I didn’t wind up entering gum paste dishes – I did flowers, birds, and fruit! So indecisive, I know. I wanted to do the flowers most, and then a friend mentioned that there’s an account of them in 16th c. Ottoman Turkey. She forwarded a few articles on the big Ottoman festivals, and one of them had a list of what these small sugar figures were: birds, pomegranates, quince, anemone, crocus, rose, carnation, and narcissus. All of my research still applied, and investigating the Ottoman avenue opened up some additional sources that really rounded out my understanding of the cultural place sugar work had in noble households.
My work competed in Meridies’ Kingdom A&S this weekend, and it was very well-received. I’m so pleased! This was such a fun project to do, in spite of all the frustrations I had with sugar paste in the humidity. I even won a beautiful gift basket for my category. Now I have a lovely olive wood salt cellar and tiny salt bowls – something I’ve wanted for some time!
If you want to read the documentation or see tutorials for how I made each flower, it’s here, on my Documentation and Handouts page. You, too could make a carnation like this: