How It Works
Written by Robert Anasi ’89
Illustrations by Bonnie Dain
Good design feels inevitable. The process of creating a good design, however, is anything but. Here, six alumnae/i who make things for a living explain the frustrations and innovations behind their favorite projects.
Sarah Magid ’97
Brooklyn, New York
Organic baker and jewelry designer
A large wedding cake topped with sugar-paste flowers. “Sugar paste is like edible play-dough. It’s very soft at first, then gets hard, but it’s still very delicate. It has to be dried upside down, so that the petals mimic nature.”
Magid needed a mold for the flowers to dry on. The conventional technique is to use a lot of rolled-up paper towels for the job, but drying hundreds of sugar paste flowers would generate a lot of waste, which went against her organic philosophy.
“One morning I told myself, ‘There has to be another way.’” She searched her kitchen and found an empty egg carton in the recycling bin. “It had the perfect curved shape that I needed. I turned it over and dried my flowers on it, and the results were stunning. Unexpectedly, a simple egg carton has become a professional tool for my business.”
Why It Works
It’s resourceful. “Sometimes you have to erase the frame of reference for an object, such as an egg carton, and just see it as a beautiful, useful shape.”