blue sugar iris flowers

Art Nouveau-inspired wedding cake – ‘Iris’

Today I thought I’d share with you the inspiration for my latest design – Art Nouveau-inspired wedding cake, ‘Iris’.

My initial idea for this design first popped into my head last spring but, with a busy wedding season, then my rebrand, then Christmas, this is the first opportunity I’ve had of making it a reality. (Also, with limited storage space for display cakes, creating a new one inevitably means ‘killing’ an old one so I have to be ready to destroy my previous work too.) My first source of inspiration was an Art Nouveau Liberty fabric but as the months went by the design (in my head), although still Art Nouveau-inspired, took a different turn and my predominant source of inspiration became Alphonse Mucha, plus art from the era including jewellery and glassware and, of course, flowers!

Design Process

I always put together a Pinterest board for any new design and this finally evolved into the mood board below.
wedding cake mood board

I love working with colour so the palette for my initial design (as seen on the Pinterest board) was eucalyptus/navy/white and a pop of red in the form of a stylised rose but, in an effort to include some more muted designs in my portfolio, I decided to go for a gentler colour palette of pale blue/greens/soft pinks – which also gave me chance to incorporate 2017 Bridal Pantone ‘Greenery’.  Also, including some marbling, I think, nicely complements the curved lines of Art Nouveau style.

So I roughly sketched my design…

wedding cake sketch

You’ll see I was originally going to include a hellebore but, as (I think) they share some characteristics with tree peonies (the stamens/pistil) and having already made a design featuring a tree peony I just fancied making a flower I’d not made before so opted for a Café au Lait Dahlia.  And I also couldn’t help straying from the white irises and giving them some colour.

Creating

So I set to making all the decorations.  (I wish they were as quick to make as it takes to simply insert these photos!  They represent many hours of work – any cake maker reading this will know just how long it takes to make sugar flowers.)

Irises…

Sugar iris in jug

Eucalyptus…

Eucalyptus leaves

Lisianthus…

Lisianthus flower in vase

Lisianthus flower close up

and the dahlia (yes, poor image I know – it is so fragile, yet heavy, I didn’t dare put it in a vase for fear it would topple before capturing it… done that before and learnt my lesson.)

sugar cafe au lait dahlia

Monogram and feathers….

Feathers and monogram

and I added some foliage and, of course, swirly piping (there’s always some!)

The Cake

Here is ‘Iris’ all complete….

art nouveau wedding cake

Iris: Art Nouveau-inspired wedding cake, influenced by the work of Alphonse Mucha, with a stylised sugar floral and foliage arrangement of irises, lisianthus and Café au Lait dahlia in a pastel colour palette, including 2017 Bridal Pantone ‘Greenery’. The marbled tier complements the curved lines of Art Nouveau style and the circular monogram plaque is reminiscent of the halo often used by Mucha in his commercial art.

And some close-ups…Cafe au Lait dahlia and foliage

Blue Irises on cake

Lisianthus flower

cake with marbling and piping

Wedding Showcase

I’ll be showcasing this design and others at The White Hart Hotel Wedding Showcase in Harrogate, North Yorkshire later in the year.  I look forward to meeting you and hearing all about your wedding plans!

With love, Amanda x

Amanda Earl monogram