Thursday, December 31, 2015
Y2K Chocolate Bug
It's the end of 2015 and I was doing some de-cluttering. I looked more closely at this progression board in a shadow box frame and realized I really needed to say good-bye.
It was made for the year 2000 New Year's Eve, when there was widespread concern that computers and other gadgets would not be able to discern 1900 when the numbers were truncated to 00s. It seems laughable now, but it was quite a topic of discussion back then. Some friends and I got together to create this Y2K chocolate bug to celebrate the new year, planning to offer it to hotels, restaurants, or other firms. It wasn't a stellar financial adventure, but I learned quite a bit about the process of making a custom chocolate product.
First I sculpted different types of bug heads out of Fimo clay.
Then different types of bodies were tested. Not all bodies are the same. Look closely at the bottom right bug, the final, and you'll see the legs and eyes are made in a way that didn't have areas that might catch in a process called vacuum forming. Any under hanging areas would prevent the model from getting released. The purple and green bits of clay were added to patch up nooks and crannies or additions to the first version.
What's vacuum forming? It's a process where a sheet of plastic is heated and draped over a model, taking its shape, so that you can make more models.
I put the final Fimo model on a hole punched board where a vacuum sucked through the holes from below, holding the model in place. A sheet of plastic is heated from above and draped over the model, with all the remaining air sucked out. After cooling, the model can be popped out of the plastic sheet. Above is a mold taken from my final, and the details are held pretty well. Can you envision if the body had areas that tucked under? The model would then be trapped.
After vacuum forming, I mixed 2-part resin and poured it into the mold to make about a dozen or so models. These were then affixed to a board to create a whole vacuum formed sheet of bugs, for chocolate filling.
And here's the final product - of course it didn't have all these white pimples 15 years ago, hence the reason for me to toss this board. I've heard it's simply oxidization of the chocolate, but sometimes it's just time to say good-bye.
Here's the packaging for the Y2K Byte the Bug – quite the process and memories! This is the best part of a blog - keep the memories without the clutter.
Another big memory for me in 2015 is of course, becoming a Craftsy instructor. I really didn't think it was possible to reach out to that star, and yet it somehow found its way to shine on me. It was such a daunting adventure, and I'm proud I managed to overcome my anxieties and self-doubts to pursue it.
I really have you to thank for commenting on my posts and giving me feedback. Reading your comments helps me feel like I'm not just whispering in the wind, alone in my room. I love hearing how my efforts here inspire others to get caught up in the fun of playing with paper and how it gets appreciated in your lives.
My wish for 2016 is for you and I to both keep pushing past safe boundaries for a Happy, Crafty New Year!