Welcome to Two Forms Cake Studio. My name is Mary-Jane Walker (most people call me MJ - yup, like Spiderman's girlfriend) and I am the owner, baker, cleaner, accountant, media and marketing manager and designer amongst many other things. You might have gathered that I’m a solo entrepreneur! This means I have to juggle a huge amount of tasks to make this thing work. It’s a challenge for sure, but I love it.
This is my first ever blog and I wanted to use this opportunity to share a bit more about myself and explain why I started a modern minimalist cake business.
A bit about me
My background is actually in music, and the reason for coming to Leeds in the first place. I was born and bred in Essex and my mum is a violinist and music teacher. We are so similar, so it was inevitable I would also end up becoming a violinist too and found my way up North to do a music degree at The University of Leeds. I loved Leeds so much that when I graduated, I didn’t want to leave. I got married to a musician and we decided to stay here.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with my music degree, so I got a job in a local cafe and on my first day I was asked to make a carrot cake. My mind was blown, I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to make a cake. I felt like a kid at Christmas. In my excitement, I did so much research, bought all the recipe books and spent hours googling and watching YouTube tutorials. Both the customers and staff seemed to enjoy what I made and this was an amazing feeling. Over the next few years I worked in a few different kitchens and bakeries, eventually earning myself a role as head baker. This is where really grew and expanded my skills. But I had this nagging feeling that I should do my own thing. I wanted to be free to create cakes that combined my love of art with my passion for cake making.
Why modern minimalist?
My husband, Simeon Walker and I, really like minimalism and modernist design. In fact our love for this aesthetic runs so deep that it has influenced both of our work. Simeon’s music is classed as modern classical, but this doesn’t really explain how beautiful his writing and playing is. He writes piano music with the ethos that less really is more. The space is just as beautiful and important as the notes in between. It’s not about being flashy and showing off how many notes you can play, but about how delicate, brave and open you can be with so little.
This is the same ethos for Two Forms. I like to challenge myself to really think about all the elements of my cake designs so that everything you see has its own moment to shine.
Why Two Forms?
The name Two Forms comes from my love of Yorkshires own 'queen of sculpture', Barbara Hepworth. Her sleek, minimal and considered sculptures are a thing of beauty and clearly show expert craftsmanship. I love how Hepworth played with shapes, contours and texture and I always feel inspired whenever I see her work. So much so, that while working with Oslo Agency we even worked familiar Hepworth shapes into the branding.
I chose the name Two Forms Cake Studio when I was admiring Hepworths sculptures - many of them called 'two forms' - and it struck me that these words had multiple meanings for me. My work has two forms, that being it is art and it is also cake. There are also two forms that I work with, the sponge and the frosting. I also love how the word 'form' can mean two different things;
1. The visible shape or configuration of something.
2. A particular way in which a thing exists or appears.
Within both of these definitions is so much openness and freedom to express oneself. And that idea is really what inspired Two Forms Cake Studio to be what it is today.
Launching Two Forms
Since I launched Two Forms Cake Studio in September 2019, I have had the pleasure of creating so many unique cakes in collaboration with my customers who have trusted and allowed me to explore different styles and techniques. I started my own cake business so that I could explore my own creativity and work with incredible people with like minded taste. It brings me so much joy to know how much you enjoy looking at my cakes and (more importantly) eating them!