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Peach Life: The Road to Cake International…

Have you ever wondered what goes into producing the larger than life displays at your favourite cake shows? Maybe you have wanted to take part in one, or even just been intrigued how people from all over the country – or even the world – are able to coordinate their efforts to bring something like that to life?

Having produced my own collaboration (The Greatest Showpiece – did you see it?) for the first time earlier this year, it certainly blew my mind just how involved these things can be, so I thought it would be rather interesting to go behind the scenes of one of this year’s most anticipated collaboration displays at Cake International and follow the Peach Life team as they count down to the show…

Inspired by the stories of Roald Dahl, Peach Life is a collaboration of incredible international artists, who will be coming together to bring a host of everyone’s favourite author’s best loved characters to life in sugar and cake.

Let’s check out some carefully-cropped teaser images of what we can expect from the display and meet some of the team…

Stephanie Would (Organiser):

After my first visit to CI, I was inspired by everyone’s collaborative work but I had no idea how to get involved. I’ve always loved to read, a passion which started when I was young and Roald Dahl was always my all-time favourite. I contacted Melanie from Cake International about the possibility of putting together a collaboration table and contacted Roald Dahl’s PR team to see if I could get copyright release. Luckily, they loved the idea and, with copyright secured, Melanie bumped us up from collaboration table to a ‘featured space’ at Cake International!

SIDE NOTE: Whilst working on this project, Stephanie decided that she wanted to try and make collaborations more accessible to everybody and, as a result, ‘SugarSouls’ was born. If you would like to know more about that, you can contact Stephanie via her Facebook page – Cake Nation.

We have some absolutely fabulous artists on board who have been working hard to produce a feature that will take you on a journey through Roald Dahl’s imagination, so be sure to come and visit us on stand F28 at Cake International 2018.

Anna Taylor Dillon:

What can I actually say about being asked to do a contribution to celebrate a legend and his books? My first thought was ‘Eeeek!!!! Have you got the right person?’

I really do feel that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that doesn’t come along every day, so of course I accepted – how could I not?! I get to work alongside some of the most amazing cake artists in the world and recreate one of my favourite books in sugar!

The piece that I’m doing is very well known and a bit of a character. Because they are so recognisable, it was essential that I brought their personality to life through their facial expression and the sense of movement and I can’t wait for you to see them at the show!

Zee Chik:

I was so delighted to be asked to contribute to the Roald Dahl Collaboration as I have always loved the story of Matilda by Roald Dahl – in fact, I always love a fantasy story with a happy ending.

The book I am recreating for Peach Life has been adapted into both a movie and a stage play.  The positions of the figurines in my piece are based on a scene in both the book and the stage play. They are made from a polystyrene and wood structure, decorated with sugar modelling paste.

Nicola Bradshaw:

I grew up with Roald Dahl’s books and have been a bookworm ever since. My mum always used to say that I was only happy if I had a book in my hand and was stroking the cat. My favourite was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but they are all amazing.

The character that I was given was a bit of a surprise, but I literally screamed with excitement. He is very much based on the book’s description of him, with a little of my own scrambled thoughts thrown in for good measure. It was essential that he had a warm and kind face and hopefully I have achieved that.

Jennifer Lofthouse:

I am thrilled to be a part of Peach Life. I chose Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as my inspiration – after all, what child wouldn’t want to visit a magical chocolate factory?

Gemma French:

I was extremely proud and honoured to have been asked to participate in the huge Roald Dahl Feature at Cake International this year! Be a PEACH and check it out!

Adriana Rivera:

When Stephanie asked me to participate in this beautiful collaboration celebrating Roald Dahl, I could not believe it. I think I reread her message several times and sat with my mouth open for a good few hours! It really is an honour to be part of this impressive team – they all have incredible talent.

Since I will be bringing my pieces by plane, we decided that I would make several small characters, and pray that they arrive safely! I have used Renshaw’s Modelling Paste and Rainbow Dust gel colours to bring my characters to life, over a wire armature and they each have a very different personality.

My favourite Roald Dahl book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – who wouldn’t like to find a golden ticket and have an incredible experience – especially in a chocolate factory?

Peach Life will be appearing in all its glory at this year’s 25th anniversary Cake International event at the NEC, Birmingham and will feature the amazing sugar skills of a whole host of crazily talented people – many of whom you will recognise. To check it out, you can grab your tickets to this year’s show, which runs from 2-4 November 2018, at the Cake International website – click this link to head there now.

Oh, and I have intentionally not matched up people’s pieces to their bios – I’ve got to keep the air of mystery going until the show opens…! 😉 

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