There are plenty of mundane designs for wedding and party cakes, but Leigh Grode and Joan Spitler combined their talents to make creations that are much more extravagant for their company, Cake Divas.
They started out making wedding cakes, and chose to locate in Los Angeles to supply movie and television productions, and now provide items for a wide range of celebrities and events.
Their elaborate cake designs can take up to three days to prepare, may cost up to $1,800, and are usually too delicate to be shipped out of state.
Grode notes they build a lot of diorama styled cakes. “One of our specialties is our individual motif cakes where we sit down with a loved one and they tell us all these intimate (but appropriate) details about the individual, and we make art out of the subjects,” she explains.
“It’s art. We are artists and we bring all of us to our work. As a film maker I know how to frame an image, and I do the same with cake. The same interests and experiences continue to motivate all my creative endeavors.”
Spitler feels her art school training is valuable. “Painting and sculpture help me in terms of the aesthetics, and the practical means of making cakes that are structurally sound and beautiful,” she says.
“I get a lot of my inspiration from the visual arts, and the art training that I had helps me to think creatively and look at things from different perspectives.”
She also thinks that art is not learned: “We are all born with the ability to create. Sometimes schools and classes can be a forum and environment to nurture what already is inside of us.”
Promoting themselves as artist designers who “have an attitude with cake” required making a lot of “cold calls” to caterers and food stylists.
The partners feel there are several aspects that make their business creatively satisfying: “Understanding that cake is about celebration and joy. And making someone’s cake dreams come true: many people don’t think they have cake dreams, but they do and our job is to bring it out of them.
“And wedding cake is very sacred; it is about two souls standing before God, family and friends, and committing to move forward in life together. And the cake symbolizes the sweetness and unique beauty of these two individuals in making their vows to one another. It is truly an honor to be part of this amazing process.”
In terms of suggestions to a woman who has some flair for culinary decoration, and wondering how much market there may be for these creative talents, the partners note, “It takes practical training and experience to become a professional cake decorator.
“But there is always room in the market for talented people. We do encourage those who are truly dedicated to pursue a career in this genre. If you simply like to create beautiful food for your own personal parties, we would suggest getting a cake decorating kit and experimenting with your own personal style.”
The photo is from their site cakedivas.com
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Last reviewed: 9 Feb 2011