Craziness and M.C. Escher

4 Jul

When I was a kid I would send hours flipping through books around the house either reading them or recreating the drawings via freehand or tracing. I particularly loved drawing characters from Disney books or Rugrats due to their simplicity. At one point I remember challenging myself by spending a day drawing skeletons from my mum’s nursing books. Then there was my dad’s M.C. Escher book. I spent lots of time looking at the pictures and illusions but I never once tried to recreate one because they were seemingly too complex. I just couldn’t grasp how a person could come up with such intricate designs, and I went back to drawing my cartoons.

At the end of the school year I was provided the opportunity to do an art project for my senior inquiry class in relationship to fractals, chaos theory and entropy. The first thing that came to mind was cookies, and the second was M.C. Escher. I came home an immediately got out that beloved M.C. Escher book and picked my design. I also did some research online, and found some interesting Escher quotes. My favourites:

“I don’t use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.”

“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. I think it’s in my basement… let me go upstairs and check.”

“We adore chaos because we love to produce order.”

Yeah, he was definitely a strange but brilliant man. After some research I decided to make fractal cookies but long story short, it was an epic fail that costed me many hours of painstaking work (I’ll post that disaster later). I then picked a new pattern and a new plan: a fractal cake.  I rolled out a piece of fondant and cut around my pan to get a circle.

Then, I began to trace the design onto parchment paper which took me a few hours.

Once that was done I then laid the paper on top of the fondant and began one of the most difficult cakes I’ve ever attempted. this is where many of you may realize just how much work I put into my cakes, and you may begin to appreciate them that much more. In order to make sure he design was as close to perfect as possible, I took a sewing needle and poked holes through the parchment paper into the fondant along the lines. I then took an edible ink pen and traced the line, and coloured the fish. All. Night. Long.




It was definitely a time-consuming process, but as I kept going it kept getting better…

and better…

Until finally, I had covered the whole piece of fondant!

I remember starting the whole process at 6pm after dinner, and going to bed, at midnight without putting the whole cake together. When I woke up the next morning, two hours before school started, and began to assemble the cake. The first think I noticed was that my fondant was bigger than my cake. So, I had to trim the excess which meant trimming hours of the most painstaking work.

After doing this, I began assembling the cake.

I took the top of the cake off to level it out. I didn’t even bother filling the inside figuring I didn’t have nearly enough time.

I then started to frost the cake just as the sun came up.

Once it was sufficiently covered, I placed the fondant on top. I then piped more frosting around the top and bottom edge with a star tip.

I then got ready for school, and carried it in my lap the entire drive there, and it miraculously survived!

I should be starting my cake for the Threadcakes competition either this week or next week. I still think I might end up doing two, but right now I’m just really excited about the first one! I can’t wait to see how it turns out and see if you all like it! For now, I’m keeping the design a secret, but all will soon be revealed. 🙂



7 Responses to “Craziness and M.C. Escher”

  1. Escher in Het Paleis July 5, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    nice work! Escher in Het Paleis is a museum with the works of M.C. Escher and we are looking for people that are inspired by Escher. Post your photo’s on our facebook page and we might feature you on our soon to be launched new website!

  2. Lisa July 5, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    Amazing, beautifully done, I adore Escher and of course cake lol, so this is a win win in my eyes, I am formally trained as an artist and now I decorate cakes for a living, you created a truly remarkable ‘edible work of art’ very inspireing, you’ve taught this ‘not so old’ dog a new trick to try.

    • Meet Me In The Kitchen July 5, 2011 at 7:46 am #

      Thank you so much, I have been painting fondant for a while now, and it’s very rewarding. It can also be done with food colouring mixed with vodka and painted on with a brush. I’m glad to have inspred you, feel free to post a link if you do try it! 🙂

      • Lisa July 5, 2011 at 8:10 am #

        If you don’t mind me asking, what consistancy was the fondant ‘canvas’ for want of a better word, was it semi dry or..?

        I have painted on fondant with the vodka/rose spirit and food colouring method before with success while it was in situ on a cake so the fondant was not particularly firm yet the brushes were soft enough to not damge the surface.

        However I noticed you used food pens and it got me curious due to the fact if the fondant was soft (freshly rolled) the pens would be difficult to use?, are they the broader nibs (a little like a brush) or are they the fine/harder type?

        Thanks 🙂

      • Meet Me In The Kitchen July 5, 2011 at 8:31 am #

        I had just rolled it, so it was soft still. I made sure not to press hard with the pen, and used it as gently as I would a brush. The pens I used were fine tip, very hard. I definitely prefer the brush and colouring/vodka mix better because it allows for thinner lines and more detail, but pens were just more convenient and provided me with more vibrant colours.

  3. Nelly h July 5, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    loved your blog
    but i am a diabetes patient

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