“The biggest challenge is the transformation of a creation from a mere idea to a complete structure”
One would imagine how artistic a baker could be. For those who think that baking has nothing much to do with creativity and is all about mixing the right ingredients in the right proportion, Anna Austin’s cakes exhibit unparalleled results of pushing one’s creative boundary. Her cakes not only taste good but also look extravagantly real. Creativity has been her forte and the driving force to make life size cakes that leave you speechless.
Sharing her thoughts on what persuaded her to start Cake Canvas – happiness in a box, she says, “My journey through the cake world began a long time ago. We used to bake simple cakes at home when we were kids, and this continued even after my marriage. The need for fancy cakes arose when I started hosting birthday parties for my kids. As a creative person, I wanted to do this in a signature style. Meanwhile, I chanced on a basic fondant decoration course during that period and with this newly acquired knowledge I tried my hand on fancy cakes for my kids. My friends also approached me to bake cakes for their kids’ birthdays,” Anna adds that it was her friends who forced her to take up cake designing at a professional level. “More than anything, it is the instant feedback which lures me time and again into this field, she adds saying that Cake Canvas was born out of her deep passion towards art and fantastic cakes. “As our boxes offer something much more than a cake for the occasion; these are edible sculpted art, each designed with its own theme”, opines Anna.
Explaining her journey so far and the experiences and lessons that she has received, Anna says, “Every artist needs to find the one outlet which helps them channelise their creative energy. I would tell my younger self that you should look inside your basket of talent, rummage around and choose the technique that suits you the best. Find what you like doing the best and try and develop and come out with some innovations. There is a fine line between a classy design and a badly executed one.” She adds that one of the biggest lessons that she has learnt is that cake designing is a field that comes with multiple uncertainties. “The biggest challenge is the transformation of a creation from a mere idea to a complete structure. Each cake design is a fresh challenge to be tackled head on. The most recent edible art piece was a hanging chandelier cake which was about 6 feet tall. As it was to be suspended it could only be assembled at the venue. It put me at a disadvantage of gauging the number of flowers needed for seamless final finish. We had to be thus prepared with a larger number of sugar flowers and this was a great challenge considering the short time available in terms of the numbers of days to work on them. We had to work into long hours at night to complete such a massive scale. Transporting them was also a herculean task,” she says. When asked about her future plans, Anna concludes by saying that Learning never stops and that from her first cake to the latest one, she has learned something new in terms of techniques to ease the workload.