Every year I make two New Year’s resolutions: one that is more humanitarian (one year I resolved to be more considerate of pedestrians while driving) and one that is completely frivolous and self-absorbed (always wear matching pajamas). This year, I’m adding some professional design goals. Some of them are newer goals; others have been on my list forever, but I figured if I write down them I’ll be more likely to realize them. I’ll be checking them off my list (hopefully) throughout the year, and will keep you posted about the status of each. Here are my 2013 design goals.
1. White-on-white cake. Nothing is more classic than a white-on-white wedding cake, yet for me it’s a real challenge. As much as I try to restrain myself, virtually every cake I make seems to have a pop of color. I have been designing cakes for over 15 years, and of the hundreds of cakes I’ve made, the two white cakes below are literally the only white-on-white cakes I’ve ever done. (For some reason, I find winter-themed cakes a little easier to execute in white.) So, my first goal for 2013 will be to create a cake, all white with no other colors, that is not winter-themed and is just splendid.
2. Show my girly side. A designer friend of mine once called one of my designs “masculine”. I was horrified. Yes, the cake featured bold geometrics in blues and greens, but masculine? I had never thought of my cakes as gender-specific, and definitely not masculine, but when I thought about it, they weren’t particularly feminine either, and not at all girly. I do appreciate girly things, but for some reason my cakes rarely reflect that side. This year, I want to lean towards more feminine, girly designs.
3. Use a lighter touch. I really like cakes that look airy and light, but I always find my cakes are heavy handed. This year, I plan to work with colors, designs, and materials that give my cakes a sense of weightlessness.
4. Use my lace molds. I purchased these fabulous jewelry findings at Jo-Ann Fabrics forever ago and used my food-grade silicone to create fondant molds from them. They’re pretty fabulous–lacy and girly (just perfect for Design Goal #2)–and I’ve been meaning to get around to creating a cake with them. This year, I’m gonna do it.
5. Sugar dahlia. The one below, to be precise: It’s the cafe au lait dahlia, and it’s my absolute favorite. I’ve been playing with dahlias for a while now, and am ready to perfect my design. This is the year.
6. And while we’re at it, the Juliet Rose. I’ve seen several pretty good Juliet roses made of sugar, but never a great one. In 2013, I will make one. Part of the challenge is finding a good one to use as a model. The other part is finding the time to do it. With kids, a growing business, and a beat-up old house we’re restoring, time is my biggest challenge and really comes at a premium. Luckily my family is really supportive. The Juliet rose, with it’s multiple components, will take several attempts and lots of time to figure out, but I’ll do it.
7. Further explore what interests me as an artist. I’m an artist, but I’m also a business person, and I have to admit I sometimes feel pressured to create designs that are consistent with current trends, rather than the ones that interest me. I would love to find the time to do both the crowd-pleasers and the me-pleasers (there goes that time issue again). I’m hoping I’ll have the opportunity to do some editorial work this year in which the design is left completely up to me.
Have a fabulous 2013.