Cake Decoration = Art Or Trade?

Business By julia1812 Updated 7 Jun 2015 , 5:39am by julia1812

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julia1812 Posted 5 Jun 2015 , 4:49am
post #1 of 6

I would like to know what you all think about this court case going on in Germany.  There is a very famous cake designer beinh sued by her county who's teaching classes and has her own business together with a partner, a trained pastry chef, where she is exclusively decorating the cakes her partner bakes and fills etc. She is claiming to be an  artist and not carrying out a trade. She has no formal training as a baker/ pastry chef. She's registered as a freelancer and is even paying more vat as that then she would as a baker. But she's refusing to get registered as carrying out a trade because she claims what she does is 1) teaching and 2) making edible art. Also she's claiming that there is no master to test her in the cake decoration trade and get her a licence for it as cake design isn't an official trade in Germany and she's one of the best decorators in the country anyway. So who would test her?

Despite the fact that I don't understand completely why she can't just get over it being not recognised as an artist, I would like to know what you think: is someone who's ordering ready iced cakes from a licenced bakery and decorating it with fondant an artist or carrying out a trade???

Sorry the link above is in German.  Not sure if there is an option to Google translate. ..

5 replies
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-K8memphis Posted 5 Jun 2015 , 2:26pm
post #2 of 6

i tried to get a translation of the article but didn't work  -- someone smart will be along before too long probably -- and i don't know how it works in other countries with the master testing either but it's both a trade and can become an art -- but it's not an art without being a trade if it's going to be served and eaten -- so foundationally it's a trade

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Apti Posted 5 Jun 2015 , 7:05pm
post #3 of 6

Cake artist or cake tradesperson?  

Dale Chiluly or glassblower?

Whatever allows the individual to make the maximum amount of profit...    (just a note.....historically "artists" are broke and don't make money until after they're dead.   Don't know that "cake art" would increase in value after the artist is dead...)

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Inga1 Posted 5 Jun 2015 , 8:36pm
post #4 of 6

I have read through the entire link which you shared. My German is not perfect. It seems to me that neither person involved went through the customary training of a pastry chef in Germany.... so they are not a legitimate "pastry chef, baker" Could be the "Pastry chef Union" is pushing this. That is just my take on it. Maybe my German is not that great. I bless the fact that I live in the USA

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costumeczar Posted 7 Jun 2015 , 12:10am
post #5 of 6

I don't read German, but my take on it based on your description is probably that they're trying to use the terminology to avoid licensing restrictions or something? More of a legal maneuver than anything else?

 My personal feeling is that cake decorating is a craft/trade, and that it only becomes an art when you do what you want for your own enjoyment, not to fill an order placed by a customer. So if someone comes to you and hires you to fulfill an order, you're the technician who's making that cake. Based on the number of "rules" people try to follow when decorating a cake it's not an art, it's a craft where you try to get a certain type of workmanship in each finished design. The art vs. craft debate for every creative field has been going on for millennia, though, so there will never be a consensus.

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julia1812 Posted 7 Jun 2015 , 5:39am
post #6 of 6

Thanks for your input. All comments underneath the article were very encouraging for that cake...artist...

But I personally thought exactly that^^^ The cake gets eaten. Nothing wrong with expecting the named person to have a licence!

Just wanted to see if I missed a point cause I couldn't wrap my head around why nobody else pointed that out to her.

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