Today was a very difficult long day of trial and error: I began working on the final piece and trying a variety of things. I approached Kate with the cast that I had created the day before and asked whether I should try to create a new one or not as it was not the most successful cast and she suggested that I create one directly on the mannequin out of paper machée in order to create a much stronger cast on which fondant could potentially hold (as fondant is quite heavy). I thus wrapped a mannequin in cling film to begin and then went to find newspapers in the King's Cross Station.
When I got back it was my time slot for the tutorial with Kate (on how to create our final pieces if we were stuck). I asked her about two ideas for how to create the marshmallow skirt as I was not sure whether I should try to create a wire cage for the skirt and wrap them around or a cardboard flat skirt for the strings of marshmallows to hang off. Kate then asked me why I wanted to create such a bouffant skirt as opposed to just a straight one because the large skirts reminded her of the Victorian era which was not decadent like the dress I was trying to make. We then talked about the possibility of making a flapper dress with strings of marshmallows. Through Kate's advice I decided to do a simple dress shape inspired by decadent time periods' fashion to have more logical reasoning behind it.
I thus went back to try creating strings of marshmallows with the large marshmallows however numerous troubles came up. Firstly the marshmallows all fell off the bottom of the string due to their weight and tying a triple knot in the thread was not enough to hold it up. I therefore decided to loop each marshmallow in the string twice to hold it up, which actually worked really quite well however when trying to add more than just a couple marshmallows to the thread it became too sticky and tangled easily, ripping the marshmallows. I tried numerous times, trying to avoid the problems I kept encountering however it became too stressful and just did not work.
Instead I began preparing the paper maché materials; when I explained the marshmallow problem to Gary he tried separating the marshmallows in two and simply sticking them onto cling film and they seemed to stick. He suggested I continue experimenting on smaller pieces instead of trying the entire dress now. I therefore created a paper maché cast on one mannequin's arm and tried the marshmallow method to the other. Whilst sticking marshmallow halves to the arm, I thought they might stick better if I melted in the middle where they were cut because it would make them much more sticky. I therefore tried this on the arm underneath the ones I previously stuck to the clingfilm in order to compare which held better and which overall I would use for the final product. Over night a couple fell from the first trial however all of the melted ones stayed attached very well and was therefore the method I chose to use for my final product. Because the string of marshmallows did not work very well I simply decided to create a tightfitting dress using the method of attaching marshmallows to the clingfilm. Is somewhat remind me of a polkadotted dress one would imagine in the 90s or 60s shown in my research. The bright pastel colours mixed with the almost neon of the M&Ms also reminded me of the bright colours typically seen in those times. I therefore began creating the dress by attaching house of marshmallows and mixing them up with a mini marshmallows to in order to create a slightly more complex design. I was also still really attached to the idea of using fondant for the dress and therefore tried to cut out panels as opposed to very large shapes which would potentially weigh down the peace too much and not work as well. I attach the first trial to the clingfilm by using both water on the fondant which makes it very sticky and small pieces of marshmallow. This worked very well with the marshmallows created lumps and therefore for the next piece of fun don't I tried attaching it simply using water which worked really well and showed a smoother result. I therefore decorated this piece using piping icing and M&Ms in order to add colour to the dress.
Overall it was quite a diffcult day and I learned that things never go as expected however through persistent trial and error you can arrive at a product which looks great and was not something you would have originally thought of, which might be even better.
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