Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Loveable Distressed Barney Doll and Noodles Cake

I feel like I'm saying the statement "one of our more unusual requests" with more frequency lately, but in the area of unusual requests, this adorable distressed Barney doll and chinese noodles cake, may just take the cake. At least for now. It is always easier to make a pristine version of something then a worn, frayed, distressed looking version of it. The curves have to be in just the right places, the textures worn down in a realistic fashion and it has to look like its weathered the years in a natural way. Maybe the body of the object has become separated from it's head and it leans just so. Even the colors aren't uniform anymore, with some areas having more saturation than others. This was our latest challenge. To recreate an 18 year old stuffed Barney doll that had been well-loved over the years, becoming almost like a member of the family. He wasn't as pretty as the newer, modern versions of Barney, but he was very special to a boy who had grown up with him his whole life.

When I first spoke to our client Michelle, she asked if Rick could sculpt a Barney for her son's 18th birthday and high school graduation party. No problem. Could he be straddling something? Yes. Could that something be a box of Chinese Noodles? Uh, did you say noodles? Yes, noodles. After digesting the idea of Barney as we know him to be would be sitting down with a box of Chinese noodles, we became excited about making it for Michelle's son. She explained to us that the Barney doll she wanted would need to look like her son's Barney doll he had since he was a baby. It would need to slouch in all the right places and maintain his loveable quality. Be warned that his head no longer stays perfectly upright and his body might be a tad lopsided, oh and he has numerous spots on him where the fabric has worn down from being touched and carried around. She brought the beloved stuffed doll to us and she wasn't kidding, this doll has been through some LIFE! Rick noticed that her Barney didn't have any pupils and asked if she wanted him to add them in. She declined the offer and wanted to go for as authentic a feel to the doll in its current state as possible.

The "Barney with Noodles" cake as it came to be known, was delivered to Little Village Noodle House in Chinatown, hence, the Chinese noodle box. We found out that her son would be attending Oregon State University, and Rick put "OSU" on the front of the noodles box. For the writing, Michelle requested "Happy 18th Birthday and Rots of Ruck!", which she thought would be cute. It was very cute! The cake was completely edible and full of delicious pink Guava Lava. The cake as you can imagine got a lot of attention when we brought it in. Diners in the restaurant seemed to recognize Barney, but maybe he looked a little different than Barney as they remembered him. This Barney looked like he had gone through some rough times in his life, perhaps. He had been somebody's favorite toy and treasured for many years. He had matured and looked a lot older. He was somebody's sentimental attachment and as a mother, she could definitely relate. Barney was a theme carried throughout the party, with stuffed Barney dolls placed in front of each guest to take home. They were cute, but there's nothing like going old school, and we'll take the worn down, holey Barney version anyday!

side view showing the full effect of the years of slouching. His stuffing had shifted in his face and upper body, pushing a little on his stomach.

backside showing discoloration of his fur and areas. Not a perfectly rounded backside.

brand new Barney dolls, of a newer generation, ready to party!

Aloha, 'til next time!


Kim ~ Kay Kay said...

You're so sweet, like a little tribute for mother and son.
Her idea was very cute and sweet, you either liked Barney or you didn't and obviously he sure did.
Rick did a nice job on the stuffed version!

Maria_the_Oiler said...

I love the unusual request! And loving hungry Barney!

Pink Little Cake said...

What a great cake! The details are amazing, hopefully one day I can make a cake like that.

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