Hervey Bay's most talented cake artist
KANCHANA Golding sculpts the most incredible edible figurines imaginable, so it's no wonder her customers often can't bring themselves to eat them.
It's hard to believe that Kanchana, a mum of two primary school-aged children, has been making sugar art creations for just over two years.
Her intricate and highly-detailed cakes look like the work of a professional with years of experience.
Kanchana started making custom cakes when she wanted a special cake for her daughter that had a figure on it that looked like her.
But there was nothing available, so she got some modelling paste and taught herself using Youtube tutorials.
"Everything I learnt has been from YouTube and other online tutorials," Kanchana said.
"I would watch the experts and work out what tools and brands of modelling paste they use and experiment with the quality."
Kanchana now makes up to four custom cakes a week to fill orders for events such as weddings, formals, birthdays, baby showers, retirements and business functions. Each cake takes between a day to a few weeks to create, and everything on them, except for the flower stems and skewers, is edible.
"I love to work with customers who are open to different options and allow me to be as creative as I like," she said.
" I really prefer designing new and unique creations, though when I see a really great design I like to take inspiration from it and do it justice.
"Most customers send me pictures of the designs that they like, though sometimes I make suggestions if I feel I can do better.
"Most of the time I have the freedom to change the design how I like. I think most people are happy for some creative guidance and suggestions on cake designs.
"The first thing I have to think about is the theme.
"I ask clients to send me photos to find out about interests and hobbies."
When Kanchana made a birthday cake for a young girl named Bella, the girl's grandmother provided a photo of a cake with a mobile phone on it and said that Bella loved listening to music.
The result was outstanding, featuring a caricature of Bella sporting over-sized eyes.
It takes a steady hand to put lashes on eyes, strands in hair, texture on fabrics and petals on flowers.
Kanchana is a qualified industrial designer and has a degree in art.
But she also spent years as manager and head barista of a Sydney coffee shop where she learnt the art of decorating coffee using the free pour technique.
She bakes every cake herself and uses an airbrush when working with fondant. However most of her other work is hand painted, especially modelling cake toppers and figurines.
"I have seen so many people in tears, because they don't want to cut the cake," she said.
"Most customers keep the modelling cake toppers.
"One customer bought a cake for her boss as a surprise. It was a farmer theme and she couldn't cut the cake."
Art of Sugar cakes have been sent interstate, and one was even taken to Chile for a birthday.
Follow Kanchana's creations at: facebook.com/artofsugarau or instagram.