Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Studio Snoop: Emily Hankins

A few weeks ago we got the opportunity to snoop around Emily Hankins studio and have a chat with the lady herself.  We've become pretty hungry writing this up so you may want to grab yourself a cup of tea and settle down for an interesting read...

Emily working on a cake

The Dream Kitchen

So, what do you do, and how did you come to do it?

I am a wedding cake designer and I specialise in bespoke, hand painted cakes. Weddings are the main foundation of my business but I am very lucky to also have the chance to create show cakes for photo shoots and magazines.

I have always painted and art is definitely my first love. After studying at Falmouth College of Arts and struggling to find a job in the saturated design world I fell into catering and discovered a huge passion for baking.

After many years pursuing this as a hobby my 'eureka' moment happened whilst creating an epic cake centre piece for my best friends wedding – 120 individual hand painted and completely edible teacups and saucers. I knew that what I was creating was individual and unique, using my strengths as an artist and my cakes as a canvas seemed to catch peoples imagination!

Hand-made edible cupcakes

What are the main inspirations in your work?

I am hugely inspired by colour and pattern and also nature and horticulture particularly. I grew up around flowers and from a very early age could be found sitting in the garden drawing the detailed faces of pansies and petunias. I even considered a career as a florist at one point during childhood but was brought back own to earth with a bump after realising that severe hayfever and flowers just did not mix!

Inspiration and planning

Flowers are often such a huge part of a wedding celebration and it seems only fitting to include them in the cake design. My floral designs are by far my most popular!

I also take inspiration directly from my clients. I find that the brides and grooms who come to me tend to have a specific creative vision and are looking fro someone to work with them to create this. I really enjoy bringing together all of their ideas into one cohesive design in my signature style.

Happy couples enjoying Emily's creations

How do you use  your studio?

My studio is not only a beautiful and inspiring place where I meet with my clients but it is also a fully functioning kitchen were I bake and create my wedding cakes.

After my initial contact with potential clients we meet together in person to discuss their ideas and requirements face to face. We sit around my lovely dining table and chat over tea and cake served on my vintage china tea sets. My clients enjoy this experience and it gives them a chance to see more of my work and to understand a little bit more about me as well as me understanding their ideas!


My studio kitchen is a wonderful place to work. I designed and fitted it myself (with a lot of help from my husband) so it is tailor made to suit my needs perfectly. I have cupboards full of cake tins and ingredients and super organised drawers full of brushes and paints so everything has its proper place and can be kept squeaky clean!

Everything has a place

When I am not with clients or busy baking I can be found sitting at my little desk listening to Spotify, drinking tea and sketching out my new cake designs or answering emails!

Working on a cake

What have you got coming up?

This year is shaping up to be my busiest to date and I have lots of exciting wedding cakes to look forward too! I am also really excited to be demoing my skills in front of an audience and writing all about cake for a new national online magazine!

Often the show cakes I create for photo shoots tend to become my favourites to work on as I can push the boundaries of bridal design a little further to create something inspirational! 

If you are a fan of Emily's work, check out her website here.  
Or to make your newsfeed that bit more beautiful follow her Facebook and Twitter.