Masthead header

inside the designer’s sketchbook, part 1: the 2012 collection

Hello everyone! Two weeks ago, I officially launched my 2012 Collection, which was such an exciting day for me! The Collection features six wedding cake designs and coordinating “accessories”, all presented as a fashion-style Look Book. Kelly from Boho Weddings wrote a fantastic blog post about it all, which you can read all about here:

I knew I wanted to blog about the new cake designs but I thought I would do something a little different, so have decided to give you a bit of an insight into how the cakes went from sketches and ideas in my head, to the finished articles. This is the first post in a little mini series as I also want to share some behind the scenes details of some of the real wedding cakes I have created for lovely couples I have worked with.

The Gothic Birdcage started out as an ivory, black and gold cake as I wanted it to be dark, rich and opulent. I love monochromatic cakes but I thought that a soft ivory base would really warm the design up. When working on cakes, especially when there is no strict colour scheme to stick to, you can find that there are tweaks you can make to really add an extra wow factor to the design. IN this case, I decided that copper lustre would make the design look even more sultry. I also tweaked the style of the trim, continuing the birdcage style edging over the whole cake, and added little fleur-de-lis lace details.

I don’t often design very feminine cakes but for the collection, I wanted a soft, frothy look that was a new take on one of my most popular designs, the Tumbling Blossoms.I love the way that an ivory base really makes white details “pop” so I created a cascade of different blossoms on an ivory background with broderie anglais lace and edged with a fine ribbon trim. I added some subtle rose leaf and blush pink rose calyx details and balanced all of this fluffiness with some more structural hearts. I didn’t want the hearts to be too PINK so I added texture and a soft shimmer to really tone them down.

I love nautical themes and cool ocean colours and so I took this opportunity to create a Nautical Love cake. I had ordered some napkin ties from Out Of Love a while back (for a completely different purpose and theme) and was so inspired by them. They really helped with the details on this cake. I wanted the stripes to be soft rather than harsh and uniform, and I wanted the rope detail to look frayed and knotted. From the sketch to the actual cake, I reduced the number of details as I thought they looked too twee, and I softened the top edges of each tier so that it didn’t look too harsh, plus I reduced the amount of blue slightly so that the base was still prominently white and wedding-y. I also placed the “Love” on the top tier as this really lifted the design and made the cake look taller and more elegant. I absolutely love using double height tiers, especially when mixed with normal height ones, and here it really helped to show off the stripes and the rope details.

The Woodland Romance cake had quite a few different iterations until I found exactly the look I wanted to create. I love roses but for this cake, I wanted to show that you can have flower displays on your cake that don’t include them. The overall brief was a romantic stroll through the English woods, gathering beautiful flowers as you went. I worked with Jan from Rosa and Company for the flowers and she did an amazing job! After sending her a brief description of the “feel” of the cake, she sent me back images of the kinds of flowers she was thinking of. Honestly, each image was better than the previous, and I was ecstatic about the first one!

For the cake, I wanted it to be tall and formal, very long and slender, but not plain. I also didn’t want the cake to detract from the flower displays so it couldn’t be too intricate and fancy. Therefore, I decided to create a pleated cake, softening the look by alternating white and ivory layers. My original idea was to have a cake where each tier was one size, and the tiers were either alternating between pleated and plain, or the pleats were straight. However, I finally decided that the whole cake should be pleated so that neither white nor ivory was a focus of the cake, and that the subtle difference should be that the middle tier has more diagonal pleats than the outer two. It just creates more interest than everything being regimented.

I also couldn’t resist showing you this fantastic outdoor shot that we took. I love how the colours stand out against the distressed wood. It just really sets the scene for a woodland-themed wedding 🙂

Stepping away from real flowers, I wanted to show that you could have roses or any flower on your cake, but it didn’t have to be in the way you expected. I love drawing, in fact, drawing was my first true hobby, so I wanted to incorporate this into a cake design. I decide to take what is essentially a classic cake design but with a huge twist, so I created this 2D cascade of rose silhouettes. Everything is very angular, with a strong band of gros grain ribbon and a black and white colour scheme. My original plan was to use a three tier cake but I decided that this look just wasn’t strong and punchy enough so I used square double height tiers. It’s a really simple design but a very striking one and something completely different. I absolutely love it!

My final cake design was one that I originally just couldn’t decide on. I went through so many different ideas and sketches, and even started to create a cake, but I just wasn’t happy. I wanted to use colour but not too bright, but not pastel pink. I also love metallic details so I had a need to create a cake which included these. I think I actually dreamed about this cake design as one morning, I woke up and just knew what I wanted to create. I think a lot of cake designers will know exactly what I mean here!

Just Peachy is a very glamorous design, not too opulent but with subtle hints of gold against a blush peach background. I added a twist with the hexagonal base tier and emphasized the faces with flower details. I wanted the flowers to be floaty and ruffled and I spiraled them around the cake like a feather boa. I also added little angular folded paper-style details with the flowers for balance. Considering it was a late addition, this cake turned out to be one of my absolute favourites from the collection!

So there we have it, just a little insight into what I was thinking when I designed the cakes for the 2012 Collection, and the six finished designs. The full collection, along with detail shots and the baked “accessories” can be found in the Look Book, which is here:

I thought I would finish this blog post with a couple of images that I love. Firstly, the Gothic Birdcage in candlelight, which I just think looks amazing and really shows the warm copper tones:

And a shot of one of the flower details at the base of the Just Peachy cake. I love how these colours work together and how delicate the flower looks, despite being made out of “metal”:

Thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed looking at my new wedding cake collection!

Beth x

10/02/2012 - 12:26 pm

Danielle Love - Love the ‘Just Peachy’ design, the different shapes work well and colours look amazing. I know what you mean about dreaming of designs, ha. x

Good luck with the collection.

10/02/2012 - 12:38 pm

cakesbybeth - Thanks Danielle! Yes, I’m sure it applies to all designers as well, not just cakes. Our ideas and creations haunt us sometimes! 😉 x

17/02/2012 - 2:01 pm

Wedding Planning or Work? | English Wedding Blog - […] Wed­ding Cake | A Wed­ding Cake Blogand an insight into the wed­ding cake designer’s world: inside the designer’s sketch­book, part 1: the 2012 col­lec­tion | cake blogFood­ista | Stun­ning Wed­ding Dress Cake — yum?Stu­dio Arti­fice Beau­ti­ful Wed­ding […]

06/03/2012 - 9:09 am

Weekly Wedding News 17/02/2012 « The Wedding Community Blog - […] Cakes by Beth shared pictures and explained the inspiration behind their new 2012 cake collection […]