Born in 1977, originally from Livorno, Rome is her adopted town. Francesca Speranza is a decorator, graphic designer and illustrator, with a nice and sweet (worth mentioning) story to tell. After her degree in Graphic Design and Illustration, she expressed her passion for arts by decorating ceramics with the oil technique. Her pregnancy and the birth of her daughter Bianca (like the canvas an artist draws on) five years ago lead her to Toyland. Cakes replace ceramics and become her new canvas; she adapts the art of painting on pottery and turns it into oil painting on cakes. Today, she teaches such technique and works as adviser for companies of the cake design and pastry-making sector. Her talent has been acknowledged and awarded internationally: among others, the first price for best airbrushed cake at the Airbrush Talent Show, and second prize at the fifth Italian Artistic Pastry Cup at the Sigep 2016. Her maxim: taste and beauty are a tandem that confectioner and decorator have to pedal to obtain a perfect dessert!
Where does the idea of inventing oil painting technique on a cake come from?
When I turned eighteen, I asked for an oven to fire pottery and porcelain, rather than a party. A weird gift, but paint brushes used to accompany my everyday like back then. I have always been fascinated by third fire painting and dedicated my time to this art as much as I could. During my pregnancy, I had to avoid coming into contact with lead-based paint. Therefore, one day I started to decorate on sugar paste and found out that the two worlds could be merged.
What are the ingredients of your colour palette?
I just searched for edible, lipid-soluble colours and found a medium in my pantry that could be used like clove oil. It was a short step to understand that corn oil was the most suitable product to have the desired effect.
At the Sigep 2016, you presented the project “Bonus Track”: a monumental cake paying homage to The Beatles, which made you step up to the podium. Where did the project idea come from?
The Sigep 206 experience will stay with me forever. A great emotion, the result of months of preparation. Topic of the contest was music. The Beatles have been and still are an icon of music, design and style. To me, they represent my father’s record player on which he used the 45-rpm single records. The second place for “Bonus Track”, the award for aesthetics and taste, was the result of an obsessive analysis of the graphical style and careful research of the songs of the Fab Four. My oil painting technique had to be on it as well, and I used it to draw the four faces in black and white.
What is your favourite dessert?
My preferred dessert is her majesty the millefoglie pastry with hazelnut cream.
Since we are coffee lovers, reveal us how the dark drink can turn into “oil on cake”.
Similar to cocoa, coffee can become a wonderful colourant. With coffee you obtain retro and vintage effects, like the ones I created as background on my cake at the “Airbrush Talent Show”, where I won the first prize as best airbrushed cake.
Your future projects?
I would like to further improve in less perfect techniques and create partnerships with companies of the sector that care about research and innovation.