thanks so much for the replies! As usual, I don't get any updates when people reply to my forum posts so it takes a while for me to get back on here, find them, read them and now reply. Anyone know how to get updates instantly whe people post a reply?
As for the suggestions, cakeyouverymuch, that sounds like an interesting plan, but my question is have you ever worked with the fondant this way? Does it eventually dry hard or does it always stay soft/wet? I'm DEFINITELY going to simplify the design of those interior 'ropes' ... could never match it perfectly.
One idea I had was to use an small balloon to lay the rope design around, then pop the balloon once the 'ropes' dry. Do you think this might work with the 'melted fondant' plan (if so what brand of fondant or gumpaste would you reco for this?) or could the gumpaste cut outs suggested by venuscakes be a better way to go?
Or is this all a much more complex way to get a bendable yet sturdy material like sugarviel? Can sugarviel be done in strings/ropes? Will it stick to a well greased/corn starched balloon you think? Is there a sugarviel forum I can ask? I've never bought it or worked with it, and frankly all those crazy mats are so expensive I can never justify getting it, but if all I need to get is the mix, I'm game!
aaaah, one more week before this one is due, but too many cakes between now and then to really experiment!.