When I'm planning a cake design I like to find out about the recipients interests as well as getting inspiration from images, photographs and objects that are personal to them.
My late father-in-law Jack had a shed filled with tools and bits of wood. When the famous Welsh weather took a turn for the worse in the winter he had to make do with one of the back rooms in the family house. As all men know though the attraction of the shed is the distance it gives them from 'her-indoors'!
An engineer by trade, Jack worked at Stratford Railway Works in London before moving to Llanon where he worked at Aberystwyth University. He was brilliant at crafting wood and metal and his house was full of beautifully carved pieces of furniture, sculptures and models. Jack spent 7 years and a small fortune making a model of Petrolea (pictured below), Britain's first oil-fired steam locomotive, which was accurate down to the finest detail. His model will soon be on display at the newly renovated Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum in East London as the family have loaned it to the museum for their exhibition on the Stratford Works.
|Link to the museum's Stratford Works webpage|
|Close up of the fine detail of the model Jack made|
I have no idea how long Jack spent carving this traditional Welsh love spoon - a wedding gift for Dave and I. Crafted from one piece of wood and so intricately carved it incorporates aspects of our lives that were so personal to us at the time. The wedding bells always remind me of the 'Bells of Aberdovey' - the little seaside village where we were living when we got married. The ropes, anchor and life ring symbolic of our jobs as we were running a yacht charter business in Turkey. Our initials and the year of our marriage are also carved into it - D & K, 1989. This year we celebrated our silver anniversary and few of the gifts we were given on that day have survived but our love spoon hangs up in our bedroom and still holds a special place in my heart.
It really is all in the detail.....