If you’re planning on attending the BUST Craftacular in London on November 28th, one consumable craft that you can look forward to is the gingerbread creations by Maid of Gingerbread, crafted by Emily Garland of Hackney.
Garland wanted a job that she could be creative with. Maid of Gingerbread is a baby company, officially created in August 2010. The idea to use gingerbread in creative ways came to Garland last May when she was invited to a circus-themed party. After coming across her mother’s recipe for a gingerbread house, she decided to attempt to make a gingerbread circus big top. When the debut of the big top was successful she began to play around with gingerbread, building different structures around various themes. Soon she was receiving commissions to craft various gingerbread creations, such as two of her current projects: a canal boat and a greenhouse.
Looking at the Maid of Gingerbread website in eager anticipation, my favourite creations are the gingerbread mixed tape, complete with plastic cassette case, and the usable cake stand. Garland uses free-range eggs, Fair Trade sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice for the traditional German Lebkuchen recipe that she has adapted and refined. Garland describes the final product as “a light, warmly spiced gingerbread, which is soft rather than crunchy.”
Her favorite creation is the gingerbread teapot, cups and saucers (so cute!). “It's lots of fun to make, and when people pick up the cups and saucers it reminds me of playing ‘tea time’ as a child,” Garland said. “I've recently been working on refining the design to make it operational so that you'll be able to actually pour liquids into the cups.”
Another creation that she is particularly proud of is the church font, an impressive fixture with a basin of very realistic looking candy ‘water.’ “The water effect took a while to perfect, but works really well I think, and has opened up more options for future designs now I know how to create large window-like panes,” Garland said. “I enjoy the 'engineering' side of things just as much as the actual baking, using my school woodwork knowledge to make gingerbread mortise and tenon joints!”
This is Garland’s first time attending a Craftacular event as a vendor, and she is excited to have her own stall this year. Visit her table and pick up a delicious, handcrafted, gingery treat!