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The blog post on the Bake Club:
When did your business begin?
I started my business about 2 years ago. In the past, I had done a variety of design commissions, from designing some jewellery packaging to painting seascapes for an exhibition. I was then asked to design the stationery for a wedding and started to think how it could be a great idea for a business. In my work life, I was working as a freelance cook. I worked with a great friend, a talented chef who hated to bake! He designated me as the cake baker! After lots of trial and error I began to love to bake! I loved getting creative with the decorating. I was working in Switzerland in luxury ski chalets and was making lots of gingerbread houses and afternoon tea cakes. I then created my first painted cake and realised it could be just like painting on paper - you just can't rub it out if you go wrong!
When I came back to England, my business just seemed like a natural progression. I started building up work and people seemed to respond to it. I haven't looked back since.
What was the inspiration behind your business? Why did you decide to match cakes with stationery?
I love coming up with a design story for each couple. I realised that designing cakes and stationery go hand in hand. A save the date is opening chapter of wedding and the story runs through all the invitations, the stationery on the day of the wedding - order of services, seating plans and place names - and finally with the cake!
Is each design custom made to the bride/wedding?
Most of my designs are uniquely designed for each bride. I like to tell a story in the design that is completely personal to the couple! I could be inspired by the flowers and colours of a wedding, their pets, their passions and hobbies, travel. I have even included a couples custom made Christian Laboutin Shoes into the design! I really like it when I can include some playful humour into a design. I have started a collection of ready made designs for those brides on a tighter budget!
How long does it take to design and bring your visions to life?
Sometimes, thinking about the design and getting inspired can take longer than actually creating the work. Once I am inspired and I start creating, it all flows quite quickly. When it comes to cakes, I usually allow two days for a big cake. With cakes, you have a time pressure and you can't do it in advance. Luckily I like working under pressure!
What’s been your favourite design you’ve created?
I painted a cake for a friends wedding and I left the design as a surprise for the bride and groom. It was six tiers and around each tier was the story of their festival style wedding. When she came to see it for the first time, she burst into tears! Tears of happiness, I hope!
However, my favourite design is probably a botanical cake that I painted for Brides Magazine. I also have stationery to match this design.
The painted technique used for the masterclass is really lovely, what’s the inspiration behind drawing designs onto cakes?
I love baking and illustrating in equal measures and I realised that I could combine the two! I am really inspired by florals and botanics and that tends to be recurrent in my designs. I am also really inspired by children's book illustrations.
Do you have any tips for at-home bakers who want to create their own painted cake?
My main tip would be to plan out your design first on paper! Once you start drawing and painting on the cake there is no going back! Also, make sure you leave the cake to firm before you start your design. When the fondant is too soft - your food pen will pierce straight through it!