Almost five years ago, a client commissioned us for her thirtieth birthday cake. I remember googling images of record players to create a cake to fit the theme of her party. Apart from requesting a record player and preferably incorporating some pink, blue and purple, like the majority of our clients, this client left the design completely to us (and to google of course). It's such a wonderful feeling to be entrusted with the design and it's sooooooooo much fun to have free rein in the creativity.
Turn the clock forward five years later and I find myself googling images again for a turntable. This time however, this new client was much more prescriptive in her husband's fortieth birthday cake. She had seen photos of the record player cake we'd made five years ago, however as her husband "Fermo" owns Joey Smalls, a bar in Brunswick, and as such, works with turntables all day, this client has requested that the cake to be similar to the one he uses (Technics SL-1210 M5G Turntable). I'm usually the one with a pen and paper sketching out designs, but I received a few image files from the client. For the first time ever, these image files included one of her own sketches! Let's just say that I was more than a little bit excited!!!
The client was afraid that she was being too pushy, but NO, I loved it. It wasn't til then that she totally reminded me, so much of... ME!! Back when I commissioned a cake company to make my wedding cake toppers (before I started making cakes myself), I gave the designer four A4 pages of notes and photos of my husband's suit, my dress, the veil, right down to the details of the beading on the train of my dress. I was so scared that the cake designer would think I was totally nutters (she probably did), but she LOVED it too. She squealed with excitement and asked if she could keep a copy to show her colleagues and future clients. I now understand exactly how she must have felt, as I felt the same way when I saw this client's sketch.
I love detail, I have a high attention to detail and those who know me know that I spend another 80% of my time on the final 20% of the work. Sadly though, not everyone appreciates the detail and so quite often my detail is unnoticed. With this client however, I am certain she will see and appreciate the detail I've put into her husband's cake. And this is what excites me.
Although I still love the simplicity of our original record player cake, I'm so proud to say that I think our techniques have evolved and refined over the years. Just as I still love the cows I did on the Shinkansen cake all those years ago, I can confidently say that our sugar sculpting skills have also improved in the cows on the recent Domo-Kun cake. And again, I totally loved our original digger cake, but the digger cake we made earlier this year was again an improvement on that.
Quite often when we come across a ridiculously amazing cake that someone else has made, we feel an overwhelming sense of admiration. In fact, it might even be an overwhelming sense of overwhelm-ness?! At those times, I hope that I can remind myself that we're slowly evolving too, and hopefully we'll keep improving and refining our own skills and techniques.
And for some further nostalgia since we're on the topic of evolution.. here is a photo of our very first cake...
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Happy 40th Birthday Fermo, we are so happy that you loved your cake!! For those of you interested in experiencing some of the music from a real Technics turntable, check out http://www.joeysmalls.com.au/ in Brusnwick. They are serving up Huxtaburger from Thursdays to Sundays!