I’ve been in Sydney for a week to be part of the Australian Cake Decorating Network Luna Park art gallery project at the Cake, Bake & Sweets show. Being a home-based cake business owner, it is often refreshing to be meeting faces of other decorators who are interstate and pursuing their passion from their home kitchens. Getting to know people through Facebook and forums feels like pen pals – you know who they are, you see profile photos of them, but it’s not the actual human connection that we sometimes forget or do not get to establish in this day and age. These decorators whom I’ve come to know and love as dear friends or “cake family” inject life into what I love doing, and that makes me want to strive for better cake designs. Last year, the Cake, Bake & Sweets show was the highlight of my trip to Sydney. It was the first time a show of such magnitude was held in Australia, and I was excited to be a part of it. This year, I was fortunate enough to visit Faye Cahill’s cake studio in Marrickville. In case you’re wondering who’s Faye Cahill, Faye is one of the top cake decorators in Sydney, who produces the most exquisite wedding cakes that are not only the envy her brides, but many other budding decorators like myself from all around the world. Her work have appeared in wedding magazines, and her craft has such warmth and a distinct style, you could tell if it is a Faye Cahill cake.
On the long awaited day (and the last day of my trip in Sydney), I was having the jitters as I hopped on the bus that will take me to Faye’s studio. As I made my way down Addison Rd, I was nervous as I stepped into the studio to catch a glimpse of what it is like to be in the Faye Cahill Cake Design studio. What was two short years of ogling and seeing Faye’s studio in photos on Facebook and Mr Google became surreal – I was finally standing in Faye Cahill’s cake studio.
I felt very welcomed at the studio as I got acquainted with Faye’s team that produces the amazing cakes – Maree, Michelle, and Rebecca. There was so much to take in that I don’t think it’s ever enough – Maree making sugar flowers, Michelle mixing colours to paint on flower petals, Rebecca working at the computer (how I’d love to have someone do all my admin work!), and Faye adding the lace embellishments on to a cake. You could not help yourself but embrace the positive energy of being in a studio setting as opposed to working from home. Alone. It was a refreshing experience watching how everyone works together in a studio making cakes, when it is usually me, myself and I doing everything that they’re doing. I watched Faye as she explains to me how a lace pattern on the bride’s dress ends up being a sketch onto tracing paper. She carefully maps out where the lace pattern will go on the cake, and what she does next is simply amazing – watching how she cuts pieces of fondant which mimics design motifs from a lace with an embossed lace pattern, making beaded designs out of moulds, and lastly the part which I love watching, is getting the colours just right as she mixes copper with gold to achieve the perfect colour on the cake. Faye had me colour some filler flowers for the cake which I couldn’t be more obliged to do, and again watched her work her magic with achieving the right colour for her filler flowers. Casual conversations were thrown in here and there, and it made my time at the studio very light and enjoyable.
Just as my visit was reaching an end, Faye had visitors, and not just any visitors. Sharon Wee, Miso from Miso Bakes, Margie Carter and Weennee Tan who from Sugar popped by before I left.
Am I starstruck yet?
One should feel starstruck, but you are subconsciously reminded that they are regular people who do regular things, you know, like hanging out with the incredible Faye Cahill. 🙂
I left Faye’s studio in a hurry to the airport to board my plane back to Melbourne. Thank you Faye and co for letting me have a sneak peek into their daily activities. It was a short visit, but really, it lasted a lifetime and it could have gone forever. It has got me thinking of the possibilities of a studio of my own in the future, and this has planted a seed in my head. Faye’s hospitality has truly touched me, and I can’t wait to get back there to hopefully create something truly amazing! 🙂