Curiosity about a cake, that resembles a raw turkey about to go into the oven, whetted the appetite of the media. Checking out Sarah Hardy Cakes online left me curious for more information.
As I researched the raw turkey cake I checked out Sarah Hardy Cakes on Facebook. It was a difficult day for Sarah and I to meet up virtually, due to time constraints. In the end we fixed up a Facebook meeting for January 4 at 7.30pm, GMT.
With my curiosity about Sarah Hardy Cakes, Miss Cakehead and the Eat Your Heart Out edible cake art movement whetted, there were many questions I wanted to ask Sarah.
Digital Journalist Eileen Kersey welcomes Sarah Hardy and initially is curious as to who Sarah is and how her cake making business began.
Eileen - Good evening Sarah, could you tell me a little about yourself?
I'm untrained, but my background is as an artist and sculptor. I have worked on exhibitions, wax work figures for museums, props for theatre and more. I started making cakes when I had children as you can't keep running off to work when you've decided to stay at home and be mum. So here I am !
Eileen - Are you passionate about cake making, and if so where did that come from, your art?
Who doesn't love cake?! My mum didn't teach me to bake it but she taught me how to take pleasure from it, how to enjoy a celebration through food. My cakes are all about celebrations and special occasions. This I am very passionate about. I've always had a real thing about detail and getting things right, whatever art form I'm working in - this goes for the taste and the look of the cakes too. I can actually be a bit of a pain sometimes about detail, things no one else would notice.
Eileen - What made you decide to create weird and wonderful cakes?
That comes from my background as an artist I suppose. I studied sculpture, and then at Goldsmiths too. I just always end up doing things in a slightly grotesquely comic way. I have made lots of weird sculptures and cakes - they have got seen by the public since I met Miss Cakehead of EYHO. She gets you the clients and the gigs where people will see your work.
Eileen - Is the cake making business bucking the trend of economic gloom in the UK?
I imagine lots of people are running businesses that don't make money. Let's face it, if your work doesn't cover the cost of child care then you will stay at home and be happy with the odd few "quid" here and there. Low prices in supermarkets make it harder to make money out of cake making. Small businesses have to charge at the "real" rate. I make a living but it is not easy.
I think cake making is a growing business though. I get people asking me to teach them how, because they want to start their own business. Sadly a lot of businesses work for two years before they realise they are not making money. My business is growing, and that is partly because I have business skills, as well as cake ones.
Eileen - Are your cakes available to purchase outside of the UK, for example by post?
I post my biscuits, and some cakes too, but on the whole fresh cake is best delivered by hand.
Eileen - What is the Eat Your Heart Out edible cake art movement, who is Miss Cakehead and how did you get involved?
Miss Cakehead is a PR person, she curates cake events in the same way one might curate exhibitions. She was a judge on the panel at The Cake & Bake Show in September, where I won the professional competition. The Cake & Bake show was held at Earls Court, London, in 2012, which was its first year, but it was a massive success and they are definitely going to hold it again. It is associated with the Great British Bake Off, popular on UK TV last autumn.
After my success Miss Cakehead contacted me to see if I would like to do 'Eat Your Heart Out' 2012. EYHO '12 was a pop up cake shop in St Barts hospital's Pathology museum, which by the way is an amazing place. It featured anatomically correct cakes that dealt with topics of disease and it was timed to coincide with Halloween. I made maggot therapy cupcakes, lung disease cakes and white chocolate vertebrae with arthritis, amongst other things.
Eileen - What are your hopes and plans for Sarah Hardy Cakes EYHO in the future?
Well EYHO is a collective but the drive behind that is Miss Cakehead. Personally I am looking forward to starting teaching classes this year and I have some lovely wedding cakes coming up too. My classes will be held here in my own kitchen, in E17 London, and I will be offering classes in people's own homes too. The latter would be good for a group friends who want to learn the art of cake making.
The classes and the cake making should offer me a good balance of the grotesque sculptural work and the very beautiful wedding work.
I'd like to do a book......
Sarah Hardy Cakes
Understandably Sarah is sometimes referred to as cake maker Sarah Hardy but it should be Sarah Hardy Cakes. She is one busy lady.
Sarah Hardy Cakes can be found at 27 Thorpe Crescent, London, England.