Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Michigan State Fair Butter Sculpture








I've been going to state fairs and seeing butter sculptures all my life, but I never met the sculptor(s) or had a behind the scenes tour, so imagine my surprise and pleasure at having that opportunity last night. We were at the state fair for over 7 hours and exhausted and ready to leave, but we went into one more building. And there was the butter sculpture and sculptors! They took us behind the scenes so we could see how they worked and actually get inside and take close-up pictures. These are only a few of the pictures, though the lighting challenges were great. We weren't prepared for that kind of lighting. The final picture shows us inside the butter sculpture taken by the sculptor herself, from outside. The reflections make it hard to tell we're inside.

Unfortunately, though both sculptors told me their names, I have forgotten them. I was so tired last night. I did a google search but have yet been unable to locate the names so if anyone knows them, please let me know. The man is the one who has been doing it for many years. He normally sculpts geometric designs in metal and plastic. The woman is his assistant, but did most of the work this year, with his supervision. I apologize for forgetting their names. She told me the eyes are made with plastic spoons.

Late breaking news, from a comment:

Wow, a story about the Butter Cow. Thank you Mary. I'm the apprentice Rachel Wolski. I've been doing it for the past 4 years. Tom Fitzgerald had done it for the past 17 years. I hope I don't lose my job to do it next year, if they really do close the fair. There are pictures of how the cow was made on Facebook. Search Michigan Butter Cow. Mary, I'd love for you to take pictures next year if it happens.

The Michigan State Fair is located in Detroit at Woodward and 8 mile Roads. The very sad news is, this may be the last one ever, as Michigan is hard hit by the recession and the auto industries are in trouble. We got so tired because we wanted to see everything, as we may never have another chance. We did sign a petition to save the fair--but we also signed ne to save the Aquarium. :-(

15 comments:

Eric said...

I remember those butter cows from when I was a kid. I was hoping they weren't the same ones from back then!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

They make a new one every year. They worry about the butter afterwards as it cannot be used for human consumption.

Rob said...

This is made of butter??!!!!? Never seen anything like this!

Jacob said...

I've never seen such. Or I don't remember if I have. And I went to the Minnesota State Fair for years.

I think its incredible. Perhaps a waste of good butter, but then too much better is not all that good for a person anyway.

It seems to me there would be a very strong odor - yes?

Great post, Mary!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Yes, it is made of butter. I've seen them elsewhere, too.

The sculptor man says his children used to help with it and the smell made them not want butter ever again, but I didn't notice that it smelled too much, even when I was very close.

Rose said...

How real they look--if they only had color! I would love to have even an ounce of talent like that. I have never seen anything like this and thank you for showing it!

goda said...

I want toast!

Jacob said...

Re: Goda's comment - You'd need a piece of toast the size of a battleship! :-))

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks, all!

LOL! That's a lot of toast!!

TheRandomTraveler said...

I guess you will see all kinds of things at the State Fair...butter sculptures are a new one to me...

But rather interesting to say the least...

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks, Random--it was really fun for me to get this behind the scenes tour--usually they are just on display.

Anonymous said...

This year the butter cow(s) looked so REAL I thought it was plastic. What an art to be able to fool the eye and you do it with butter...

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Real plastic, huh? The New York State Fair is very impressive.

kookie said...

Wow, a story about the Butter Cow. Thank you Mary. I'm the apprentice Rachel Wolski. I've been doing it for the past 4 years. Tom Fitzgerald had done it for the past 17 years. I hope I don't lose my job to do it next year, if they really do close the fair. There are pictures of how the cow was made on Facebook. Search Michigan Butter Cow. Mary, I'd love for you to take pictures next year if it happens.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Kookie, I apologize for forgetting your name--I was so tired by the time I met you! I will lookup on facebook and see if I can find the pictures.