Santa’s Pastry Chef

 
 
This is Jada, the Senior Pastry Chef at Santa’s.  Isn’t she beautiful?  She’s talented too.
 
This is the buche d’noel that she’s made for a special Christmas Eve treat.

 Making Jada was an exciting adventure.  As usual, I sculpted her head, hands, and feet from polymer clay.  The cake is also polymer clay, sprinkled with glitter!  I’ve made one of these (real) cakes myself, and it’s quite a job with the cake, filling, and meringue mushrooms.  But it is certainly a special cake.

Her sweater and leggings are made from a sock.  For the pantaloons, I reached back to my doily crocheting days.  After finding a vintage pattern, I crocheted the edging, then made the pantaloons from silk fabric and edged the leg openings with the crocheted trim.

The chef’s coat and hat are made from cotton as I thought it would be more appropriate than silk for “work” clothes.  The red buttons are vintage glass that I found on eBay.  They’re faceted and quite beautiful.  The “platter” that the cake is on is a vintage butter pat, another eBay find.

 
The skirt is red silk which I painted with gold dots once it was finished.  It has five gores and five rhombus insets.  Since the silk is fairly stiff it sticks out rather than draping.  I think it looks a little bit like a pointsettia!
 
I learned an important lesson while constructing Jada.  I had the concept from the beginning, but I failed to consider the “engineering” from the beginning as well.  It was very difficult to glue the platter and hands together, which was the last step in the whole process.  I tried two-part epoxy and also E6000, both of which I have found to be very strong glues.  But there just wasn’t enough bonding surface.  I finally solved the problem by forming small balls of polymer clay, pressing them firmly between the hands and platter, baking them, and then gluing the pads to the platter then to the hands.  This gave me enough bonding surface.  If I had thought of this problem in the beginning I may have come up with a better solution.

By the way, the hair was fun to do and, I think, successful.  It’s felted wool.  I first felted a thin (about 1/4″ thick) disc.  Then I made each of the “cornrows” by separating a small bundle of wool, twisting it tightly, then releasing the tension to let it form a twist.  At that point, I felted the ends to the disc.  What I ended up with was a one-piece “wig” that I could hot-glue to her head.

Another “by the way” – the star on her cheek is a hot-fix embellishment from Kandi Corporation.  It has hot melt glue on the back.  All I had to do was press it in place on the un-cured clay and when I baked it, the heat melted the glue and set the star in place.  I also used these stars on her polymer clay boots.

 


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