Your West Australian Symphony Orchestra isn’t just full to the brim with amazing musicians; the people you see on stage each week are also talented in different areas. Some may surprise you more than others…
To earn pocket money as a child, Violinist Melanie Pearn would bake biscuits and cakes for her family each weekend. The joy of baking is something that would continue into Melanie's adult life with her creations getting bigger and better.
Although Melanie found putting individual biscuits on trays tedious and time consuming in those early days, her view has changed since becoming a parent, “I find myself always baking huge quantities of a variety of biscuits for cost effectiveness and halving the sugar content to keep the treats a little healthier.” She has also become much quicker at getting the biscuits onto the trays, “I can have a batch of 100 Anzac biscuits made, cooked and cooling in under an hour.”
These days, as a mum of four, Melanie takes on the challenge of her children’s birthday cake requests. “The Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake book was a staple of my childhood, and the choosing of a cake in the weeks leading up to my birthday was cause for great excitement.” Melanie has followed this tradition with her own children, allowing them to pick their own birthday cake, “they find my old book a little dated and choose more current designs from online sources that I try to recreate.”
Having never had any formal training or instruction on cake decorating, the pictures speak for themselves as to Melanie’s talent. “Learning to pipe flowers and roll out fondant have been a trial and error experience for me, usually causing unnecessary stress in the lead-up and it turning out reasonably well in the end. I often make the actual cakes different colours so when the cake is cut, there is one more surprise of having coloured cake in the middle.”
Having two boys and two girls means Melanie has covered a range of different cakes, including Spiderman, Ironman, Superman/Batman, Ninja Turtles, Peppa Pig, Elsa from Frozen, Unicorns, Minions, and West Coast Eagles.
Here at WASO, we certainly can’t wait to see what Melanie creates next.