How did you manage to ship him?
That’s the question everyone has been asking, well here’s how I did it…
So let’s start at the beginning, Scrooge was made as part of the Holiday Hooligans Productions, which I organised exclusively for The Americas Cake Fair, hosted by Satin Ice in Orlando, Florida. I gathered together a group of my favourite artists and some amazing sponsors. We put together a life size Christmas dinner display featuring Scrooge, Santa, baby Grinch, Rudolph, delicious faux food, gingerbread nutcracker, isomalt crockery, wafer paper décor and an edible table cloth!
Before I started I had to sit down and really think about how I was going to ship this guy across the Atlantic. I had to take into account his size, which parts are most likely to get damaged en route, his weight, how I was going to package him, how I would label the box and of course my repair kit.
So, once I figured out my design, I decided I would carve his body and head from Styrofoam, as this would be the lightest option. I would have preferred to use something edible as I don’t really like to use Styrofoam but I knew if it was cake or rice cereal treats it would just be too heavy.
Bear in mind, I was travelling alone, bringing another cake (my competition entry) and my luggage,(which included materials for my sold out class and demos)! The design included mounting him onto a wooden chair that had its legs cut off and a 10mm threaded rod though the centre.
I started to make him about 6 weeks before the event, to allow for lots of drying time. I made his face from modelling chocolate because I knew if it got damaged it would be easier to repair and his hair was corn silk.
I made a list of all the colours I used along the way and packed them in my repair kit.
So about 1 week before we left I looked online and found the perfect box size. It was one of those boxes that you use to move your clothing if you’re moving house, they call them garment carriers. I ordered this and an A4 clear acrylic sheet. They arrived and I cut a hole in the box about face level with Scrooge and used tape to secure my acrylic sheet in place. The baggage handlers and customs could clearly see what was in the box. I wrapped Scrooge in clingfilm (saran wrap) to protect him from any humidity and put him into the box. Then got some cans of expandable foam and some rubbish (garbage) sacks. I put the sacks into the box and sprayed the expandable foam inside the bags. However, I made the mistake of filling them too much initially and the foam didn’t set! So, I had to start again and only put a little foam in each bag. I continued to do this until he was packed up to his chest at the front, and to his head at the back and sides. I repeated the process again for the top of his head and finally sealed the box.
I then needed to think about the strength of the box and decided to reinforce every corner with extra strong corner supports. I placed ‘fragile’, ‘this way up’ labels and A3 sized colour photos of Scrooge on the box. So, at this point I really felt I had done all I could to protect him on his journey.
The day of the flight I packed him into the car and my husband drove us to the airport, its 3 hours away, so not a short trip!
We arrived at the airport and I needed to check Scrooge into oversized baggage. He caused quite a stir at the Aer Lingus check in desk and I really cannot thank Aer Lingus enough, they went above and beyond to help me. They even offered to call ahead to Orlando airport to ask them to handle Scrooge with care! Scrooge was hand carried to the plane by 2 dispatchers. He really got the VIP treatment!
Once I arrived in Orlando, I stood nervously at the carousel and I got a tap on my shoulder “excuse me, are you waiting on a cake?” said a voice! My first thought was “how does he know? Do I look THAT stressed” but no, Aer Lingus had phoned ahead like they promised and Scrooge was hand carried up to the baggage hall instead of going on the carousel. I’m still not sure how he knew I was the one waiting on the cake though!
Off I went in the taxi and arrived at the hotel where I got some help bringing him up to the room from a slightly confused and concerned hotel porter, he said Scrooge “freaked him out”. I took that as a compliment!
So, I cautiously unwrapped Scrooge and he was perfect, absolutely no repairs needed! So, as you can guess I had a great nights sleep knowing all was well in cake land!
Our display went down a storm at Cake Fair and Scrooge moved to New York to live out the rest of his days with his Satin Ice family!
A very special thank you to the Aer Lingus staff for going above and beyond the call of duty to help me get Scrooge safely to his destination.