Today is the thirteenth of the month, which is traditionally Ungood Art Day on JSVB. Nobody gets everything right the first try. But in my world, it's certainly possible to have things go horribly wrong on the 1,293rd try. That's Ungood Art: when I try hard to make a good art piece but in the end I don't.
So my wife wanted decorative birds made out of dough to grace this year's Easter loaf. I've tried making birds before, and they've always failed. Two things went wrong: I assumed that normal bread dough would work (it doesn't), and I assumed that I can mold dough like modelling clay (I can't).
This time around, I fixed the dough problem by using a recipe for pâte morte, which is an inert dough that doesn't rise and puff up. I did not solve the problem of lack of sculptural and modelling skill, something which has become a theme in my Ungood Art.
So, this little guy is a decorative bird. It's not a fish! The head, wings, and tail all stood up when unbaked, making for a reasonably realistic albeit lumpy pose. As the bird baked, all the body parts drooped until the bird was flat on the baking pan, kind of looking like it died there which I suppose it did.
The worst part are the eyes and beak. Since I formed the dough without checking whether I had any decorative ingredients on hand, I realized I had nothing to make a proper face for the bird. In a panic, I resorted to using jelly beans. A dark jelly bean halved made two eyes. A yellow half bean made the beak.
Did you know that sugar jelly melts when heated? Seems like the kind of thing you'd catch in retrospect. As the bird baked, the jelly melted, turning the eyes into sockets while the smouldering goo trickled down the cheeks. The beak also liquefied and made a gruesome pool beneath the face. I'm reminded of villains at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I knew my bird was bad, but I didn't think it was molten-Nazi bad!