Last week I wrote about pumpkin carving, and this week I’m discussing baking. You might wonder, what is this girl even talking about? How do these things relate to art? As a reminder, my blog series seeks to bring the arts from my home to yours. This school year presents unique challenges for how we create and experience different art forms, and I hope to document my process navigating these changes. For example, this week, I attempted to make banana bread for the very first time. I learned that small differences in ingredients and recipes can have a big impact on the flavor, aroma, and appearance of baked goods. Besides granting me a delicious finished product, my experiences inspired me to consider the similarities between baking and art.
What is art? Art conveys human creativity and imagination. As art includes a diverse range of types and activities, baking could be considered a form of art through the imaginative and technical skill required of its baker. Both artists and bakers learn how to use their chosen medium in various ways. In baking, ingredients are measured, altered, and mixed to create something new. Like other forms of art, becoming good at the craft takes practices, dependent upon the ongoing process of trial and error and the available materials.
A sculptor can shape a basic piece of clay into something wonderful, while an instrumentalist can use the same instrument to play different sets of notes and sounds. Similarly, a baker can use the basic structure of their mediums–utensils, ingredients, recipes–to create an original product. As an artist, they combine chemistry with whimsy ingenuity to create familiar yet unique goods. No two baked goods are exactly alike. Much like the art of performers, painters, and other artists, the products that bakers make can provoke emotion and reflect creativity. As such, bakers use flavors, aesthetics, and textures to create edible art pieces, applying their unique ideas and skills to create breads, cakes, and more from scratch.