There’s been something magical about this year’s Brigalow Arts Festival. Among all the fantastic entries of paintings, photographs and sculptures, one in particular stood out – an artwork that could be eaten!
This appetising artwork was an enchanting sculpture of Dobby, the house elf from the Harry Potter series of books and movies. Dobby first appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and was known for his devotion to Harry and also for his love of socks.
Somehow Dobby recently managed to transport himself from Hogwarts to the Banana Shire Regional Art Gallery. Was it by port key, broomstick or the Floo Network? No. Dobby made his appearance at the Brigalow Arts Festival by being magically created by local cake artist Debbie Reid.
A Harry Potter fan, Debbie created Dobby especially for the arts festival, making this adorable house elf out of modelling chocolate, alfoil and fondant.
She found a picture of Dobby and printed it out, joining two A3 sheets of paper together to get the height that she wanted.
“Yeah, I don’t like making anything small,” Debbie laughed.
Next, she created a skeleton for Dobby out of Poly Pipe and then she started building the little house elf, who looks so much like the Dobby from the movies.
It took Debbie three days to make Dobby. So, how did she feel about her sculpture?
“I was happy, I liked Dobby. Yes. I liked my Dobby,” Debbie said. “But it’s just like with everything, like you can see your mistakes, you know. You think, ‘Oh, I wish I made that a little bit smaller or I wish I made that a little bit bigger … But you look at him and yes, that looks like Dobby.”
While this Dobby was made with modelling chocolate, Debbie can also create a Dobby out of cake.
This talented and award-winning cake decorator established her own business DReamcakes and Supplies nine years ago.
“I started from home for the first six months. And then I ran out of room. We couldn’t eat dinner at the table,” Debbie laughed.
So, Debbie set up a shop in Biloela for five years, and then built her own shop with a commercial kitchen at 8 Oxley Avenue.
Debbie’s cake creations don’t just attract customers from the Biloela area. She’s also made cakes for people in Rockhampton, Gladstone, Moura, Theodore, Mackay, Clermont, Emerald, and even as far afield as Brisbane.
So, what is it that Debbie loves about her job?
“The ending,” Debbie said. “I like seeing how a cake gets when it’s put together. And the final result.”
And, of course, there’s the very happy customers too.
“You love the expressions on their faces when they see the cake. And then when you’re at the same party, and you’ve done a cake like Dobby, and they go ‘Is that a cake? Is that really a cake?’ It’s always good to see that they’re happy with what I’ve done.”
If you would like to see Dobby in the flesh (well, in the chocolate), you can still visit this clever creation at the Banana Shire Regional Art Gallery until this Friday, and then the little house elf will disappear. But it’s all good. From next week you can pop into Debbie’s shop to say hello to him (and his maker!). Business hours are Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, and Friday, 9am to 3.30pm.