I keep pushing the jeweled wedding cake review back, but the vintage cake technique class is on sale this week, so I thought I'd go ahead and review it now.
This class was taught by Colette Peters, who is arguable one of the cake decorating world's matriarchs. Although I don't know if she enjoys being called that, since she isn't that old...
This class included a TON of brush embroidery, which I assume is the vintage cake look part of it, but as far as modern techniques goes, I didn't see much of that. It wasn't a bad class, it had a lot of information about how to do brush embroidery, but it just has a weird name.
Colette's approach is very "deliberate," shall we say. It's good because it shows all the steps that she takes to get the brush embroidery look. It's bad because it shows all...the...steps... People had warned me to enter into watching this class in a highly caffeinated state, and that was good advice. It probably doesn't help that her speaking voice is very calming and sleep-inducing when she's explaining things.
The first part of the class is the brush embroidery section, and the second part is an antiqued look cake, so you do get two different cakes out of the entire thing. As far as tips go, there was enough that a beginner would get A LOT out of this class, and someone with more experience could still pick up some new tricks. She also shows how to make the sugar cages that go around the cake tiers.
The only thing that could be problematic for some people is that Colette assumes that you understand how to mix colors. Since she has an art background she just does the coloring like I would, which would be to not even think to explain how to do it since it's just something that you think everyone knows how to do. (If you're a total newbie to mixing color, I've been told that this free Craftsy class on how to paint on cakes would be useful.)
So my overall review:
Skill level: Beginner to Intermediate
Equipment you have to have: Paintbrushes, basic piping tools, basic fondant modeling tools.
Sleep-inducing level: High...Go into this with a good supply of caffeine or pins to poke yourself with to stay awake.
What it assumes you already know: Color theory, to a certain extent.
Unnecessary Difficulty Level Of Methods Demonstrated: The only thing that made my skin crawl was watching the process of removing the cages from the paper. I kept thinking "she should turn that thing upside down and take the paper off the cage, not the cage off the paper." Then I thought that maybe there was a reason she wasn't doing that, but when she did get it off she turned it upside down to attach the sides. So yeah, unnecessary difficulty.
Annoying Host Habits: She talks really sloooow most of the time. Super slow assembly of things, too. I need a snappier approach, but I can see how some people would like the in-depth tedium.
Level of Helpful Hints Learned: I got a few things out of it, and a newbie would be able to do a decent brush embroidery cake if they used the techniques shown. Even if you've done brush embroidery before, it's interesting to see how other people do it, and if there's something that you could do differently.
I'd say this one was worth it on sale...since I have experience in the techniques she was showing I wouldn't pay full price, but I'm cheap anyway. If you're a total beginner it would probably be worth full price.
(FYI- watching Craftsy classes on a PC allows you to see the questions that
have been asked by other students. Mobile devices don't always show
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember
LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and is a Craftsy