Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beyond Sugar Flowers Workshop Classes at Icing Inspirations!

One word sums up how I feel about the Beyond Sugar Flowers workshop that I taught at Icing Inspirations... AMAZING! Everything about my trip, the workshops, the students and the Icing Inspirations team was AMAZING!
I arrived Friday afternoon into Toronto and Chrissie Boon of Icing Inspirations and Too Nice to Slice picked me up. We stopped by her shop/studio to drop of my supplies for the class and she had everything set up for the class! What a huge help. That's what I love about her and her team, they make it effortless. There were only a few things I had to do which had to be done the morning of. From there we had a nice dinner and I rested up for the evening.
Saturday was the first day of class. I had 11 students, all who for the most part are cake designers. Many of them are local celebrities because they were featured on the new show in Canada called Cake Walk!
Most of the women had exposure to sugar flowers so there was a little bit of a struggle because they had the mindset that everything must be THIN! Once they tried to stop thinking that they were working with "sugar" they were getting the hang of it. I was definitely worried that we wouldn't finish everything they were tasked to do in the 3 days, but they did a phenomenal job!This was their very first exposure to clay and they soon realized the benefits of clay over sugar. Of course I had no understanding of the process of sugar flowers either so I was educated on how long their process takes and how fragile it is compared to clay. Many of the techniques of DECO Clay Craft Academy were very different from what they know of making sugar flowers, but they quickly saw how wonderful a medium the clay is to making flowers just as beautiful as they are with sugar, but in less time. Everyone commented about how clean the clay is, how quick the process is to construct the flower, how durable they were and how lifelike they can be.The first day we focused on more traditional flowers, but ones they would enjoy - peonies, ranunculus, lily of the valley, hydrangeas and lilac. The second day focused on various tropical flowers. They were probably all sick of teardrops by the end but they felt the amount of repetition was very helpful with trying to get a good understanding of the techniques in such a short amount of time. I let everyone decide what colors they wanted to make their flowers and I love the variety and differences in each of their masterpieces!
I have a new found appreciation (granted I already had one before this) of the work that goes into sugar art! I really had an AMAZING time in the 5 short days that I was there. I made some new friends and I learned a lot as well. It's been a long time since I've taught more than just a handful of students at a time so it was a great lesson on how to help keep the class moving and making sure everyone finishes in the time allotted. Surprisingly they all told me this was the only class where they actually finished early! Chrissie's husband and business partner also loved the fact that clean up was a SNAP! Hardly any mess. He just had to sweep the floor! LOL.If you're in the Ontario area and looking for a great line of products for cake/cookie decorating needs, definitely check out Icing Inspirations. Chrissie and Justin have a great line of products to sell. I even bought some sugar art tools to try out myself. I am very excited to see if I can use some of the items I bought. They even offer free shipping Tuesdays!
I am so very honored to have had this opportunity to share the art of DECO Clay Craft Academy to Canadian sugar/cake artists! I can't wait to see what they create in the coming year out of clay! I know they will wow their clients with their clay flower creations.
Thank you also to Tracey Paul of Invite Me Creative who came a distance to assist me with the classes and keep them moving along.
I'm happy to be home again with my family, but I do miss my new cake artist friends that I've made over the last few days! I'm always in awe of their work as well because while they couldn't believe what I can do out of clay, I also couldn't believe what they could do with cake and sugar! I have lots of wonderful memories of the last 5 days and as a keepsake, Chrissie gives each student an Icing Inspirations apron to have the instructor sign, however, I asked all my students to sign my apron so I have a lasting keepsake of my AMAZING experience with some truly talented artists!
Thank you Chrissie and Justin for believing in what I do and knowing that your community of cake artists would love the art of clay flowers! You two are unbelievably talented, kind, and just down right AMAZING! For those of you in the cake world, definitely check out who will be teaching at Icing Inspirations because they have a FABULOUS line up of FANTASTIC guest and local instructors. They book quickly so don't delay if you see a class you want to take.


Jacqueline Butler said...

Congratulations Diane...looks like an amazing class! Your students created beautiful flowers...wish I could have been there, would have loved to have taken the workshop! xx

DK Designs said...

Aww, thanks Jacqueline. It would have been lovely to have you there, but I know you too were teaching at the same time. Hope to see you again soon!