In the right hands, cheese can go from a humble cube to an astronaut sculpture made of cheddar. Popped Culture argues that those hands belong to sculptor Sarah Kaufmann, who has provided the centerpiece for everything from tailgates to a likeness of Miss Rodeo New Mexico.
Kaufmann is naturally from Wisconsin, where she has turned a commercial art degree and a marketing business into a promotional cheese-carving career.
Her structures are semi-permanent, provided they can be stored at the proper temperature. But a recent Kaufmann exhibit to commemorate the first moon landing met the same fate as fondue: Visitors to the Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wakoponeta, Ohio, "were audibly and visibly disappointed" when they encountered the base -- all that remained after the air conditioning unit shut off automatically overnight.
In addition to cooling concerns, Kaufmann also has competition from fellow carver Troy Landwehr, who seems to relish building oversized sculptures including a 700-pound Mt. Rushmore and a 1,200-pound Statue of Liberty. Why can't guys just stick to a sensible, table-top centerpiece?
If this is the first time you've heard of anything besides butter sculptures, you're missing out on a whole world of food-based art. There are artists who work in biscuits, potato chips, melons and chocolate. Should you need something more permanent, there are always wire sculptures made to look like cheese.