Saturday, January 17, 2015

Craftsy Class Review: Arranging Sugar Flowers, From Classic To Contemporary

Craftsy Logo
Arranging Sugar Flowers is another Craftsy class taught by James Rosselle, whose flowers I love. Seriously, how can you not love a class that includes shots of trays of sugar flowers like this? I've been messing with wafer paper recently but gumpaste will always kick wafer paper's butt in a cake fight. If you don't make gumpaste flowers you should go get started learning how to. Go to Craftsy and check out James Rosselle and Nicholas Lodge's classes, they're the best.



So I might be a little biased, but I did think that this class was good for a few things. First, he goes over how to construct a bunch of different cake setups, including some with separators between tiers. This is handy for someone who has to do something other than a basic stacked cake.

Next, he talks about color and balancing the flowers in different types of arrangements. This will be helpful to people who go online to ask about how to put a cascade of sugar flowers together, or who tend to overdo it without making sure the arrangements are balanced visually.

Along with that, he talks about how to insert the flowers into the cake and keep the wires out of the cake. That's important for food safety, but also for liability if someone decides to sue you because they bit down on a wire. Because people are dumb and might actually bite down on a wire if it's in the cake.

The only thing I have to quibble with is that throughout the class he talks about food safety like he was warned not to say anything that can raise the ire of the Craftsy students. If you read the questions that go along with the class it's clear that there's a subgroup of people on Craftsy who are convinced that you should NEVER use anything inedible on a cake, and that the sky will fall if you do. Because of this (I'm assuming) he referred to a few things in the arrangement that are clearly NOT edible as being made from edible materials. My guess is that Craftsy told him to do that so that they could just avoid the wackadoos who screech about using a plastic pearl in an arrangement, but who have no problem using canned icing that's full of chemical soup.

Here's the thing...Sticking a craft store butterfly into an arrangement of sugar flowers won't do nearly as much damage to you as going outside and breathing traffic fumes will, so relax. Avoid sticking things directly into the cake, but don't make a federal case out of the fact that not everything you use on a cake isn't made from sugar. It's a misplaced concern.

So back to the class...he doesn't show how to make the flowers in this class, just how to arrange them. There are other classes that teach how to make the flowers he uses and how to build some of the separators he uses, so if you're looking for that this isn't the class you want. He does show how to secure the separators he uses, so if you want to see how to do that you'll get that info here. Some of the separators are pretty questionable as far as being secure go, so you wouldn't want to set them up and transport the cakes assembled. These would be an on-site setup.

My final review:

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate
Equipment you have to have: Flowers, a cake, wire cutters, dowels, needle nosed pliers.
Sleep-inducing level: He's pretty soft-spoken so get the caffeine out if you start watching this and you're drowsy.
What it assumes you already know: How to ice a cake and make the flowers.
Unnecessary Difficulty Level Of Methods Demonstrated: Nothing much
Annoying Host Habits: Nothing that bothers me, but he's an enthusiastic hand talker, so if you don't like that get ready to be annoyed. I do it myself, so I think it's TOTALLY NORMAL.
Level of Helpful Hints Learned: A lot about color and balance, and the basics of how to get things into the cake without breaking them.

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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