Let me eat cake

I know it’s Christmas week so I should have probably started this project a little earlier but it was only when I was bombarded by shows on how to make Christmas cakes and desserts did I think about making the perfect Christmas utensil.

I haven’t the least intention of making a Christmas cake, thankfully my mother makes great cakes and has agreed to feed us (again!) this year. So with my festive food taken care of I’m turning my attention to something I can make in silver. I don’t own a cake slice (gasp!) so my present to myself is the time to make one.

The only guidelines I have set myself are that it must be made from a sheet of metal and there can be no soldering.

These shouldn’t be to difficult to adhere to but it just means some extra work resolving how to make a comfortable handle when you’re working with a flat sheet. I’ve scanned some rough images from my sketch book with the general shape I’ve decided on and some ideas for the handle.

Proposed shape 1
Proposed shape 1

The first sketch shows some of the ideas I started with but I discounted them. I think it would be perfect for cutting but the handle needs to be in the centre to balance the huge slice of cake I’ll be serving.

Proposed shape 2
Proposed shape 2

The second sketch shows the development of a twist in the handle. I decided on this for my overall shape, the twist gives the piece some ‘body’ since I’m working with flat sheet. I also decided on making the base with one straight and one curved edge to balance the twist.

Handle 1
Handle 1
Handle 2
Handle 2

In these handle sketches I was working on how to make my very 2 dimensional handle more 3D. These don’t really work as they just look like hollow imitations of a solid handle, but it did lead me to the sketches below where I better resolve the flow of the piece and use the 2D sheet to my advantage.

Handle 3
Handle 3
Handle 4
Handle 4

I always start with sketches. Not only because paper is cheaper than metal but also because it gives you a chance to change your mind. When you begin sketching a functional item, you consider how and why the piece will eventually be used, what traditional elements need to be retained. In the case of my cake slice I know the ‘base’ of the cake slice has to remain flat to be able to slide under the slice of cake. It also needs to be able to hold and serve a piece of cake so the base has to be a certain size (depending on your portion management!) Technically I’m making a pie slice as it will have a 1″ bend up the handle to allow me to scoop out my dessert from a pie dish. This is purely because it will double as a cake slice too. The next step for me is to make these shapes in card so I can refine the final shape before I start cutting it out in metal.

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