As an alternative to the traditional tower mounting of a three tier cake, cake maker Tracey Key (Totally Caked by Tracey) suggested three individual cake stands for each tier to be displayed side by side.
The result is this set of three stands made from tree sections and solid Oak. The tops are slices of tree trunk which are supported by Oak segmented columns mounted on Oak sectioned bases. The tops, columns and bases are bolted together and are interchangeable to allow customisation for brides and grooms in the future.
In addition to the recessed Wedding Vows carved into each base, a further base insert was made from Oak and Mahogany to allow one stand to be used without the wedding related lettering. This additional base can be used alone or between the central column and large base to cover the lettering and give extra depth to the base.
When not used as a base to the cake stand, the Oak and Mahogany section can take a mirrored disc with Tracey’s name which in turn sits on a business card holder for Wedding fairs.
In addition to the traditional wedding cake the mirror cake stand was made for, the happy couple also decided to have a wedding ‘cheese cake’. Not an actual cheesecake but a three tier cake of ‘cheese’. As a nod to the groom’s home county of Lancashire, the cheese was purchased from the Dewlay cheese producers based in Garstang, Lancashire.
The tiers consisted of a large wheel of Creamy Lancashire cheese for the base which in turn supported a round of Garstang blue cheese with a smooth, Brie – like Garstang White sitting on top.
To elevate the cheese so as not to look too insignificant beside the wedding cake, I though a fourth wooden tier of ‘cheese’ would be quite effective. This base tier was once again formed from solid oak pieces to match the wood of the wedding cake stand. 32 individual oak segments were assembled to form the circular cheese sides in a similar way to the sides of the SS Pegu Guitar.
The top of the cheese was also made from solid Oak with the inscription carved around the central, sunken, happy couple’s initials which were made from a dark Walnut. A square base board was made with the names of the different cheeses carved into three of the corners, leaving the fourth corner free for later. The round cheese wall was then mounted on the square base before resting the Oak top in place to form the cheese.
Finally, the small pine, leather – eared mouse was set just outside his mouse hole in the fourth corner with a couple of Oak cheese wedges to keep him from starving.
A false top was made to be used when the cheese was sat in place so the carved Oak top would not be obscured or damaged during the wedding display.
As with the wedding cake stand, the cheese stand was made to be used long after the cheese cake had been enjoyed. The removable top enabled the stand to be used as a wedding keepsake box to preserve the happy couple’s memories well into their old age.
To top the cheese off, a small column of Oak was made with ‘Garstang’ and ‘Lancaster’ carved into the front and back to complete the ‘nod’ to the Groom’s home county. This was finished off with an additional Oak cheese wedge and a small mouse carved from the block of Walnut used for the couple’s initials in the lid
A further Oak mouse with pine belly was made to sit on the middle, Garstang Blue tier.
A very special wedding called for a very special wedding cake stand. A wedding cake provides a splendid focal point to help make that special day pass with a little class and elegance. To enhance the stature of the cake, it is usually mounted on a grand and elaborate stand provided by the venue.
However, whilst the stand might be grand it does not necessarily convey that personal sentiment, as it may have previously been used for several wedding parties.
With this in mind, I thought a personalised cake stand that could be retained and used by the happy couple for years to come might make the event that little bit more special.
Owls have a very strong and emotional tie to this particular couple and the invitations went out with their own two ‘owl’ thumb prints sat on a branch. The ‘owl’ theme followed through the whole wedding and it only seemed fitting to reflect this in the cake stand.
I thought, therefore, that the best way to reflect the theme was to make the stand a mirror that could be wall mounted afterwards and used for years to come. (The bonus being a constant reminder of the date, so the groom should never forget the anniversary).
Having sandblasted the thumb print design on the back of the mirror, to remove the reflective coating, I painted the appropriate colours before setting the mirror in the frame. The frame is formed from solid Oak and sloped backwards to give the cake a lift whilst used as a stand.
The cake continued the ‘Owl’ theme with two iced owls sat on top and a stream of pine cones down the corner. The pine cones had become an addition to the theme as the planning unfolded and the cake captured this perfectly.
Well done to Lincolnshire based Tracey for the beautiful cake that not only looked stunning, but tasted divine with its’ four individually flavoured tiers that were baked to perfection.
In the dark old days when cameras had to be loaded with strange canisters filled with long rolls of chemically coated plastic, I dabbled in developing and printing photographs.
Those were the days when photography had an uneasy air of uncertainty when you never knew if the photograph was going to be any good until days after the event when the moment had gone and could never be recaptured.
Those were the days when something like wedding photography was an art that would easily turn the photographer into a quivering wreck. Of course, no-one could stop them taking as many pictures as they wanted back then but each click of the shutter came at a cost. The film wasn’t cheap and neither was the processing compared to today – and there was no Photoshop to fall back on.
Skip forward to the onslaught of the digital world and the wedding photographer now has the freedom to take thousands of photos with instant confirmation to set their mind at ease.
However, the advance in technology has now made photography a new form of art and the modern wedding albums capture that special day in a way never dreamed of in days gone by.
So, a few years ago, when a friend asked, “Will you take the photographs for our special day.”
I said, with ease, “I will.”
The day went off without a hitch (apart from the one that joined the Bride and Groom together) and actually turned out to be one of those extra special celebrations everyone loves to be part of.
The photograph tally stretched into 4 figures so there was no problem finding enough to fill the album. The trouble was there were too many shortlisted so a bit of creative filtering was needed.
To make the occasion a little more unique I decided to make the wedding album myself. This way we were not limited to the number of photographs or to any specific size.
The album cover was made of glass and aluminium. The glass started life as a 12 inch square mirror tile. I covered the back of the mirror with sticky plastic backing before cutting a design based on the happy couple’s initials and peeling the remainder away. I then sandblasted the exposed mirror coating to leave the letters ‘A&B’ as the only reflective surface and to give the desired, unique finish.
The edge of the cover was made from a strip of aluminium with the married name and date cut into it. Each page was made from three layers of textured white card with a heart design cut into the edge to frame the photograph. Each page was separated by a film of tissue paper embossed with the married name.
A total of 40 pictures were included in the album with a few collages of more informal shots added towards the end of the album.
In the photographs of the album I have removed the full name and date from the album for privacy. (Photoshop is a wonderful thing).
In early 2016 the postman delivered a wonderful surprise in the form of a wedding invitation for two of our very close friends. Being fans of art deco – in particular the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh – the wedding was to take place at the House for an Art Lover in Glasgow which was designed by Mackintosh himself.
I thought such a wonderful location for the long awaited wedding should be accompanied by a personalised gift created in the Charles Rennie Mackintosh style. The result was this oak framed mirror.
The mirror itself was a plain, off the shelf mirror with an inset bevelled margin along each side. I sandblasted the mirror backing off to leave the shape of the lettering and roses which were then painted to give the solid glass finish of the text and roses.
When glass is sandblasted it leaves a frosted surface which provides an excellent base for painting but unfortunately removes all transparency from the glass. To combat this on the rectangular area containing the picture I coated the newly frosted surface with a thin layer of clear resin to ‘fill’ the frost and polished it flat to return the glass to a transparent state.
I then arranged for the closest circle of friends to sign a personal message on a clear acetate sheet and set this into a block of clear resin to give depth to the ‘window’ and make it appear the messages are floating between the front and rear of the frame. The interchangeable image at the rear is an outline of the wonderful piano from the music room of the wedding venue.
The frame is of polished oak with the carved lettering of the poem filled in black to make it stand out. All text on the mirror and frame is produced in the Hill House font which too was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The wedding provided a memorable few days in September which was enhanced by the service, staff and the wonderful food provided by the venue.
At the end of the evening, all guests were presented with this print of the music room as a memento of the day.