This unusual cookie dwelling, inspired by the movie, Lord of the Rings, was created by champion gingerbread architect, Pat Ashley Howard. As the entry entitled, “Christmas in the Shire” it was awarded the 3rd Place Winner of the 2008 National Gingerbread House Competition at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, USA.
Spiral Staircase in Gingerbread
With this project, Pat Ashley Howard invented a flexible medium for sculpting and impression-forming, which she named “gingerclay.” It was a revolutionary discovery within the niche world of gingerbread house building. News of the invention spread quickly among cookie artists in the U.S. competition circuit. Gingerclay advanced the craft as we know it, broadening the realms of design and detail.
3D Gumpaste Telescope
From the observatory on the top floor of this hobbit style gingerbread house, a gumpaste telescope aimed its lens at the glittering heavens.
Moat with a Viking Style Boat
Surrounding the base of the gingerbread hobbit style house was a moat with dock and a pointed sailboat canoe.
Pat Ashley Howard’s Story
Chapter 3 – Inventing Gingerclay
I had a specific effect I wanted to achieve with this house so I developed what I call gingerclay. I wanted a very detailed texture on the walls, so I took gingerbread that had already been baked, ground it into a fine powder to which I added powdered gum arabic and a little water. I smooshed it with my hands until it resembled clay and then was able to roll it out on a textured mat, thus creating the affect I desired. And now the walls were covered in a detailed leaf pattern.
Edible Fir Trees
I was particularly proud of the trees I created for this entry. They were made out of sugar gumpaste using cutters intended for making daisies. I stacked up the graduating sizes of daisy cut-outs to look like Douglas fir pine trees. I really loved this entry and was so proud when it was auctioned off for a boatload of money at a fundraiser for the Orlando Museum of Art.
NEXT: Gingerbread House Boot
Email Pat Ashley Howard: email@example.com
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