It's called "bas relief". Another caker, Chellescakes, just told me that on this thread:
Thanks for your reply! I saw your post too, and thought similar, but not sure it's the same. I just email the caker to ask. Her web site is http:// www.cakes by tina.co.uk
The more i look , i'm thinkg painted fondant cut out, ot really thick buttercream transfer. hmmm any other guesses?
if you go to the other thread some other decorators talk about how to do the technique...looks as if it's with fondant.
very cool! and something a lot of artists do