A blog dedicated to the crafting of faux foodstuffs, casting & molding, and other nifty tricks for theater production.


Friday, February 8, 2019

Fake Food Friday: Cheesecake!

Materials: Insulation foam, foamcoat, acrylic paint, spray sealer, clear epoxy, cheesecake packaging, sticker paper
Tools: Bandsaw, surform shaver, sandpaper

Hi All, welcome to our first Fake Food Friday!  I thought it would be appropriate to have our first FFF be the prop that started it all!
This cheesecake and its plated version were for You Got Older at Steppenwolf.  The packaged cheesecake came out of a grocery bag, and then later it came out on a plate, had two full size taper candles put on it, and two pieces cut out.
I started out with 1.5" insulation foam, cut into circles about the same size as my research cheesecake (yes, we all ate some after I was done!).  I used a Surform shaver tool to shave down the middle and give it a bit of an edge.  I then sanded that down, but I didn't spend too much time smoothing it out, knowing I was going to foamcoat it.
For the practical version of the cheesecake, I cut out two holes and inserted PVC pipe ends that fit the candles pretty well.  Then I did several coats of Rosco Foamcoat.  I tinted it by adding a bit of acrylic paint.

I built up a nice shell on the practical version and then cut out a quarter of the cake.   It was filled with a quarter of real cheesecake for the show, and then a layer of cheesecake filling (which is totally delicious and something I have 100% eaten straight out of the tub.)  And then I sanded it SO MUCH.
Because the foamcoat was already yellow, I didn't have to do much finish painting, but I did add a quick coat of light yellow and brushed on a bit of raw sienna to make the edges look cooked.  I then sealed the full one with clear satin spray.  For the practical cake, I sealed it completely with epoxy because I knew it was going to be by real food and washed every night.  I ended up sanding it down with some 220 grit sand paper so it wasn't too shiny.  I didn't get a picture of it though.
As we like to say on this blog, packaging SELLS IT.  This shell is from our research cake, which was conveniently empty by then... I found a logo online and printed it on some sticker paper.  As I said when I first posted it, I'd eat it.  
Unfortunately, my sticker was too subtle and we ended up taking the insert that came with the cheesecake, scanned it, and edited it so it was no longer so Chicago-y, (speaking of, if you find yourself in northern IL, I highly recommend trying some Eli's Cheesecake, which served as research and supply for our show).  This shop had a tabloid size printer, so we were able to print this on one sheet, making it look super professional.  Even though you can't see much of my cheesecake, I'd still eat it.  

There we have it, folx!  I think I need to go get some real cheesecake.  Or just some filling, I'm not picky.  Happy FFFriday!
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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hello and Happy 2019!!

Greetings All!
It's difficult to follow up such a gracious introduction from Anna, but I thought I'd introduce myself a bit more and share some of the exciting ideas I have for the future of the blog!

First about me: I am from the Greater Chicagoland Area (which Anna kindly hasn't held against me) and I've been working around town since I graduated from San Francisco State in '08.  I worked at Steppenwolf on and off for over 10 years, starting as an intern, then apprentice, overhire and staff; it was my artistic home during the 'winter' season.  For my summers I've done 9 seasons at The Santa Fe Opera, where I've met some of the most amazing, talented, and wonderful people and get to work on grand, obnoxious, and fantastic things.  I've been a freelance Prop Master/ 'designer'/ crafter at a smattering of theatres in town and have recently been working at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, IL.  In my spare time I run a (tiny) greeting card business, embroider, marathon tv shows, try to keep up with my reading goal and drive long distances for fun, friends and food.

About the blog!
Returning folx will notice that we have a new theme and our own domain!  The theme is a work in progress, but I hope you all find it easy to navigate.  To new readers, welcome!

-I plan on adding a menu bar for easy access to post categories.  So far I'm thinking sections like: Desserts, Drinks, Meats, Casting/Molding, Packaging, and Resources.  This is definitely still a work in progress, and will evolve as we add more posts.

-Post types.  This will definitely still be a fake food blog, but sometimes there's just a good trick or funny prop that is just too good not to share.  I like to think of these as bonus posts, like when you get a completely unexpected mint or piece of candy when you're at a restaurant.

-Adding more supply, tool and technique posts.  I've used FnB as a knowledge base as long as it's been up, and more knowledge the better!

*-*Fake Food Friday and Guest Posts!  This is what I'm most excited for.  Almost a year ago (January 19th!) I posted a cheesecake on instagram and suggested that #fakefoodfriday should be a thing because it was Friday and I like alliteration. Turns out it's pretty difficult to come up with a new FFF every week, especially when you're in the middle of a five show build summer season and all you want to do when you're not at work is drink margaritas, watch Brooklyn-99 and sleep. I'm also always looking for new fake food tricks, because the best thing about working in props is that there's ALWAYS something new to learn.  So, I figured we could have the best of both worlds, different people showcasing their FFF and sharing their how-to at the same time!  There is a form in the right sidebar (just yon -->), if you would like to submit your favorite, most fulfilling or I-hated-this-project-but-I-learned-a-lot project to be posted on an upcoming #fakefoodfriday!  I will likely post a more comprehensive stand alone post on this in the future, especially if I can figure out how to make that form... better.*  (*I am not a coder, but I'm learning.  Please tell me if things are broken...like the links at the top of the page.  Working on it!)

-Instagram!  I've also started an insta to show off projects, tips, and of course, #fakefoodfriday posts to link back to the blog!  I'm also thinking about a #WhatNotToDoWednesday, because mistakes happen.  They happen so much.  @fakenbakeblog, follow us!

However you've stumbled upon us, I'm glad you've found the Fake 'N Bake Kitchen!

And to Anna, thanks for passing the torch, still answering all of my random questions, and all of the puns.  I LOVE THE PUNS.

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