How to cake it

February 11, 2020

My little girl asked me the other day why I no longer make cakes. I explained that when she and her siblings were very small, before I discovered clay, cakes offered an opportunity to be creative. The cakes were a gesture of love, in the form of double decker vanilla sponge and sickly sweet icing, but they were just as much for me as they were for them. They were a chance to unleash my inner artist. I spent hours and hours on those cakes. And even though they tasted pretty crap, (to a discerning adult) they were a delight to look at. Gold flakes, multi-hued sprinkles, heaps of flowers –– my cakes were pure whimsy. I needed those cakes. I needed the creative challenge they provided. These days, I’m satisfied (as are my kids) with a supermarket cake. Working with clay is not so dissimilar to working with pastry and fondant, and painting a vessel is like icing a cake. Pottery offers all the creative challenge I need. But next time the little girl asks for a homemade cake, I’ll make her one. And that cake, will be entirely for her.

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