Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Swing and Period Piece Creations

This week's cake inspiration dates back several eras in art and cake decorating. In cake design, I had the privilege of learning the Lambeth Method, a technique created by designer Joseph Lambeth whom revolutionized the intricacy of cake design in the 1930's. This very popular method of cake artistry is described by its intricate and dimensional over piping of borders, scrolls, scallops, and string work. Still very popular today, this method of design is both time consuming as well as costly.

I decided to use the string work above another new technique I learned this week called a garland. Characterized by its ribbon-like quality, this technique was very reminiscent to me of a 16th century ruff collar. I followed the bottom of the garland with drop strings topped with rosettes and crowned my garland with a royal icing rose on each side.

For the top of the cake, I decided to try my hand at hand painting with Americolor coloring. I diluted the gel-like substance with water which gave the paint a nice watercolor finish. My inspiration for my painting was Jean-Honoré Fragonard's most famous work, "The Swing," for its whimsical quality that I thought would go well with my period piece decorations.

And lest I forget, to add even more whimsy, the interior is a strawberry cake with vanilla pudding. Maybe not so appropriate for the serious work of Joseph Lambeth but certainly as surprising as the scandalous scene depicted in Fragonard's masterpiece.

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