Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Setting a Scene...

I come from a long line of very crafty women. From the moment I could make a fist, someone was putting a pompom in it. I was never fortunate enough to have met my maternal grandmother, but I hear tales of her ability to recreate a dress after simply seeing it in a store.
There were pot holders weaved from nylon bands, that no sane person should ever try to lift a heavy, hot pot with, unless they want to fuse the nylon to their hands. Hook rugs, needle point, beads, and sewing in the early years. Lots of pipe cleaners, but for the life of me can't remember a single use for them.

When I moved to New York, I was sure that my city lifestyle (and SUPER small apartment) was no place for craftiness. Thought it was uncool. But always the creative type, I headed to film school. I thought I would make films. I did make films, but while I was, I was also dabbling in photography, furniture building, mosaics, candles, late night baking, pretty much anything creative I could think of. There was a need to MAKE something, no matter what it was. My husband Jay defines the periods by how they affected him... glass in his feet in the mosaic days, gaining 10 pounds when I started making pies. (ok not really, he never gains weight ever, no matter how much sugar and left over cake I feed him. Hate him.)

I had no idea at the time that I was in training... turns out that all of those skills have at some point been useful in my cake journey. I know how to build things, create things, Make things. (thanks Mom) But what I think sometimes makes my work different from the other brilliant, talented cake people, is that I see things in scenes. And another perk of this choice of career is that I get to photograph my creations. No doubt my skills have grown since that very first creation, both in cake and in photography, but I still look forward to that moment after the cake is done when I get to set the background and the lights and capture the moment. My goal is not just to make a cool cake, but to set a scene and to convey a feeling in it, just like a shot in a film should, to tell their story in images. And just like people, some cakes photograph wonderfully, look gorgeous, and others... well, lets just say they have a great personality.

In cake, and photography, its all in the details... And as in film, rather than tell you my interpretation, I'd rather hear yours.

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Anonymous Natasha said...

Many thanks to Penny for the fabulous cake at my parents surprise retirement party. They were truly surprised, especially with the look, and more importantly, the great taste of the cake; and that's no easy Molto Bene, Grazie Penny!

August 30, 2010 at 2:42 PM  

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