Monday, December 2, 2013

A master of decorating

As an employee of Wilton, I had the incredible opportunity this year to take the 40-hour Master Course at The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Art. This is a professional-level course, but it is designed to cover everything from the basics of making icing all the way through to flower-making and an introduction to basic stringwork. It's appropriate for decorators of all levels - even those who have never held or decorated with a piping bag before!

As the Director of Consumer Insights at Wilton, I had professional reasons for taking the course - one of my many areas of focus is our education offerings at Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabrics, and AC Moore, so it is important for me to understand how the experience varies at The Wilton School. But, as a decorator, I also had ulterior motives, and that was just to get a lot better at cake decorating!

In 40 hours of instruction, it was amazing how much we were able to cover. I was able to build on skills I already had experience with, in addition to learning a LOT of completely new-to-me techniques. As part of the course, we decorated an 8" real cake with many of the techniques we had already learned.

Then, for our graduation cake, we decorated a three-tiered dummy cake - the beauty of decorating on a dummy cake is you use royal icing and get to keep and display the cake forever, because there is nothing perishable. I decided to keep it simple with a clean color palette, and used the cake to show off some scroll work, drop strings, bead borders, e-motion borders, chandelier borders, and flower work:
Final cake!
The REALLY cool thing about working at Wilton, though, was that I was able to convince our Creative Department to stage and photograph the cake - I know it's not perfect, but I LOVE this photo so much. It looks like it belongs in a magazine. It's amazing what proper staging can do for a cake!

Glamour shot
Taking the Wilton Master Course was an INCREDIBLE experience, and I'm so thankful to have had this amazing opportunity. I know I will carry the lessons learned with me forever!


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