Past a certain point, food art becomes so beautiful that you become unsure if you’d actually eat and ruin something so beautiful. Fernanda Abarca, an incredibly talented animator for DreamWorks who also creates realistic cakes, cupcakes and sugar sculptures, passed that point ages ago. Her detailed edible sculptures and cake toppers bring characters from popular animated movies to life.
Given her work as an animator for beloved movies like Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon, it makes sense that her cake boutique, located in southern California, also primarily serves the entertainment industry.
Some of her cake toppers, especially the more complex sculptures, are made of fondant on a wire armature, but others are totally edible! Read on for some of Abarca’s answers to Bored Panda’s questions about her work.
“I’ve worked in the animation industry for many years. The work we do is super fun, but all done on the computer,” Fernanda Abarca told Bored Panda. “I craved the hands on aspect of sculpting and painting, so when I started making cakes for my kids I quickly realized I could get very creative sugar, and once I tried it I got hooked”
“In November 2012 I showed my cake work to the head of studio events at DreamWorks and asked if I could do something special for the celebration of “Rise of the Guardians”.That was our first gig. The characters were a hit”
“I’m a very well rounded artist in 3D. I’m familiar with all the specialties, modeling, lighting, animation, basic rigging, textures, and story. So when I started making these sculptures in sugar, I literally took everything I know about creating characters in 3D and simply switched mediums to sugar”
“I try to apply as many animation principles as I can to the work I do, and I use a lot of maquette sculpting techniques and rigging techniques to create internal structure ( for the bigger cakes)”
“The idea is to literally make these characters come to life in sugar. You see these fantastic characters on screen and there is just something about having a life size version of it right next to you at a celebration. Or perhaps a mini version you can eat or keep at your desk”
“All client work is edible. Always. The only time I will make something not entirely edible is if its going to be for display only. In that case I will make the core of the characters Styrofoam and sculpt over it in chocolate and sugar paste. This will keep the sculpture around longer”
“I will also sometimes use wires to support the structure if they are for display only (for instance the Jack Frost sculpture you posted on your blog)”
“I love my work both at the studio, and cakes, and I love creating characters. Some might find it silly to create something so intricate that others will simply eat. But the joy comes in the reaction of the crowd. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing clients faces when they look at our work. It’s a joy I can’t really describe”
Thank you, Fernanda Abarca, for telling Bored Panda more about your wonderful cake art!
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