Mother’s Day is coming up. That got me thinking about breakfast-in-bed…which got me thinking about pancakes…which got me thinking about pretty fruits…do you see where I am going with this?
I thought for my shop I would make some pancakes and trays and also do a red grapefruit cane. In case you don’t know, I really do not enjoy cane making. I really don’t! Most of the canes that I use are done by Angie Scarr. You can see her bananas and kiwi slices above. Angie’s work is awesome!
But what I wanted is a raw cane so that I can texture the grapefruit myself. Sliced canes are cute, but if baked already, you can’t give them that realistic texture. I started by purchasing a big beautiful red grapefruit, cut it in half and studied it. I looked at the colours, the translucency vs. opacity in sections. Then I measured everything – circumference, diameter, height, even the segments and the distance between them and the skin. I stuck the grapefruit in a baggy and set it aside for later (I don’t waste food lol).
Then I made the cane. A cane is basically a cross-section of whatever you are making. You Start with the main fleshy part and then cut it into sections which become the fruit’s segments. They get wrapped in a thin white skin and then it is all put back together. This is then wrapped in a rind and skin/peeling.Everything is slowly squished together, round and round, to compact everything until the size is manageable enough to start rolling into a cane.While I won’t be getting too detailed here, if you want to see some excellent tutorials, just search for Angie Scarr on Youtube.
As you will see, in my photos, the ends of the canes look a hot mess. That is fine and you can’t avoid it. Your cane will look kind of ‘dumb bell’ shaped when you are done, as the ends protrude and get wonky. Those ends will be cut off anyway when you are finished, revealing a pretty cane – if lucky! *As they say, it’s what’s inside that counts* Mine was not perfect, but it is workable. If using in its raw form (which I am) I can manipulate and shape it by gently pushing and pulling the surface with my tools.
In case you are wondering, my real grapefruit was 9.5 centimeters in diameter. That means, doing dollhouse conversion, my cane would have to be just under 1 cm in diameter. Fruit sizes can vary and so can your canes. When I am making something small like fruit, I err on the slightly small side in case it ends up looking a bit off scale in a scene. I wanted a red grapefruit so as not to be mistaken for a generic orange. In the off chance, someone may look at it and think ‘oh, her orange is quite off scale. It’s too big”. Next time, I will probably make pink grapefruits, as the red one could be mistaken for a blood orange.
Hugely helpful tips when trying to do a cane – Keep it as symmetrical as you can – but there is no need to be perfect. There are slight variations in real fruit afterall. Avoid leaving spaces as they will turn into air bubbles (keep it tight). Use firm, good quality clay. If your cane seems really soft, make sure you pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes before slicing it. Slice with a very sharp blade (Adult supervision please!!)
Once I textured and manipulated my cane slices a bit, I was very pleased!
I think the breakfast tray turned out very cute.
…..And yes, I ATE the real grapefruit, sprinkled with a bit o’ sugar!