Bunny Duck-a-lope Girl

Submitted by kookykrafts June 2nd, 2011
Certifikitsch Winner

“Bunny Duck-A-Lope Girl”, is an exotic, whimsical creature that represents a composite of a bunny (pink) and a duck (yellow) with little plastic orange and white nubs instead of horns and a faux vanilla icing unicorn horn extending from her forehead. She has a pink faux icing rose on the top of her head worn as a jaunty hat, as well as a caramel colored one at her throat (between two plastic bows) for her bowtie. She is decorated with my handmade faux icing medallions in various colors, and her “feathers” are dotted with lucite flowers. Her eyes are made from lovely brown vintage plastic animal eyes that were made in Japan and that I bought from the venerated, but now closed, Zim’s Craft Supply in Salt Lake City.

All the icing is created from high quality acrylic artist materials, from a formula I’ve developed over the last 30 years, and the colors are hand mixed by me and extremely colorfast. My iced sculptures are a time consuming process as I start by tracking down interesting vintage cake toppers and plastic toys. I then ice the sculptures by layering multiple layers of faux icing over several days, or weeks – and I make all the faux sugar roses, or other faux icing decorations, like medallions, in advance.   She is washable with soapy water!

9 Responses to “Bunny Duck-a-lope Girl”

  1. Allee Willis

    How tall is she? I love the crossbreed. She looks very happy to have brought these two races together!

    I really like these sculptures because they look as much knitted or like macramé as they do frosted. I want to bite the duck’s beak now!

    How did you get so interested in doing all your sculpture cake style? Did you start out by decorating actual cakes?

  2. kookykrafts

    Good morning! Another Certifikitsch – Thank you!!

    This Bunny Duck-a-lope Girl sculpture is about 11 inches (h) by 9 inches (w). The base that hangs against the wall is 9 x 9, and it stick out from the wall about 8 inches. I found the sturdy ceramic form for this piece at a thrift store, and it became the foundation for this whimsical creature.

    I started doing these cake sculptures about 30 years ago. A friend and I lived in Moscow Idaho and we had taken a road trip to Dallas, where we both were raised and still had family. We took lots of silly pictures on the trip (campy roadkill shots in our wigs and leopard skin get-ups) and when we got back to Idaho we had a show of our snapshots. For the opening we made a cake which was the State flag of Texas, but added a bunch of plastic toys and cake toppers to liven it up.

    I liked the cake so much I thought it would be neat if you could have something like that for permanent display, so I started experimenting with different ingredients to come up with a consistency that worked with the cake decorating tips and that would last – and be colorfast. After some recipes that were either too soupy or cracked when they dried, I finally came up with something that worked, and used a styrofoam base. I made some big cake sculptures at that time, some so large that when I left the State I didn’t want to take them with me. A couple of them were sent floating down the river (others were left in an old barn), a mysterious sight to behold, I’m sure, for those who happened to be on the banks when they passed by.

    I didn’t make any cake sculptures for about 10 years after that (began painting and working in other mixed media) until I decided to create a faux bakery display in a venue I created in Phoenix in 1992 and curated for about 12 years called “Stop n’ Look: A Visual community Resource”. This was a large storefront gallery I ran out of the front of the commercial building we live in on Grand Avenue. The faux bakery display had several large (and some smaller) cakes turning on motors and lots of sugar decor doo dad assemblages twirling on the walls. I created many fantastical displays there over the years, as well as providing stipends for other artists to create installations there as well.

    The windows were very popular because the work could be viewed by anyone passing by and they did not have to walk into a gallery to see it; I liked this populist aspect to the space. Also, what I really liked about the project was that it was a very unexpected experience in an unexpected place, as our neighborhood was rife with lots of inner city problems at that time (a crack house on every corner) and still very run down. I was trying to get away from the whole idea of the up-on-a-pedestal “gallery” and do something that was part of a real neighborhood experience.

    I only got interested in making the cake sculptures again recently when I opened my shopfront a year and a half ago. I opened my shop to highlight work by artists that I know who have a very crafty side – something sometimes very different than the other artwork they make. I started making more normal size cake sculptures and other iced wall sculptures as part of my crafty offerings in the shop. It became fun again. Sometimes after doing something for a while I get tired of it and move on to something else, which is what had happened with the cakes.

    Back into it now, I have become interested in tracking down some of the lovely, and now hard to find plastic cake toppers. I particularly like the Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japanese stuff. As you get older, you realize that things you could find easily just 10 years ago, are disappearing fast. We used to joke when we were growing up that things made in Japan were cheaply made but lots of the old millinery and dime store doo dads are actually quite beautiful in both color and design – and the craftsmanship is a lot better than what you find today oftentimes.

    I’ve never really made real cakes like these – except for the very occasional overly decorated birthday cake once every 15 years!

  3. windupkitty

    wow, what a story! I’m SO glad you found the awmok!!!!! I really love what you do and your philosophies!