Friday, May 11, 2012

Charm City Cakes



My name is Alexander Kuhn and I am a Senior Illustration Major with a minor in Art History. I was one of two interns this summer at Charm City Cakes located in Northern Baltimore City. This site became famous because of the show on the Food
Network that chronicled its business: Ace of Cakes which ran from 2006 to 2011. It is still known for both its traditional cakes as well as sculptural cakes that are both on small and large scales. I found this internship on the MICAnetwork and submitted my resume and cover letter. Shortly after submitting these I was contacted about an interview in
December of last year. My portfolio was well-received there was simply no room for me
on the Spring 2012 Semester Schedule so I was asked if I would like to work during the
Summer.



I was under the supervision of Kathleen (Katie) Rose, the Art Director of Charm
City Cakes. When I first started working at this site I did much simpler work such as
cleaning, rolling fondant and gumpaste as well as dying and coloring for the purpose of
other cakes or airbrushing, but eventually (not long after my start date) I started doing
much more important work. By the end of the internship I was making or decorating very
important pieces for cakes, such as three-dimensional animals and objects. I wouldn’t say
there is any project in particular that I am proud of, but I definitely did become rather
adept at making three-dimensional dogs from gumpaste (having made a Shitzu, Beagle
and Labrador retriever); rather, I am most proud of how much I have grown from what
little I knew at the beginning of my internship.





Interning at Charm City Cakes was much more fulfilling than I thought it would be, to be honest. From what my friends had told me about working there, I thought it was all going to be very menial and very little was going to be expected of me, but much to my surprise I was expected to do a great deal. The most important thing I have learned is most definitely how to please a client and also how to realistically price a job when factoring in supplies and labor, not so much the cost of delivery as all commercial art work at this point is usually sent via email. This has made me much more keen on the
idea of work in the food (not food-service) industry and exploring it further, it was honestly the best way to get me excited about my thesis-- which explores over fifty Baltimore area restaurants, specialty stores, bakeries and bars.