As you know we love to seek out artistic bakes and we seem to be drawn to Australian bakers at the moment. Instagram has some amazing, talented bakers, some underground and some well known.
While doing my daily Instagram bake stalking duties, I came across a fairly underground baker that is definitely one to watch. She goes by the name of The Artful Caker aka Hilary Stone.
The cake that first caught my eye was her pink/ purple & white floral cake. The delicate flowers, colour palette and composition were perfect to make this piece artistic and brilliant. (Photo below)
We wanted to know more about The Artful Caker and the person behind these wonderful bakes, so I caught up with Hilary, the owner to get the inside scoop!
1. Your name ‘The Artful Caker’ is pretty much self explanatory, but where did the name come from? The name The Artful Caker came about by trying to express the artful side of my background and embracing new mediums with cake.
I started doing fine arts when I left school, then many years doing photography, which is still a love of mine.
Through each of these mediums and a passion baking The Artful Caker was born.
I don’t class myself as a baker as I’m self taught and I don’t think of myself as a cake decorator as I do every element of the cake…so I’m a caker ! I did toy with the idea of using my name but The Artful Caker kept on winning the argument.
When did you start baking? Well I could say I started baking when I was a little girl, which is true, I always loved making sweet delights for my family although I never liked to follow recipes, I liked to rework them…and I still do !
I made my own wedding cake because I thought , “How hard could it be ?” I did a pretty good job on it and look back on it now and I knew absolutely nothing about the art, I remember reading a book I bought on the subject and not understanding the terms at all, I was such a beginner. That cake looked pretty good all three tiers of it and all !
I started The Artful Caker about two and a half years ago not long after I did my very first sugar flower class with the amazing Jacqueline Butler from Petalsweet. After that I was hooked!
Then about 6 months later I did another class with the lovely and supercharged talented Maggie Austin. I have been very fortunate to have learnt from some of the best in the business.
I love all aspects of cake design and creating flavour profiles for each cake. I have so many designs whirring about in my head at any given time.
Is baking your full time job? Are you a home business? It is becoming a full time occupation and I do hope to open a studio in the near future. I just can’t decide on if I want it to be more than a cake studio as I would love to have a hybrid of cake design and my love of pastry arts. It could be a super delicious place to be.
When it comes to designing a celebration cake, where do you look first for inspiration? My inspiration comes from everywhere !!! Although mostly fashion, art and design textures. I don’t like to get inspiration from other cakes as I find it can alter the organic nature of the design.
I love doing my own thing and this year I will showcase new designs that are dying to be made. I never have trouble coming up with designs, the only trouble is that I have too many and not enough time to see them all come to fruition.
When I have a brief of the cake in question the process is simple to me as I just let my mind go for it. I rarely design on paper because I find the creative juices slow down. I will only draw elements down on paper when I’m happy with how it looks in my head. My clients have to trust me on a cake that is being designed for them if I haven’t done the design before. I like to give the client a cake that is unique to them from all the information they have given me.
I love Pinterest and I pin mostly couture fashion, flowers and pattern.
You create beautiful realistic sugar flowers for your cake creations, Would you say floral designs were your decorating identity?The art for sugar flowers is such a love of mine. There are so many talented artists doing sugar flowers its incredible. I try and make flowers that are not the same as each other, each flower has to have its own identity. I like them to be fragile in appearance and to have movement. I am being known for my flowers and I have done several tutorials as well as private sugar flowers classes.
I would love to travel abroad teaching what I have learnt in the future. Each on of my flowers take time and a lot of patience to make. Some of the flowers will have well over 50 petals in each flower, I don’t churn them out, which can be a problem in its self. I won’t stop until I’m happy with them.
I do have a flower store I like to pick from and play with to look at arrangements for cake designs. I will always make extra flowers incase of flower fatalities.
We were drawn to a cake of yours that was covered with pink wafer thin petals, topped with purple & white flowers. What inspired that cake? The Pink petal cake was “just” made. The colour came first then the petals were done instead of frills. I love textured petals and thought it would look soft and feminine.
Suggestions of colour was added for interest and i sometimes can’t go past a sneaky little bee here and there. The flower arrangement elevated to have a sculptural feel.
The inspiration was purely organic through just the colour and cutters lying about my work table. My imagination is my favourite tool and resource.
Design comes quite easy to me, and every night I go to bed with some elements and process them whilst I sleep, then in the morning Its there, et voila !
Over the past few months, we have noticed Australia has a large volume of amazing bakeries/patisseries, how do you set yourself apart from the others?Australia has an abundance of bakers, cakes and patisserie makers. I am in awe of so many out there.
When I started out I decided to not do copies of others work, not because I didn’t like them, more because I wanted to forge my own identity. I wanted to do my own thing and i’m happy to do just that.
Maybe having that way of thinking has led me being mentioned by the wonderful Martha Stewart Weddings on the list of “20 Unbelievable bakers that will make your Instagram feed a total feast for the eyes!” I was the only Australian !
I was so overwhelmed by it, and absolutely thrilled by the acknowledgement with so many people in the industry that I hold in such high regard in the business. I am humbled each day that someone will spare the time to make a beautiful comment about my work, it never goes unnoticed.
This year is going to be big as I have so may projects in the works, wonderful collaborations with other creative souls, I adore working with other creative minds, so much talent out there…everywhere! I am also looking forward to my work evolving and working with others in the industry.
I don’t know what this direction will be, I love things just to happen by chance. It’s an exciting journey and who knows where it will lead, I don’t know….and that’s how I like
We’re excited to see more exquisite cake designs from The Artful Caker, so we’ll try and catch up with her later on this year. She’s definitely one to watch and one of our favourite wedding cake designers at the moment.