A cake design can be worked up from a fragment of material or lace, the flowers of a bouquet or even an architectural feature of a venue. The bride who rather shyly presented me with this fabulous sketch wanted me to interpret the lace pattern of her wedding dress bodice in piped buttercream but knew that this level of throughout the three tiers would take the cake over her budget. I can't take any credit for her idea of covering the bottom tier in a simple rose swirl: a quick finish that combines a romantic shape with a contemporary rhythm, but I was thrilled with the coherence of the result. It demonstrates how the spirit of a design can be captured without duplicating it in full.
This cake was made for a textile designer who has won several awards for creating a fabric design that is used for upholstery on yachts. The sketch is her initial draft of the design. I copied and piped the buttercream in a stitch pattern to give it an embroidered look.
It's hugely helpful to start the design process with a fragment of fabric or a sketch. I've even worked up a wedding cake from a pillowcase design!