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If You Can Eat It . . . Honeycomb?

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If You Can Eat It  . . . Honeycomb? 

My tagline at Faux Real Foods has always been If you can eat it, I can sculpt it. I had a moment of panic earlier this month, I thought I had found a food that I could not, in fact, sculpt!

It all began a few months ago when Michelle at Lemon Bay Doll Company contacted me about a collaboration. If you haven’t seen their items, check them out. They sell creative and beautifully made 1/3 scale doll items. Anyway, they asked if I would make honeycomb for them to add to honeypots in their beekeeping set.

I adore bees, I’ve often dreamt of having an apiary of my own. Perhaps not such a great plan; I am allergic to bee stings. ah well, back to the story. It seemed a match made in heaven. I love bees, Lemon Bay loves bees, honeycomb is delicious. Perfect!

I quoted Michelle a price and began doing a bit of research. I found a really cute honeycomb tutorial on youtube (I won’t link it here, you’ll understand why in a minute) and I settled down to sculpt.

Now, here’s the thing. I never sculpt from other people’s tutorials. I watch them often, it is a good idea to watch other artists at work. I pick up tips and often learn something new. Besides they’re just fun to watch. But, I don’t sculpt from tutorials. I sculpt from real life.

The tutorial was well done and I didn’t have honeycomb in the house soooo, I began following the tutorial. I followed each step carefully. Seemed simple enough. I worked on it for awhile and had a honeycomb cane. I began slicing. My first few slices were bad. Really bad. 

No worries, if you’ve ever made a polymer cane, You know the ends are wonky. I sliced the cane in half, directly in the middle. And Oh. Holy. Wow. It didn’t look anything like honeycomb. It looked like an ugly flower. Or like a flower in your worst nightmare might look if it were trying to annihilate all life on this planet and suck out your soul. Seriously “ugly” is a compliment.

I had a moment of panic. Had I found a food I could not sculpt? You can eat honeycomb, right?! Was I going to have to change my tagline? This would mean new business cards, all my printed material would need to be changed! Had I been lying to my customers? No more, “if you can eat it, I can sculpt it” Crikey! This is bad!” It took me a few short seconds before I remembered to breathe.

I scrapped the tutorial and threw the cane into the scrap pile. Went to the market, bought a jar of local honey with honeycomb in it, plopped it on my project table and started over. Within a day I had a very good prototype. I work best from “real life” when I sculpt. Photos are helpful too.

Next time one of your projects is not working the way you hoped, remember three things. First, play to your strengths. Second, Breathe, just breathe. And third, epic failures make fun, family stories later.

See you all soon. Wishing you and yours a joy-filled season!

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