Sorry if I am posting this in the wrong area I have a client whom I have already been through the tasting with and arrangments on wedding cake design. My dilemma is that the cake design that the client approved includes a cake topper of a old mill waterwheel. The cake is for a rustic outdoors type wedding and the top of the cake is to have a water wheel with a mock water source beneath it. So that the top looks like the water wheel is turning out water onto the top tier of the cake. Of course this (the water) would be made of poured sugar and RI etc. My thoughts were that I could obtain a fish aquarium type ceramic or resin piece (new) or reconditioned and use that as the topper placed over a disc of wax paper to prevent any issue of contact. However I can NOT find this type of ceramic or resin piece. Not even a collectible miniature. Any ideas? I am adept at working with gum paste but not to this degree. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
You wouldn't want to use anything that had been in a fish tank, even if you were sure it wasn't touching the cake and wouldn't touch the cake...a fish tank has more germs than a toilet (I've kept fish for years).
Anyhow, if you're going for a rustic look, then you could build your own waterwheel...get two thin, lightweight circles of wood and some strips of wood and some nontoxic glue and just go at it and charge extra for your trouble. You could even put the gumpaste or fondant on the outer parts of the wood circles and texture it for a weathered, rustic look. Probably the best way to get it into the cake would be to drill holes in the middle of the wood circles, then stick a dowel through them and glue it at the right distance apart, then glue two support dowels onto that dowel, long enough to go into the cake down to the board and hold the wheel at the height you want. It's starting to sound like more and more of a project, the more I think about it...
Do they want just the water wheel, or the mill, too?
Have you checked with a toy train store or an online train supply to see if they have a small mill and water wheel set up? If they can get the right size for you, you can paint it with food-grade paraffin wax to prevent contact with the cake. Really, why try to make something that complicated if you are not sure your skills are up to it, especially when there might be something out there which would be more realistic than sugar.
I do not know your time frame, or how crafty you are, but here's a link to a miniature mill and wheel I found. This is very, very small, but could be enlarged to suit -
How are you with a glue gun or a bottle of Elmer's?
Get some embroidery hoops and a thin piece of wood, and make a water wheel. Then, instead of using waxed paper (tacky-looking when the edges stick out from under the piece), get the same paraffin wax (look in the jelly-making section of your market) and paint the bottom of the piece so that the areas which may come in contact are coated with a food-safe, protective coating.
Then you can stain it to look like a real water-wheel, and the topper will be a keepsake.
I do not provide toppers unless they are BC roses/flowers. The topper is the bride's responsiblity. If she wants this rustic mill waterwheel thing, she's going to have to find it and provide it. I'm a cake maker, not a retailer or a personal shopper.
'Coz here's what happens. If SHE can't find it, then gosh darn gee she changes her mind and gets something else because "Man, you just can't find those!" But if YOU can't find it, then you're a slug and she'll never recommend you because you didn't make her cake exactly the way she wanted it.
I know exactly what you mean Indydebi. That is exactly why I make the client provide anything inedible like toys, toppers and ribbon - especially ribbon.
This one from Ace Hardware looks pretty nice. I could see it on a wedding cake with complementary decorations:
Thank you all for your quick ideas and comments. I really appreciate it. I definately will look into some of those. It is a close family member so I am not completely dead in the water if I can't find it. It would be nice to have it though. So I will look into some of those ideas. I thank you for your time in answering my questions. In reference to using a used fish aquarium ornament.. I did not write clearly what I was meaning when I implied a comment in that direction. I wouldn't use something that came out of a aquarium used. I just knew that at times they use to produce a ceramic/resin piece that resembled an old mill and water wheel for a fish aquarium and some people collect these as knick knacks. But thank you for the heads up. Someone told me to look at the Thomas Kinkade miniatures as well. I guess he has one. Indydebi.. I fully agree with you on not being responsible for the topper. If it was not family I would not have put myself into the position. Thank you all for your support and tips.
Well cake is finally done! So I promised I would show final result. I settled for a collectible piece for the topper. Here is my link. Thank you all for your help!