Monday, July 21, 2014

Craftsy Class Review: The Secrets To Perfect Stenciling

The Secrets To Perfect Stenciling was taught by Alan Tetreault of Global Sugar Arts. This class actually did have some good tips in it, if you can ignore the advertisement for Sugar Dress in the middle of it.

He went over stenciling on fondant and buttercream as well as doing some cookies and plaques for cupcakes. I picked up some tips on how to adjust the stencils to fit different sizes of tiers and that kind of thing, and it's always good to see someone else do something like this since you can pick up some tips that will make it easier when you do it.

The section on Sugar Dress, which is a product that makes plastic-like sugar designs that you can pick up and toss around, store for months, apparently, then stick on the cake instead of stenciling or piping the design on, took up the middle section of the class. I don't know why this was included in the class other than to take up space and to advertise the product. It's not stenciling, and this and the sugarveil products kind of creep me out with their floppy textures and gelatinous creepiness. You also have to buy mats to use it in, and the chances of a customer asking for a specific design that the mats come in is very low in wedding cakes. Usually if a bride wants lace on the cake she wants HER lace, not a random pattern on a mat. So it ends up being easier to pipe it on.

So ignoring that section, the other ones are helpful and since you can make your own stencils, you could theoretically do that and customize those for brides. I've made stencils that looked like the invitation and monograms the couple had designed for them, so I'd say that the stenciling tips were worthwhile.

However, since the Sugar Dress stuff was in there, that takes points away. If I buy a class about stenciling that's what I want to learn. So I'd say to buy this one on sale, not full price, because it's really 75% about stenciling and 25% about other stuff.

My final review:

Skill Level: intermediate due to the need to be able to cover a cake with fondant and do a good job smoothing out the buttercream to get an even stenciling surface.
Equipment you'll need: Stencils, knives, icing, etc.
Sleep-Inducing level: I did fall asleep.
What it assumes you already know: How to ice a cake.
Unnecessary Level Of Difficulty For Techniques Shown: Not very much, it's pretty straightforward.
Annoying Host Habits: Nothing I can think of, he's pretty comfortable teaching.
Level Of Helpful Hints Learned: I picked up some tips about modifying the stencils, and if you haven't done any stenciling before you'll have a good idea of how to do it after you watch the class.

Click here for my Craftsy pattern shop, which has a bunch of freebies in it: A Cake To Remember On Craftsy


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at  www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

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