Weta Workshop, look out - there's a bunch of special effects artists who have taken the cake and put the icing on top too.

Sugar artists, including Sandra Boston and Kim Donker from Whangarei, have taken part in a collaboration with each decorating a cake relating to a Sir Peter Jackson movie to celebrate the release of his last movie in The Hobbit trilogy.

Campbell Live watchers would have seen Ms Boston, Ms Donker and some of the others with their fabulous artworks on that programme last night.

The "big reveal" from the first collaboration of its kind, "directed" by Taranaki sugar artist Melanie Todd, was intended to coincide with yesterday's release of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.


However, the invitation to appear on Campbell Live came out of the blue at midday yesterday, giving Ms Boston and Ms Donker only time to organise child minders and get to the Auckland TV studio by 5pm.

The art collaboration itself began months ago. Like a closely guarded movie sequence, it was kept under wraps with collaborators able to "share photos, progress, frustrations, tears and laughter" on a members-only Facebook page, Ms Boston said.

"I didn't even have to think for 10 seconds about what mine would be. When I was in my youth I did a jewellery apprenticeship and I knew immediately I wanted to recreate the pile of treasure that an eye suddenly pops out of at the end of Smaug."

The work took "more midnights in a row than I've done in a long, long time". After making enough pieces of tiny treasure to cover four baking trays, Ms Boston began sticking them in place with icing - and realised she only had half of what she needed. She ended up making over 1000 pieces.

Collaboration organiser, Ms Todd said that, fittingly, the 31 participants from all over New Zealand "created magic".

They used a total of over 100kg of fondant, modelling chocolate, cake, and rice bubbles and hundreds of hours between them: "A labour of love, for us to unite and celebrate Peter Jackson and the uniqueness of New Zealand," Ms Todd said.

Films represented were The Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, Braindead, The Frighteners, Meet The Feebles, The Lovely Bones, King Kong, Crossing The Line, Heavenly Creatures, Tin Tin, Jack Brown Genius, Forgotten Silver, West Of Memphis and District 9. Extras were tributes to Weta and Sir Peter Jackson.