The Craft Project


Some of you may know of the very awesome t-shirt company Threadless.  For those of you who don’t – Threadless runs a continual online contest where artists and designers submit potential t-shirt designs, the entire online Threadless community votes on the designs, and those that score the highest are made into t-shirts.  It’s a very cool thing – and I hope one day to be able to design a t-shirt for them.  In recent years Threadless has expanded their operations – they have partnerships with everyone from Dell for laptop cases in Dell’s Design Studio to art prints to iPod cases.  And starting last year they started an annual cake competition.

That’s right – cakes.  The competition is called Threadcakes, and the concept is that you take any of the Threadless designs that have ever been made into a t-shirt and you make it into a cake (2D or 3D).  They award tons of prizes (including some for participation) and it’s a whole lot of fun…in fact too much fun for me to pass up.  I scrolled through the Threadless designs and picked out three I’d like to try and tackle…and then I started baking.

The first design I finished up today.  It’s based on the design called “Clean Monster” which I’ve put up here for you to check out.

Clean Monster

I wanted this to be a fully 3D cake, so after some puzzling I decided I was going to have to spend some time playing with fondant and icing paints (super concentrated food colouring).  This was my first ever time working with fondant and I found it’s a lot like working with clay – except you can eat it afterwards as it’s pretty much completely sugar (there’s one way to stay up for 24 hours straight no problem).

The first hurdle with this cake came when I faced the hard reality that designers don’t need to deal with the physical limitations of the real world.  In the design world a monster can have a giant elongated head supported by a very thin neck and body no problem…in the real world…well let’s just say gravity causes some compression.  So my monster ended up a little squatter then intended, although still very cute.

Then came the actual cake.  I baked and cut up three vanilla cakes into towers.  I covered them in various shades of grey icing with details piped onto them and then set them up all around the monster.  It turns up it’s really hard to keep the towers all standing…really, really hard…but with enough icing anything is possible (I feel I should make this a new personal motto actually).

I’ve included some pictures of the process, along with a picture of the finished product. You can also check out the entry on the Threadcakes site:

And now on to the next creation – the Beatles (it will make sense when you see it).

The monster coming together

Mixing cake batter

The cake in process

The finished product

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