Grex Airbrush interviews Lisa Berczel and uncovers the inspiration and innovative techniques she used in her Cherry Blossom Cake. As cake decorating is becoming more popular due to culinary art shows, Grex Airbrush wants to highlight the new techniques that is causing a rejuvenation in airbrushing. Presenting Cake Artistry Redefined!
Where did you get inspiration for this piece?
Beyond a lifelong fascination with Asian Art? This piece is actually the culmination of two separate R and D projects.
I’ve been refining edible wafer paper molding techniques for a multi-part culinary How-To. Sculptural elements were the next phase and there wasn’t a better way to show depth and projection than a realistic, to-scale branch of a budding cherry tree.
The second development project involves replicating glazed porcelain techniques in food. Cherry Blossom is the first project where these new techniques have been showcased.
Can you share briefly the step-by-step process?
The glaze is four layers that interplay to provide depth, texture and refraction. A base of white fondant supports a printed, edible paper image reminiscent of cracked eggshells. Gradients were airbrushed and clear edible glitter was applied. The entire piece was frosted with clear gel.
The wafer paper cherry tree is composed of sculptural elements assembled on the glaze base. The branch was formed on an aluminum foil armature, then airbrushed and hand painted with a final cocoa powder dusting for bark. The cherry blossoms were made from a hand sculpted silicone molds, airbrushed with fondant stamens. The buds are plain dragees wrapped with airbrushed wafer paper leaves.
What do you think airbrushing can do for cake decorating?
And why the renaissance?
Say “airbrush” and many have visions of schlocky vacation t-shirts or gummed up equipment on challenge tv. Both scenarios represent a distorted view of the true value an airbrush adds to the Artist’s repertoire. It does not take long for one to become competent with an airbrush. Any “renaissance” experienced is due to increased education exposing more and more culinary artists to the true creative and production potential of the airbrush.
Why are you using a Grex Airbrush?
Because I like them. The choice of tools can be a very personal one – why do I consistently reach for one brush over another? Because there is something intuitive about how that particular tool performs a particular function.
Beyond the intangibles, the Tritium trigger airbrushes are now my “go to’s” and used over 90% of the time in my work. Arthritis has begun to limit to my creative endeavors. Using a trigger airbrush, my hand does not cramp or fatigue like it would with a conventional configuration.
Equipment and supplies used:
Grex Tritium.TG airbrush
Grex Genesis.XN airbrush
Grex AC1810-A airbush compressor
Edible Inkjet paper
White Edible Glitter
Liquid Luster Blue Satin
Clear Piping Gel
Custom Sculpted Armature
Artisan Cocoa Butter Tuscan Brown
Airbrush Color Black
Custom hand-sculpted silicone mold
Airbrush Color Red
Airbrush Color Yellow
Liquid Luster Rose Satin
Artisan Cocoa Butter Aureoline Yellow
Airbrush Color Blue
Airbrush Color Teal
Liquid Luster Blue Luster
Liquid Luster Purple Purl
Artisan Cocoa Butter Aqua Blue
Artisan Cocoa Butter Key West Lime
Jewel Cocoa Butter Black Onyx
Disco Sparkle Blue
Disco Sparkle Silver
Culinary supplies courtesy of Chef Rubber
About the Artist
If it will hold still long enough, Lisa Berczel of Battledress Paint N Body will turn it into a work of art.
Lisa has become renowned for her body paint which can be viewed in such diverse places as book and magazine covers, international ad campaigns, videos, Reality TV, runway, and live event acrobats.
More traditional items that have experienced her airbrush skills include automobiles, motorcycles, race boats, murals, surfboards, theatric props, artisan confections, even canvas.
Lisa has been instructing airbrush for several years. From private classes and small seminars up to 3 and 5 day comprehensive workshops, her focus is on it all: technique, equipment & product education, and material and product safety.