocolate class (of which they currently don’t have) then the judge believes she would have done very well
So now I am accepting, proud and happy, all she needs was a bit of finesse and after all what lady doesn’t need that when she’s on show for all to see
And now it’s time for me to get prepared for my 2nd competition of the weekend – tomorrow I am making my Chatter Phone cake live in 3hours whilst being pitted against 8 other amazing competitors – so time to put Ivy to bed and go get my A game ready for tomorrow!!