Elena Atash of WonderCake is an award-winning cake designer known for her extremely realistic cake designs.
Here she answers your modelling cake questions.
Q: What is the best way to ensure that proportions of my sugar models are accurate?
A: I always work with a life-sized sketch and compare the details during the process. In addition, I weigh each part of the figure and make a note of the exact weight and use these same weights when making other figures in the future.
Q: I struggle with creating small details as they keep drying out and breaking. How can I prevent this?
A: I use an Israeli sugarpaste, Alma, for modelling. It does not dry out and so remains pliable throughout the work. My items are always soft and flexible. To keep the small details soft while working with another sugarpaste, I recommend covering them with palm oil and wrapping in nylon.
Q: What is the best way to store sugar figurines?
A: Sugar figurines are best kept in a closed (not hermetically) show case, far from windows, in a room with dry air.
Q: What is the best type of material to use for creating figure models?
A: I use an Israeli sugarpaste, Alma, for modelling. It has a silk surface and never dries.
Q: What is the best way of creating a nose? My noses always look odd!
A: In order for the nose to look neat, I always carefully process the nostrils and try to give them the shape of small balls. The distance between the nostrils should be wide enough so the sugarpaste does not tear when I lift the tip of the nose through the nostrils.
Q: Some people use pasta as supports inside models, is this a good idea?
A: This is suitable for small figures.
Q: Do you recommend using wireframes as a structure for making models?
A: The wireframe allows you to give the model a natural movement and the most difficult pose. I’m afraid that without a wireframe, it is impossible to overcome gravity. The sugarpaste which I use is always soft and needs minimal support.
Create different shapes
Q: What are the basic shapes for creating different body parts on human figures and other designs such as animals?
A: The human figure is simple. I create it from six balls of appropriate weight. From the balls, I make the right shape and thread them on the frame. For sculpting animals, I use the technique of gradually increasing the volume.
Creating Realistic Clothing
Q: What is the best way to create movement in clothes to make it look more real?
A: To create movement in clothes and make it look real, I use the technique of pushing through and cutting folds along the vector of their direction. For this, the layer of clothing should be thicker.