Nelipot Lane

Here all the creative pathways meander into one everlasting journey.

Tag: birthday cake

The Abstract Cake

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Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence – Matisse

But however fleeting the moment created embrace it fully! The cakes that I create may only be enjoyed for a short while, but they are forever apart of people’s experiences, a fond memory looked back on, laughed at and perhaps hopefully thought of in some kind of wonderment!

Trying to make a piece of art for someone who taught and still studies art was somewhat daunting, but the idea of creating a gallery space, a cake form mini retrospective of modern art was very exciting indeed!

Matisse, Picasso, abstract art, family, Wales and Ireland, these are some of the things that are important to Maggie so these would be woven together to create a private exhibition for her to peruse and then perhaps devour!

Each side of this square cake would be a certain artists style of work, linked by colour and texture, stitching the piece together and each side would be devoted to a family member.

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I received a beautiful wedding picture of the family to model each person on and a photograph of her grandson with jam all over his face, luckily for me this is abstract so a likeness was all I had to worry about!

So today, here at The Nelipot Lane Gallery we have a special guided tour, please follow me so we may begin!

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Three Dimensional elements to draw you around the piece, creating movement and continuity.

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Matisse would be Maggie’s and her husband’s side, I wanted them to be in a place they would love.

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The colours in Matisse’s work are so very beautiful, the bold patterns and lines seem almost childlike in essence.

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I wanted to recreate the Welsh landscape that she loves so much with a photo that my partner took when he and I went to visit Wales.

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 I love the different styles of Matisse, I favour his Fauvist style but wanted to include some abstract expressionism and his later cut – out work to help with the flow of the piece.

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Kandinsky would be Maggie’s daughters side, his soft washes of colour against the dissecting circles and bold black lines intrigued me.

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An abstract version of her veil (she was the bride in the photograph) and the soft shades match her colouring perfectly.

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Picasso’s cubist paintings with their expressive brushstrokes and muted browns and beige would have to be her son’s side as I was told he was the one with the crazy hair!

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Triangular blocks stand out in logical chaos.

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Beautiful rich turquoise creating depth as well.

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Klee would be for her other daughter, Her short blond bob mirroring Klee’s Senecio.

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Abstract squares in beautiful soft shades and tones, golden yellows, muted purples and dusky pinks.

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Pollock! For the top of the cake I went a bit wild, I covered everything in sight and began!

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A pop art Raphael, her grandson.

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This could be straight from De Stijl itself!

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Thank you for visiting The Nelipot Lane gallery, please make sure you eat the art work!

The Archaeology cake

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How do I begin this cake?

This is what I was thinking when I got an email from E requesting one of my delicious (her words, not mine) cake creations for her dads 60th birthday who likes motorbikes, whiskey, Wales and archaeology!

This thinking went on for some time, but then, what luck, inspiration struck, how would he like to have his hobby of archaeology transformed into an edible dig site for him to peruse as he wished.

I know, I know they say never play with your food but I think there are moments in life when you really have to just dig in! (Oh I really did say that!) So I pitched the idea originally wanting sweets to be buried, but knowing he would be turning 60 I also had a back up plan of making actual artefacts that have been found in sites around Britain. So she went with the artefacts, this I think was the best choice, sweets would defiantly be fun, but making the artefacts brought a realism to the cake that I think he would appreciate more.

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I was incredibly excited to make the artefacts. Straight after some initial research into archaeology I just had to make them.

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My Priscacara liops and Ammonite fossils.

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I needed him to have some little tools to be able to dig with so I made the brush by cutting down a larger one I had brought and the trowel was such a brilliant find from the dolls section!

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I wanted to have a feature on the cake to draw the eye around the piece and frame the centre piece so I made some standing stones that he would recognise from his trips to Wales.

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Painting the gold coins. I love this part, so much detail comes out that the pieces take on a new dimension.

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Map of Wales with the dig site marked out in red near Pentre Ifan.

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I don’t like to write on cakes in the conventional way so try to incorporate messages within the tone of the piece.

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The finds! Sugarpaste replica clay pot, spear head, gold coins, fossils and gold torque (The torque I made from a combination of wire and sugarpaste as it would have been to fragile otherwise, although I try to make everything edible sometimes you have to use wire to strengthen or support objects, but I meticulously tell my clients each and every thing that isn’t for the eating and text them just to reiterate!

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All Archaeologist need somewhere to keep notes.

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delicately spiced carrot cake which I then covered in a zesty creamcheese buttercream.

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Creating the impression of the Welsh rolling hills with mint and spruce green marbled fondant.

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All the little bits and bobs ready to fit perfectly into their place.

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Creating height to the cake.

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Somewhere to work and write whilst on the job!

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I know I made it but isn’t the bucket filled with dirt (crushed ginger biscuit in this case, the flavour marries with the carrot nicely) too cute!

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The Roman cobbled road has already been excavated and the site shows potential having also already found a gold coin that is carefully placed in the find tray.

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The rest, waiting to be found, peeking out slightly, soon to be restored to their former glory.

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Preparation and organisation are important qualities in any budding archaeologist so I made sure he would be prepared!

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Details, Details, Details.

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The vision realised.

When E emailed me to say her dad loved the cake and that he was like a little boy digging out his artefacts I had a huge smile on my face, this was exactly the picture I had in my head of how I hoped he would respond to the cake, you can never tell what kind of reaction you will get, I worried it might be to frivolous for him, but you know, we all have that inner child no matter how old we are and this cake for a time was his playground!

The Secret Garden Cake!

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I loved the movie The Secret Garden as a child, I haven’t read the book, but I am now about to order it! I always wished that I could have been apart of that magical world. The scary but intriguing sprawling mansion and those beautiful grounds, finding that ornate key, following the cute little robin and delving into the untouched walled garden. Oh to be a child again…..

So when Emily asked me to make her a cake for her husband Ben whose a landscape gardener, well now, what a wonderful way for me to revert to my childhood reveries of cobbled pathways leading to enchanted nooks and ponds with lily pads and perhaps a few fairies!

Ben spends his days creating beautiful havens for others to while away their time, but he and Emily haven’t their own little oasis to escape the big city. How perfect to be able to build a miniature realm for them merging all the things he loves!

Yoko Ono – their cat, who Emily enthusiastically mentioned wiggles her bottom! Football, particularly Arsenal, being a DJ and also the people who would be gifting him this creation.

So here we go again, not with the ordinary, but with the magical, the fantastical, the extraordinary world of edible art!

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I wanted to place the names Dad, Rosie and Will as though they had roamed the place themselves and etched them in the wood and stone.

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I really wanted to keep the essence of this cake quite pure and true to the movie so chose an ambiguous reference to football, the stepping-stones in hexagons and pentagons!

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I wanted to keep the realism of the world so the only way for me to create the tree and ivy bush was to cut the leaves out individually!

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Yoko Ono and her wiggly bottom!

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Painting the fondant brings life to the pieces I make, this is my canvas so the layers of light and shade need to be purposefully thought out.

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I could just imagine Ben pushing Emily on the swing he made for them right after they carved a message of love into their tree!

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Every detail is a moment that could have existed, perhaps somebody labored over a fire, painstakingly forging the iron work to create beautifully unique handles and hinges for the wooden gate leading to this hidden world!

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once everything is completed there is but one thing left to do…..

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I wonder where this quaint little pathway leads at the bottom of the garden.

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Yoko Ono took pride of place on the swing with her Arsenal coloured collar!

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Two fish in the pond, one each for Mr and Mrs Pike!

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Music notes gently swaying in the breeze, for Ben’s love of being a DJ.

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Oh and here is one last extra treat, a time-lapse of me building the delicate garden, filmed by the talented guys at New Road Collective, hope you enjoy!

http://vimeo.com/91638340

The Lucie in Wunderland Cake!

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I always love making cakes for people, I bake a lot of cakes, but when someone wants something a bit special that’s when the fun begins (Well some stressful moments as well)!  An ambiguous list of Lucie’s likes given to me by her friend Tanya was the beginning of this creation.

Funny German words, netball, writing lists, wine, the place where her sisters live – Oz and the nickname dog. OK, so this had me worrying just a little. How do I make this work without throwing a netball, bottle of wine and some lists onto a cake? You somehow (Talks with Tanya, having a peek on pintrest, working with the knowledge you only have a few days to do this!) stumble onto the idea of creating a Tim Burton/Wizard of Oz/Alice in Wonderland bespoke world for Lucie.

As for the cake itself, I was told she likes chocolate (Really, why wouldn’t you!) but she also likes something a bit lighter in flavour and with the feel of this cake I thought that I would make her my zesty crumbly lemon drizzle cake with spicy fresh ginger buttercream.

I could just picture them all having fun and laughing together whilst Tanya takes Lucie on a little voyage around Wunderland!

And so it begins…………

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Painting the fondant pieces for me gives them a dream like quality and depth that reminds me of watching Alice in Wonderland as a child. I think detail is everything, even the smallest detail on the simplest cake can change the whole feel.

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Yes this spider does stand by himself! He didn’t quite make it on this cake though, 8 inch’s is not a lot of room. I may have been slightly over zealous!

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The best bit…….Cake iced, set made, time to put this delirious world together!

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When I’m placing the pieces I always just work by eye, I know where I want things to go from my drawings but when it comes to actually working on the cake you really do need to go with the flow!

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The final piece……

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This was originally going to be green, I thought lush and forestry with a feel of Australia, but as my highly intelligent partner so rightfully pointed out I was thinking of New Zealand! Now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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I had such a blast making The Lucie In Wuderland universe and when I brought the cake to Tanya her face said it all. I have a feeling Lucie felt just a little extra special that birthday!

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