Fairyland Sculpture

This is my entry for the 2019 Eastern Idaho State Fair Sugar Art Show Sculptured Figurine. The theme for the category this year was Fairyland.

Here we see Tom Thumb (the first English Fairy Tale character, circa 1621) receiving his Fairy Princess bride atop a mushroom, with five lesser fairies joining the celebration below.

The story of Tom Thumb was first published in 1621, and thus is the first fairy-tale printed in English. Tom Thumb of the original story was a bit of a prankster, but I decided he could have been a romantic, in love with a likewise-small fairy princess. This sculpture depicts my interpretation of such an eventful day in fairyland with Tom receiving his fairy bride on a red-top mushroom (amanita muscaria). The bride is wearing a shimmery lotus petal dress. Tom is wearing a silk tunic, linen trousers, leaf jacket and overcoat vest. His feet are shod with pistachio shells. The gathering is attended by lesser fairies with five in particular enjoying a game of ring-around-the-rosey: the animal fairy, the tree fairy, the floral fairy (in sweet pea blossoms), the bird fairy, and the water fairy (in her water dress). The scene is captured in a ground covered in moss with a few candy turf (Iberis sempervirens) blossoms in an antique brass dish that has succumbed to a bit of tarnish and decay, as has the marble tile upon which the dish sits.

I used fondant to hand sculpt throughout the sculpture except where noted. I used a cutter and pattern press for the leaves on Tom’s sleeves and a press for the veins in the petals on the fairy princess’s dress. All details were hand-painted with gel colors on white or colored medium. Fairy princess’s dress is covered in pearl dust, Tom’s sewing needle dagger is covered in edible silver dust, the brass dish in edible gold dust. Gills of the mushroom and tree fairy’s green leaf-wings are edible wafer paper hand-painted. I added buttercream scales on top of mushroom cap. The water dress on the water fairy is clear piping gel. The moss is colored sugar cookie crumbs. I used gum paste for the first time to make the blossoms (sweet pea) on the flower fairy below the mushroom, and Tom’s sewing needle dagger. The Flower fairy wings and fairy princess have wings made from hand-piped edible lace frames and colored or clear gelatin. The candy turf blossoms have inedible wire stamens.