Food, Art, Or Design?
Last week we reached out to confectioner Olga Noskova.
The internet is abuzz with images of her reflective, mirror-like cakes. Writers and readers (including a fair number of celebrities), the world over are speculating as to the recipe for what she may be using, a 'mirror glaze.'
As designers, we are far more intrigued by the way her confectionary appears to be a portal for art and imagery. The detailed approach to surface, the perfect form, sheen, subtle themes of constellations etched across cakes, all come together in our mind and give us the feeling that her work crosses over from food and into the world of design.
Also fascinating, to us material-lovers, is the way she creates the illusion of glossy, robust stone–say marble, with icing and glaze.
As a designer, her work may be something for you to simply ogle at, perhaps it triggers ideas and reflections for you, and fuels your imagination. Perhaps, it begins a conversation for all of us– What disciplines are starting to intersect with ours, and blur the lines of design?
While the world conjectures about the amount of gelatin in her glaze, we, twisted designers that we are, ask her about the materiality and imagery of her work. Here is our conversation with Olga.
MD: Olga, Tell us a little bit about how you started your journey as a pastry chef and confectioner.
Olga: I have always had a dream– that every morning I could wake up and be engaged in creative work I love with all my heart. I wanted that realization of my personality. It happened, nearly a year and a half ago, when I realized the words of Confucius `Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
I live in the city of Ufa, the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan, which is part of the Russian Federation, and home to more than 1 million people. I was inspired by the different tastes, the beauty of our country–Russia, as well as where I live, Bashkortostan. I have had great opportunities to study under chefs from different countries. And I am very grateful to them for my knowledge. To come to the results you see now, I have been experimenting with creating cakes for a year and a half.
MD: What is the motivation behind the minimalist, mirrored, reflective quality of your cakes? We notice that the cakes almost need nothing else, no ornamentation, other than the sheen of the skin– it's icing/frosting itself.
Olga: I am in love with the reflection of my cakes, which was achieved by multiple experiments; as a result, each cake has its uniqueness. I confess, I choose ornamentation intuitively; The way each cake looks turns out to be a surprise to me.
I am drawn to laconic cakes with minimal decoration.
MD: Often there is subtle imagery on the surfaces of your cakes- references to constellations or the Northern Lights. These are the cakes we are most fascinated by. And why are these strong themes in your work?
Olga: I believe that the Universe is abundant and gives us everything we want. My gratitude to the Universe is expressed in such cakes. It is important to me, to believe in your dream, send vibrations of joy, happiness, love, and gratitude.
MD: Looking at images of the insides of the cakes, one understands that achieving perfection is crucial to you both on the surface of the cakes and inside.
Olga: I am a perfectionist. And I am very attentive to the details. So my cakes are about the flavor and the image, both once.
MD:Where does the future of your work lie?
Olga: I am influenced by a strong desire to experiment with colors, fillings, decoration, flavors of my cakes. I am also driven by the desire to bring techniques and technology to perfection through my creative world. I continue to read and gather information about my field, self-educating, watching nature, learning from pieces of art and design
MD: We feel strongly that your work crosses over from food, into art and design.
Olga: Your words make me extremely happy. The thing is I just do my work and enjoy it with all my heart.