Under the Big Top

“He’d fly through the air with the greatest of ease,

This daring young man on the flying trapeze!”  ~George Lybourne

I am seriously eating peanuts out of the shell as I type.  ha!

When Lorena of Au Claire de la Lune told me World Circus Day was coming up, i was excited to re-visit this theme through cookies.  I was inspired to try something different than I had ever done.  I had seen a small, 3-D paper theater in an incredible mask shop two years earlier that my friend Angela of Oh, Sugar! took me to while in Florence.  The depth and details were completely magical!  I told her right then, “I need to cookie that!”  She laughed and we continued on our exploration of the beautiful city.  

There were no pictures allowed in that little shop years ago, but the mental picture I took and the idea of that little stage would haunt me now and again.  The timing and themes never seemed quite right, until now!  I hoped I could capture a frozen moment of suspense at a circus on a little cookie stage.  “Will she catch her?  There is no net!  Who is that little clown creeping around the curtain?”  I sketched out my idea and divided my sketch into layers.  I cut my sketch apart as templates and took it to the cookie dough.  The largest cookie is the background which is 10″ x 8″ and the smallest is the ringmaster stand which is about 3/4″ wide.  

Once all of my cookies were cut out and baked using my chocolate chipotle recipe (I wanted dark edges), I got to work on the fun part.  As I was decorating I realized my top-most layer was not going to work.  It was a striped, arched frame for the whole scene, but I went a little overboard on my curtains and didn’t want to hide as much of them as the arch would cover, so the kids and I happily munched on the top layer instead.  Mmmmm… circusy!  

I’ve been asked if it took me ages.  I figured I would work on my circus scene over the next day or so, but the whole process flew by!  I was baking the cookies in the late afternoon and I was in bed by 11:30 that night with my circus scene complete.  For those that don’t cookie, 8 hours may seem like a long time, but keep in mind, there was school pick-ups, snacks, baseball practice, dinner, a sleep-over, and normal life happening in between.  Life imitating art?  Art imitating life?  I was creating in the middle of chaos.  I like to think it helped with the end product.  Life is a circus so you might as well enjoy the ride!

I hope you enjoy my circus creation.  I didn’t take pictures during the process, because honestly I thought it might turn out to be a huge disaster!  I did however take pictures of the layers so you can see how it all came together.  And now…. ladies and gentlemen… boys and girls… on with the show!

 view from the top of the big top
view from the top of the big top

 All three scene layers seperate
All three scene layers seperate



This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Yvette

    Be still my beating heart. Can you PLEASE teach us something like this in a coming MCGOO U class?

  2. Wow!!! This is not a cookie. It is an art piece!!! To top it all off you did all this in one day?!? Jiminey Cricket, that would take me a month, every day, all day, IF I could ever even do it. So impressive!!

  3. Barb Florin

    REALLY interesting, how it all came together. & you should never NOT record your progress because you think it might be a flop (as if you were capable of that). You can always choose not to share it! But it was fun even to see the pieces go together. & that fringe — it is OVER THE BIG TOP!! Love it!

  4. Angela Rudy

    So fun to see how this came together. You nailed it! Just beautiful, Liz. (For anyone who wants to visit the shop that sparked the inspiration for Liz’s masterpiece – if you’re ever in Florence stop by: http://alicemasks.weebly.com/index.html)

  5. Deborah Conklin

    My lord!! That is absolutely incredible. Way past my skill level but I’m loving your Mcgoo U so maybe someday I’ll get there.

  6. DJ Franklin

    Wow! Reminds me of some paper dolls my sister used to have. Showboat. You could layer the stage and then play paper dolls on the stage. Great cookie "think" and creativity.
    DJ Franklin

  7. Bev Parker

    Professor MCGoo, you are brilliant! This is a mind blowing set! I can’t wait for my classes at Cookie Con next month 🙂
    Bev Parker

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