This polymer clay artist wants to cover your walls with desserts
All kinds, Anamaria’s handmade pieces showcase has been open since February. Because she is obsessed with details, each clock takes Anamaria about six hours. The process includes molding, hand painting and buffing. She adds, “I put a lot of care and attention into making every clock valuable and I need time to do it in a thoughtful way.” Of course, the best part is to “put them in the oven and pretend they’re real cakes”.
Anamaria often found inspiration for clay cakes and pies in her personal archives of old magazines and books that she uses for collage. She also spends much of her time browsing museum digital collection pages, advertisements from the 50s and 60s and, of course, Tumblr and Pinterest. “The first cake clock was inspired by a cake I saw it in a 1960s book on cake decorating, ”she says. “I love how colorful and saturated all the baking books were from that era.” Specific references that come to mind are the still lifes by Fernando Botero, the colors by Florine Stettheimer and the illustrations by Marcel Vertès. She adds, “I’m grateful to have an ongoing dialogue with a few friends sharing things that inspire us from fun items we find on Etsy To out of print books from the 1920s.
Anamaria attributes people’s penchant for fake food as a design object to a greater number of individuals who lean toward kitsch. It refers to artist Claes Oldenburg and his early oversized vinyl sculptures of sandwiches, fries and burgers. She adds, “There are a lot of contemporary artists who make food that looks like food, like Will Cotton, Genesis Bélanger and Vincent Olinet, to name a few. In Japan, there is a whole art form dating back to the 1920s of modeling complex foods out of plastic or paraffin for display.
For her, there is a personal longing for family when it comes to baked goods. Although Anamaria’s favorite pastry chef is her sister, Sonia, it is their grandmother’s bizcochitos who hold the title of best dessert. “These are traditional New Mexico cookies with anise and cinnamon and instantly bring me back to family timeshare at her home in Albuquerque,” she says.
Anamaria considers clocks to be “inedible, saturated, shiny versions of the perfect baked goods – those ’50s-style emblems of domesticity – but I was never able to actually close the real deal.” In fact, she would go so far as to call herself inept in the kitchen. “My sister is a baker and I have always admired the level of artistry that characterizes everything she makes,” says Anamaria. “Every time she allowed me to help her, I somehow messed it up.” She remembers a Thanksgiving when she was supposed to help place a lattice of dough on a pie. Instead, Anamaria accidentally spilled a glass that sent shards into the pie, and they had to start over.
“There is obviously a certain nostalgia associated with the cake, since it is linked to festive moments in time,” she says. “I love the idea of freezing those moments to hold them forever, while watching the time go by.”