Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More Sugar Flowers with PME

I recently managed to take a quick trip back home.  December is a great time to visit as everyone is so excited about Christmas!! 

My primary reason for this trip was to learn more about sugar flowers at PME cake decorating school in Enfield, near London.  It was a very affordable 4 day intensive course, which was only 250 pounds, which included lunch and as much coffee and tea as we could drink.  I didnt realize at the time, but it was part 3 of a 'master sugar artist' course.  I may return for the other parts in the future.

 We covered so many flowers! 

Starting with some unwired flowers we made gerbera with ivy, a rose, and a Christmas rose and poinsettia. They were all on plaques, which could be prepared ahead and then would finish any cake very nicely.

We then started on some more difficult wired flowers.  We made 'filler flowers' and buds, then fuschias.

Carnations were next.  Apparently the instructor doesnt like carnations, but I really loved them.  I'd love to design a cake with some enormous carnation type fantasy flowers dotting the front of it!

We then made some lily of the valley.  This was the instructors work, I thought they were so delicate and pretty, and actually not that hard to do, I hope to be making more of these in the future.  So cute!

This picture also shows some calla lilies.  They were nice and simple to do too.

We also made rose leaves and ivy.  I was disappointed that this was one of the last things we got started on, leaves are very important in the design of bouquets, so it was very frustrating that there wasn't much time for these because everyone got so caught up with their other projects.  If we'd been taught these early, we could have been working on these in any downtime we had.

This is the display that the instructor made,with a very pretty lily, which was one of the other flowers we worked on.

The other flower we made was, of course, a rose.  This is one of the most used flowers in cake design so it was good to have another try at it.  I didn't quite get mine perfect, but hopefully with a bit more work I can get the hang of them!

 This is one of my sprays of flowers, you can see I'd have been better off had I had some extra ivy to fill it out, and my coloring of my lily left a little to be desired, but its a good start!

My other spray had the prettier flowers, but 'lacked focus'.  You can see that my next project will need to be a flower arranging class!  It was amazing to see the sheer volume of flowers we managed to produce in 4 days!!
Previous classes I've taken leave you with two flowers over two days, so this was definitely more intense and productive!  PME designed this class to help people produce sugar flowers that were actually commercially viable, so they may not always be perfectly correct looking, but good enough for most people. 

The other downside with the PME classes is that the only equipment and supplies used are ones that PME sell, so they were either JEM, Wilton or PME.  Even if there was a better product, we werent able to use it.  This was particularly frustrating when making leaves as I'm used to using a grooved board to roll them out on, which leaves a groove for the wire to be put into.

I've taken a few pictures of other examples from the other students and instructors.  It was interesting to see the different color schemes. 

Every student on the class went away with something beautiful, so it was a testament to a great instructor that such a complex skill was so well taught. 

Having been to many classes with Jacqueline Butler at Petalsweet Cakes, and also a class with Tami Utley, I'd say this was much more intense, and the students were not there to have fun, they were there to learn.  Everyone seemed to be feeling the pressure, even though maybe half of us werent professionals.  I had to wonder about why they were taking time off work to do something that seemed to be stressing them out so much!

Overall this was a great experience.  I got experience of making a ton of different flowers.  I feel a lot more confident about trying new sugar flowers, and I already was asked to make some orchids for a cake that they were making at CAKE, so they already came in handy!  Here are the bright vibrant flowers they asked for!


Kitt said...

Wow, those are gorgeous! I would've loved to have had any of those on my wedding cake.

caninecologne said...

hi jw - the flowers are so beautiful! i love them all and they look so realistic as well! my favorite is the orchid and the carnation...