Art In Cake Form

Last week was wedding week on the Food Network. I didn’t catch everything by a longshot, but I did make certain to watch at least a few shows. Shut up. It was research. Really. It wasn’t just a chance to gawk at pretty cakes and snark on wedding gowns and decide how I would have done things differently. It wasn’t. It was a selfless search for wedding knowledge to pass on to my loyal readers…and just a little bit of an excuse to gawk and snark and so on.

Anyway, I saw two shows about a show I’d never heard of before, but now intend to watch for news about with eagerness: The Oklahoma State Sugar Arts Show Wedding Cake Contest. I couldn’t believe some of the things I was seeing on television. Of course, it seemed the cameras cut away far too quickly from the ones that I found most intriguing from a distance, but one day I’d love to come visit the show. Contestants come literally from all over the world to compete (one of the shows aired followed four contestants in their bid for sugar art fame, including one man from Sri Lanka), but only the best of the best take home prizes.

Of course, after watching all of that, I found myself wanting to peruse more cakes. I didn’t have a cake at my wedding. I don’t in any way regret that, mind. It was virtually the only thing I managed to do for Mr. Twistie, who is not fond of cake, because it was nearly the only opinion he expressed. Besides, those individual fruit tarts were a huge hit with our guests. But every now and again, I want a really gorgeous cake with fabulous decorations and I don’t really have an excuse to go out and have one made. A bit of window shopping usually scratches that itch and allows me to go on without regret. Usually.

Then I found this site. I have no idea what her prices run. I sincerely doubt she’d ship a cake to California. I don’t care. I want one of her cakes and am willing to do Really Stupid Things to get one.

Cake artist Ruth Seidler started out in art restoration, but when she had her second son, she left the world of museums. She still did private art restoration work, but more and more started playing with decorating cakes. The results are amazing. She has done painted cakes based on everything from Persian tiles and Renaissance drawings to the works of Henri Rousseau and Pablo Picasso to – I kid you not – a mattress cover. She’s done designs based on Tiffany and Frank Lloyd-Wright stained glass. She does incredible sculpting work in marzipan, sugar paste, and molded chocolate.

Best of all, the cakes themselves sound delicious. Take this combination used in a cake whose decorations were inspired by Chinese ceramic and embroidery designs:

Double chocolate buttermilk cake filled with orange curd
and chopped candied orange peel. The rolled fondant is flavored with ginger.

Want. Now.

3 Responses to “Art In Cake Form”

  1. Colleen says:

    I am totally obsessed with Food Network Challenges when the cake artists have 8 hours to make insanely complicated cakes or sugar sculptures. Check out Mike’s Amazing Cakes in Redmond WA. He does such good work that I don’t think they let him compete anymore ’cause he won every time he was on. If I was getting married at home in Seattle that would be a serious temptation (and budget buster!)

  2. Twistie says:

    Those are great, too, Colleen. Mike does some extremely imaginative work. I particularly loved the penguin wedding cake. So cute and such good work!

  3. Dianasaur says:

    Sometimes at work I get to watch Ace of Cakes on the Food Network. It’s fun to see the crazy cakes they do.