By: Rhonda Wessel
A recent article in the Sherwin-Williams magazine Stir titled “Prima Patissiere” about Maggie Austin, a former ballet dancer and now a baker/cake decorator specializing in wedding cakes for customers all over the world for royalty and Hollywood stars, using color and light to make her cakes stand out. This article was right up my alley since I have a passion for baking and cake decorating. Color and lighting have always been two of my favorite topics when it comes to interior design and to read this article on how Maggie Austin and her sister, use color and light in their creations appealed to my creativity.
Taking her color inspiration from clients, event planners and/or editors and culture, her cakes are literally a piece of art. Using the cake itself as her canvas she creates these beautiful pieces using fondant and sugar gum paste to create the different elements in her cake designs. Coloring or painting them with FDA-approved food gels or powders, including metallic and glitter. There is no limit to the spectrum or saturation of colors. Also, taking into consideration lighting for each event Maggie and her sister Jessica Raiper, who has an MFA in theater lighting design, take into consideration the lighting for each event. Taking care that each cake is positioned carefully and position just so that the lighting makes them seem to float.
After reading this article I got to thinking about how much we actually work with color and lighting in our projects. We use color in selecting finishes for spaces we are creating. From selecting paint colors for the walls to picking the color of fabrics on the chairs. For those of us that work on-site for our clients, we don’t always get the chance to choose the lighting selections. The lighting design is usually left up to the outside architect and design firms. Color and lighting is important in any space and something to pay attention to on future projects. It definitely affects the mood of the space and how it is used.