Thursday, March 1, 2012

written on the subway walls

Fall 2011 brought the birthday of terra cotta aficianado Sarah, who maintains a healthy obsession with the mosaic signs found in several of the original New York City subway stations. Helvetica may have taken over the modern transportation system, but many of these beautiful pieces of wayfinding art have been preserved through the city, and Sarah will be testing several terra cotta material samples for her conservation thesis.

With this as my inspiration and goal,

Started with a loaf of pumpkin bread (made from box mix for speed's sake), cut it down, plopped it on the cakeboard, and did a crumb coat layer (coffee cinnamon buttercream frosting):

I used a toothpick to sketch out the text and borders, and a #4 round tip to draw out the letters (with serifs!), before sticking it in the freezer for a few minutes to let the icing harden a bit. Then I mixed a bag of earthy-colored icing to dot in the rest of the sign as mosaic infill.

In a perfect world, the 'tiles' would be slightly different colors, as in a real mosaic, but the icing dots started to run together due to the freakishly warm temperatures that weekend. So not quite as precise or hardy as the real thing, but here is the final terra cotta mosaic subway sign cake:

Happy Birthday Sarah!

1 comment:

  1. Yayy, my own post! Complete with lots of links to beautiful subway posts! Love it :)