Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wedding: Octopus Cake Toppers

I love octopi. My love for octopi initially grew out of my fascination with the plural. "Octopus" actually has three acceptable plural forms. The first, octopuses, reflects the Americanized plural. The second, octopi, reflects what many people think should be the proper Latin plural, assuming that "octopus" is a second declension Latin noun. Finally, the most correct plural is octopodes -- as it turns out, octopus is not Latin, it's Greek! So, octopuses/i/podes were initially fascinating to me from an intellectual angle.

Then, I started seeing octopus art. And, wow. I never thought about it before, but those eight tentacles make for some fluid and striking artwork, both two- and three-dimensional. Rapidly, octopi became my favorite animal. So when it came time to make cake toppers for the wedding, I knew I had to make octopi in love.

Photo Credit: Dad

Did you ever play with sculpey when you were younger? I definitely did. I have little aliens up on my bookshelf from some early sculpey explorations. But what I didn't know when I was younger was that you don't need a fancy oven for baking sculpey -- your regular oven, just sitting in the kitchen, will do! So, I had the hubs get me some turquoise, red, and black sculpey, and got to work.

Photo Credit: Rabiah M.

These were pretty easy to make -- the body was just a cylinder, pinched and shaped by hand to approximate an octopus shape. The tentacles were just rolled out (using the palms). Suckers were created by initially putting flat circles on the tentacles. Then I pressed the tip (without lead) of a mechanical pencil into the center of each circle to give the donut/sucker look. Mostly, the tentacles stayed put during baking. However, the tentacle from each octopus that was intended to form the heart when they were placed side by side wilted, and eventually broke, in the oven.

Photo Credit: Rabiah M.

They ended up not being able to form that heart anyway -- the beautiful cookies and cream (my husband's favorite flavor) cheese cake we got from our favorite bakery, Capital City Cheesecake, just barely fit these cute little monsters facing each other!

Photo Credit: Unknown?
Of all of the decorations, handouts, etc. that I made, I am most proud of two: the gifts we gave to our guests and these cake toppers. And it seems as though I am not the only one who liked the cake toppers -- since our wedding, I've now had the honor of making llama and muskrat cake toppers for a friend's wedding (I'll post those soon enough) and will have the honor of making penguin cake toppers for one of my oldest, dearest friend's weddings this June!

Photo Credit: Dan F.

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