Chiaroscuro – Victoria Made Cakes
05 September 2012
Chiaroscuro (Light and Dark) – A deliciously styled cake shoot from Victoria made shot by Jess Petrie Photography…
On Sunday 5th August, I was (luckily) invited to join one of my favourite cake makers of Sheffield, the super talented Victoria Watkin-Jones of Victoria Made on a photo shoot featuring her stunning cakes. It was a simply stunning styled shoot brought together by Victoria, photographer Jess Petrie of Jess Petrie Photography plus a whole team of creative wedding suppliers, including Hansley Beard Events & Wedding Design Studio and Swallows and Damsons. I have featured Victoria on the blog a number of times, and she was kind enough to supply cheesecakes for my Missie’s Christmas Pud Inn Club last December as well as feeding me cake during my Sheffield Food Week Challenge last year which coincided with the Sheffield Food Festival…and oh my Cinders, I’m sure you will agree that her cakes look stunning! Victoria’s cakes tastes amazing too – and if I’m honest, they’re often too good-looking to eat (they’re worth keeping in a glass and awwww–ing over) and I hardly ever save cake!
So, I was thrilled to had been given a chance to see a sneak peek of the cakes, jellies, delicate own-made marshmallows and macaroons. The shoot took place at the Sheffield Town Hall inside the Mayor’s parlour (I know, can you believe it? us dropping cake crumbs in the Mayor’s parlour!). The venue was stunning and is open to the public as an intimate wedding and afternoon tea party location. And I’m thrilled to be able to share these photos with you from Jess of this wonderful day.
Jess has art directed and been involved in some amazing wedding photography which are mixed with a story-telling approach, capturing us into a scene or setting as well as a sense of romance – just take a look at her website and you’ll know what I mean. It was lovely to meet Jess in person and watch her work.
This was Victoria’s first art directed and styled shoot and I must say I was pretty impressed with all the effort, time and organising spent on the 3-4 hour shoot! Patience is an under statement!
‘It was Caravaggio’s paintings that drew me the most and to make use of the Italian term ‘chiaroscuro’ (the name of the shoot) meaning ‘light and dark’ with stunning effect.’
Victoria told me more about the idea for this shoot
‘I suppose it’s uncool to like ‘old’ art these days but as a child being taken round various art galleries it was the detail, the story telling and the astonishing skill with light, colour and texture that someone like Caravaggio used to perfection in a time where lighting was provided by candles.’
‘The shoot was inspired by Caravaggio’s paintings and the Italian term ‘chiaroscuro’ (the name of the shoot) meaning ‘light and dark’ with stunning effect. It’s on this that I wanted to base the dessert tables and the shoot. I approached Anna from Swallows and Damsons as her flowers are simply stunning and was so pleased when Jess Petrie agreed to do the shoot – I had seen her work on facebook and twitter and was blown away, was even more blown away to find she is a Sheffield photographer! I’m also very lucky to have Hansley Beard Events 5 minutes away from me who’s shop filled with the most amazing glass ware and vintage china which I made use of’
‘I did two set ups loosely using the ‘light and dark’ expression and styled the cakes and desserts around this. I used gold as a string tying the two tables together but using different intensities of colour on each table. Of course every still life has to have a bowl of fruit and to be honest at times you can’t beat nature so it played an integral part not just ‘filler’’
‘I approached Simon Kriel from the Sheffield Town Hall Events Team who was more than helpful and was happy for us to share the beautiful building for the shoot. We used the stunning Lord Mayor’s Parlour and it the light and layout proved pretty much perfect. Dessert tables are becoming more popular for weddings and they are something that I would like to do a lot more of – the options are endless and styling ideas can run wild, much more so than you can with a single wedding cake. Designing and making lot’s of small intricate sweets is really enjoyable and I think the theatre of a well designed table adds to the ‘talking point’ at a wedding with guests taking time to enjoy and discuss the different desserts on offer to them.’
‘Once an idea is there, the desserts and cakes are designed around it which does take a fair bit of time and tests lots of different skills like pastry, meringues, sugar work etc but it’s definitely worth it!’ – Victoria Made
Once upon a ‘Victoria Made’ cake time…
Here’s a little bit more about Victoria Made and her cakes. Just launched last year, Victoria specialises in very modern and contemporary cakes (just look at the photographs here – wow!) and tells me she always aims to offer something different to her clients and a market that can trend towards traditional ‘ribbons and bows’ styles. Victoria’s cakes are not only for the Sheffield area but for the whole of the UK and are a preferred supplier for Le Manoir, Raymond Blanc’s venue in Oxford, Arley Hall in Cheshire, Blakes Hotel in London and the Dorchester in London. Plus on top of this, she recently created an Olympic torch cake for Jessica Ennis for her homecoming in Sheffield. Victoria is very modest and never takes her position for granted, and finishes by saying “to be acknowledged as being good enough to be recommended by these people is an absolute honour“. A pretty impressive portfolio Vic!
Finally, thank you Victoria for having me and to Jess for her beautiful photos for my blog! I loved it so much and am really proud I was able to experience so many sweet moments of your cakes and to share these with my readers and followers. The atmosphere was fantastic, you all looked liked you enjoyed the whole process too – and I did. I loved the concept and the photos are stunning — Missie Cindz
For more information on Jess Petrie Photography
For information about the shoot’s stunning venue, you can contact Simon Kriel from the Town Hall Events Team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org