I am Nikki Phelps, a Northern-virginia based art therapist and pastrylover. Originally from Munich, Germany, I taught workshops and classes focusing on fibre arts for many years, while exploring the art of cakes, pastries and sweet treats in my home kitchen.

Both, my profession as a trained art therapist and my passion for baking blended naturally after moving to Virginia in 2016. When my day job is done, I teach workshops and classes on the art of pastry baking, desserts and bread baking, embracing the idea of a culinary art therapy.

I am deeply rooted in the Southern German tradition of pastry art and bread baking. On my father’s side, the family owned a bakery and pastry shop in turn-of-century Haidhausen, at the time one of Munich’s working class neighborhoods. After WWI, my great-grandparents moved to the Eastern outskirts of the city where they owned property. What today is part of suburban Munich, back then was still a rural area. The family opened a grocery store, serving their neighbors as a resource of scarce goods during and after WWII. the store still existed when I grew up in the 1970s, but at the time was leased by a couple that sold an odd assortment of office supplies, news papers & magazines, as well as candy and drinks.

Until my grandfather died in the mid 1990s, he lived in a house behind the store, surrounded by an enchanted, oldfashioned garden where he grew vegetables, tended to an orchard of apple and plum trees, and where he kept goldfish in a turquise colored basin. On holidays, he would turn on the quaint little fountain that he had built out of rocks into the basin. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, we would vistit him in late summer to pick the ripe apples and blue plums. We’d climb on a tall latter and then further up into the trees that were heavy with fruit. We’d go home with buckets full of the delicacies to be turned into sweet scented apple and plum tarts, ideally consumed with heaps of heavy whipping cream.

Based on my own food narratives and the many emotions tied to them, the focus of my work today is on exploring food as an expression of shared emotional and cultural experience. I strongly believe, that our lives’ stories are best shared while we immerse our hands in flour and our memories are most intensely recollected by the scent of freshly baked goods lingering around us.

Sent me an email for more information on workshop location and schedule, or if you are interested in working together:
nicola.phelps (at) cox (dot) net

Please note that all images and content on these pages are copyrighted and cannot be used without my permission. If you would like to feature some of my work digitally on your website, blog or social media, in print publication or other forms of distribution, please contact me first and inquire about usage rights and licensing.