I don’t know if you are like me, but I never thought I would have to deal with architectural engineering in my lifetime. That is because I’m pretty sure I’m living mostly in the right side of my brain (the creative side) as opposed to the left side (the distinctively analytical side). However, with gumpasting I have learned that just because you can dream up fun ideas, they may not always be as architecturally sound once they are built out of a sugar medium. So, I have a confession to make. I needed some additional structural support for my last project (See Gumpaste Foxgloves & Wheelbarrow). I did my very best to construct a wheelbarrow that could stand up on its own, but in the end I chickened out and placed a wooden dowel underneath it to support the heaviness of the cart itself along with the flowers and leaves I had added. Believe me, all these molded sugar objects can add up in weight! Granted, if I was not so faint of heart I could have taken a chance and seen if my wagon wheel and the two back legs were indeed up to the task, but I just had visions of another “Oh, No!” moment (see A Gumpasting Mistake). Ultimately, I just could not bear the thought of watching another project collapse before my eyes for a second time.
A Silver Lining
The good news is out of this lack of confidence I came up with a workable solution that was not as visually obvious as using a wooden dowel for my additional “means of support”. After all that work (trying to make it stand up on its own) all I could think about is how ugly it would be to have a wooden dowel sticking under my wheelbarrow. That is when I came up with the idea of replacing the wooden dowel with a single, clear-acrylic rod and it worked perfectly as you can see (although not too clearly I hope). I am so happy with the results that you can bet I will be using these rods again in other projects where I don’t want gravity to take hold.
Assorted Clear Acrylic Rod/Stick Source:
Unfortunately, I found the below eBay vendor after I ordered my rods from another source who offered only 6-inches pieces with a diameter of just ¼ inch (and they were more expensive to boot). I am happy to report that this other vendor offers longer “12-inch pieces” that are not only 1/4-inch, but 1/8-inch, 5/16-inch, ½-inch etc. in diameter as well. As an added bonus he will cut them to size for free which gives you so many more options to work with. Nice!!! So, you can be sure that Antori Pancco’s store will be my go-to place next time I need clear acrylic rods.
Assorted Clear Acrylic Rod/Stick Source: Antori Pancco’s store