Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ohio State Symbols Carved in Butter at State Fair

I missed this when the Ohio State Fair opened, but I love me some butter sculptures, especially a butter trilobite (the state fossil, obviously):

Butter sculptures galore await Ohioans today as the 2014 Ohio State Fair opens its gates for a 12-day run. There’s a butter tomato, because Ohio is one of the biggest producers of the fruit. There’s a butter carnation, the state flower, and a butter trillium, the state wildflower.
Also in butter are a cardinal, the state bird, balancing on a buckeye tree, and a buckeye with a grinning face dangling below it.
And then there are the butter versions of a ladybug, a black racer snake, a spotted salamander and a white-tailed deer, as well as a trilobite fossil, an arrow-head, a papaw and an Adena pipe.
All of the 15 sculptures relate to Ohio. Made of real butter and displayed in a refrigerated case at 46 degrees, they were unveiled yesterday at the Ohio Expo Center’s Dairy Building.
“I’ve been lobbying for this for years,” said a jubilant Bob Kling, the chief sculptor for the butter creations for 15 years. “There are a lot of interesting sculptural forms among our state’s official symbols.”
His favorite? The bullfrog, which is about the size of a small sheep in its butter form.
The most difficult, Kling said, was the carnation, whose thin petals tended to flop forward during its creation. The cardinal was challenging, too, because it tended to slide off the butter branch on which it was perched.
Scott Higgins, president of the American Dairy Association Mideast, said the sculptures “ epitomize the spirit of Ohio.”
Five artists spent six days slathering 2,033 pounds of butter onto the frames they’d spent months building out of hardware cloth, rock lath and other products, Kling said.
Sure, it's corny, but I don't think there is anything more midwestern than a ton (literally) of butter (or back in the day, lard) sculptures at the state fair.  For some strange reason, I'm lookinf forward to the Field of Dreams sculpture at the Iowa State Fair

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