Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Bird!

Glenda Stockwell walks through the process of making "The Bird".

Warning: Don't read this blog post if you are offended by seeing "the bird".

I got a call from a friend wanting to celebrate her divorce and I had no idea of what I was going to create. I had seen several ideas before but just wasn't overly thrilled with creating any I had seen before. She showed up to chat about ideas with a collection of invites and other divorce cakes that she found on the web. One in particular caught my eye and the idea for the cake was born:

I called Melissa to see if it would be possible to make a "bird" mold. She mentioned a product that would set quicker and was used for molding body parts. After a run to the store and directions from the sales rep Melissa and I met up to make the mold.

The directions suggested starting with a small body part such as a thumb. So, we mixed up a small batch and in went Melissa's finger. A short time later (much less than the 10 minutes mentioned in the directions) out came Melissa's finger. We chopped the mold in half to inspect the cavity.

Not bad. Looks like a finger to me.

Now came lots of giggling on exactly which of us could hold our hand in the best "bird" pose. Shocking but I won. Not like I over use my middle finger or anything.

I was wondering I would get a hand cramp holding the pose for 5+ minutes. Nope. I was kinda squishing my fingers together worried that mold material would go in between finger spaces and such making it difficult to mold in chocolate later. I even wiggled a bit and worried I had ruined the mold.

After about 6-7 minutes I could feel the mold kinda pull away from my hand. At this point we wondered how we are going to get my fist out of a hole the size of my wrist -- yeah you would think we would have thought of that sooner. Melissa picks up the container and we are ready to pull like crazy when out pops my hand! Easy peasy.

Looking down in the mold we had no idea if it was good. Sorry but I didn't get a shot of that. We immediately filled the cavity with silicon mold material and stuck a dowel in to make a handle. We filled it with the silicon because the initial mold material has a short life -- it begins to break down in 4 hours.

About six hours later I get this photo in a text message:

One silicon hand! Not bad. Melissa then used a brush on silicon to make a glove over the hand. After that set we peeled the glove off. Melissa made me two since I would have to cut the glove off to avoid breaking the fingers.

I placed the glove in a large cup and filled around the mold with flour to hold it up and give support so it wouldn't turn into a big fat squishy hand. I then filled the glove mold with white chocolate colored with ivory food coloring and stuck in a skewer. Into the fridge it goes....where it sat for half a day because I was too chicken to take it out. I pulled the hand out of the flour and cut the glove away.....to find a very squished and deformed middle finger. The weight of the hand squished it all down!

So, I molded a second one. This time I wrapped the middle finger up with masking tape to make it stable. Stuck it down in flour, filled the mold and stuck it in the fridge while I went back to work. I got home that night and I cut the glove away. Looked good. There were a few air bubble holes and two missing finger. I filled in most of the air bubbles. For the missing fingers I re-molded the middle finger twice - chopped them off in the appropriate spots and attached. It was kinda creepy chopping off what basically looked like my own finger. At least it didn't bleed.

I then just stuck the skewer into the cake. I used a little luster dust/everclear to paint the nails. If only I had better fingernails it would look better. The ring is gumpaste with an isomalt gem.

Here is a shot of the palm. I wish I had taken a better pic of this side so you could see where I had to do repairs -- trust me though it was difficult to tell unless you got up close.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

I'm trying to talk Melissa into making different hand molds to sell on her site. These would be LARGE molds and probably a custom type mold. If you have suggestions for hand positions -- peace sign, fist, sign language "I love you", fist of rock, etc -- leave a comment and I will see what I can talk her into.



  1. I would love to see a hand position that makes a heart. Actually it's done with two hands (the index fingers and thumbs into a shape of a heart. Just a thought.

  2. Wow that cake is hilarious! I love it!

  3. This is HYSTERICAL! Great job!

  4. that's an amazing reproduction of a real hand, it looks creepily amazing! You're amazing :)

  5. I would love to make this cake! How do i make this mold? is it silicone?

  6. Awesome! Two mold suggestions: Praying Hands (pretty much the opposite of The Bird) and a hand that is palm up that you could rest something on i.e. a heart, flowers, a little baby.

  7. I agree with Dee on the praying hands, but maybe a child's praying hands would be more practical because of the size and how it would be proportional to the top of a tiered cake. JMHO