By Lisa Carolin
Try to imagine the Chelsea Clocktower made out of gingerbread.
Actually, you don’t have to.
Karen Peters has created a masterful version of the Clocktower that’s currently on display in the front window of La Maison in downtown Chelsea.
After entering the Festival of Gingerbread every year for 10 years in her former home town of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Peters wanted to create something that reflects her new home town of Chelsea, where she’s been living for the last year-and-a-half.
“I hope people enjoy the little ‘inside Chelsea’ touches like the Jiffy Mix boxes and the purple rose bushes,” said Peters. “I also included a circle garden bed since I am a member of the Chelsea Area Garden Club and I help maintain the circle bed just around the corner. I included the fountain since that is where the Chelsea Area Women’s Service Club took our group photo this year.”
Peters says that La Maison owner Dana McGrath helped her decorate her home and knew about Peters’ gingerbread house experience.
“I was thrilled to give it a home here so the people of Chelsea would be able to enjoy it,” said Peters. “After you have worked on it so long, you can get tired of looking at it. When it’s finished, I am ready to let it go.”
Peters’ does not have any artistic training but does have a background in applied mathematics, which she says helped with this sort of project.
“There is a lot of planning, templates, and organization to get it to come together and stay together,” she said. “For example, I don’t use royal icing to glue the pieces anymore since that dries out and cracks over time. I use a construction grade gingerbread recipe so that it doesn’t sag or crumble.”
She says that she’s learned from her mistakes over the years exactly, which materials do and don’t hold up.
Peters’ gingerbread “house” will be on display at La Maison until Dec.21. See the map below if you’d like to locate other gingerbread houses in Chelsea.