What Is Sugarcraft?
Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating and Making Things From Sugar!
Sugarcraft is an increasingly popular hobby which can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
What exactly is it? And what do you need to get started?
Although this hobby has been around for a long while, recent TV programs (such as "Ace of Cakes" and "Cake Boss") have really boosted it's popularity. Also, in a time of recession, more people are looking to make things themselves, and can save a lot of money by making and decorating their own cakes for special occasions.
Once you have learned a few basic tips and tricks, and practiced them a bit, you will be amazed by the professional looking results you can achieve.
Different Areas of Sugarcrafting - Flowers
From what I have observed, Sugarcrafting can be divided into two main sections. People seem to gravitate towards one or the other.
The first type of Sugarcrafting is "Flowers". You would be absolutely stunned to see some of the creations that talented Sugarcrafters are able to make. The flowers and bouquets that they make to grace the tops of cakes look so real you almost want to smell and touch them.
Great effort is made to produce flowers that are as botanically correct as possible. The size of the petals and leaves in proportion to one another, the colors and textures are all made in precise detail.
There are many tools and cutters out there that are designed specifically for flower making. For instance, you can buy hundreds of different cutters for petals and flowers; hundreds of different types of veiners for giving texture, hundreds of types of dusts, colors and pastes for coloring your flower, and hundreds of books, courses and competitions - all based on this area of making flowers from sugar!
To start with, I would recommend that you take a course, or find a tutorial online that shows you how to make a wired rose. Imagine how beautiful a simple white or ivory wedding cake would look with a simple spray of beautiful roses that match the bride's colors!
The photo in the previous section is a spray of roses that I made on a beginners course with absolutely no previous experience. I was thrilled to bits with the result!!
Although Sugarcraft flowers are made from edible materials (apart from any wires, or course), they are generally not eaten as they don't really taste very nice! The type of paste (flower paste) or sugar that flowers are generally made from is different from regular fondant or sugar paste. It contains more gums to make the paste more elastic, which in turn makes it possible to roll the paste out much thinner and produce very delicate work. You can make flowers from regular sugar paste as well which taste much better - but they don't last as long, and you can't do as detailed or delicate work. The amazing thing about these flowers is that you can keep them for many years - a fantastic memento from your wedding or other special occasion! As long as your flowers are kept somewhere reasonably airtight and free from damp, you could keep them for up to 50 years!!!! I still have the flowers from the top of my wedding cake on a shelf on display in my kitchen!!
If you would like to know more about this area of Sugarcraft, have a look at some books by experts such as Alan Dunn.
Of course the best way to try it our for yourself is to take a hands on course where you can see if this type of Sugarcrafting is for you or not!
Different Areas of Sugarcrafting - Novelty
The other, and probably most popular area of Sugarcrafting is the Novelty area.
People love to make, receive and eat novelty cakes for all sorts of occasions. It could be a novelty bride and groom cake topper for a wedding, a fun car shaped car for a little boy, or a cake shaped like a princess for a little girl! Your imagination is the limit. This aspect of Sugarcrafting probably is a little bit easier and less fiddly than making flowers. People generally use ready to roll fondant or sugarpaste, and although much of it is modeled by hand, there are basic tools and cutters that you can use to help you. For instance, Karen Davies produces some amazing molds that are easy to use and customize to help you to make faces and people.
I have had the privilege of attending some Sugarcraft shows and competitions
and have seen some of these artists at work! Their creations are simply amazing!!
To Learn More
If you would like to know more about this fascinating hobby, I am constantly working on a website called "How To Ice A Cake" which includes tips and tricks, an online Amazon shop and also comprehensive product reviews - including a page on the top ten products to buy for your kit when you are starting out!
Please visit and leave comments and questions either here in the Guestbook, or using the Contact Form on the website. I will do my best to get back to you with any information that you need!