freakyfrau Posted 27 Jun 2005 , 5:38pm
post #1 of

How valuable have you found your Wilton classes to be?

I've been decorating cakes for a couple of years, exclusively for immediate family members. Since I found this wonderful site, I've learned so many great techniques that I took the next step and made a cake for a coworker. I got rave reviews and she wants me to make a cake for her daughter's first birthday. I've been thinking of taking the Wilton classes, but I just want to know if I would be sitting twiddeling my thumbs while they went over super basic stuff that I figured out myself in the first place. If you look at my photos, they show my most recent work.
I have so little free time, I don't know if sitting in a basic Wilton I class is worth my time or could I just take the second one? Any thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!

21 replies
GinaJuarez Posted 27 Jun 2005 , 5:45pm
post #2 of

I am just finishing course 1(final class tonight). I have only been decorating for about 4 months. We learned proper ways to hold the bag, shell border, dots, drop flowers, clowns, and the rose. The only reason I took course 1 was because I couldn't figure out the rose on my own. Everything else was kinda simplistic. Would definitely been mad had I paid full price.

Misdawn Posted 27 Jun 2005 , 5:47pm
post #3 of

I was wondering the same thing...I start my Course I class July 5th, and I was wondering if it was worth the money. I've got the Course I,II, and III books and I've been reading and practicing so I was sort of wondering if I should cancel my Course I and go straight to Course II.

stephanie214 Posted 27 Jun 2005 , 7:33pm
post #4 of

I finished course II in May and my classes were really disappointing. I also took the classes just to learn the rose, pansy, and mums.

My instructor was so bad that a couple of times I wanted to shout out to her to please go and get some more training and come back.

I'm glad also that I only paid half price. I had to drive 1 1/2 hours, pay $17.00 for bridge tunnel fees plus gas and basically got nothing out of it.

Will try to find another place to do Course III.

meghan89 Posted 27 Jun 2005 , 7:42pm
post #5 of

I think it all depends on the teacher and there knowledge. After completeing all three courses, I actually taught for a few months and the classes can be a good thing. Why dont you try one class and if it doesnt seem worth while, get a refund!

irisinbloom Posted 27 Jun 2005 , 8:02pm
post #6 of

I took coursse 2,&3 and personally I feel like I wasted my money because like some of the others the teacher was all about herself and what she had done in the past with cakes and never came to class prepared and didn't really teach, but it was fun when she did show us stuff. I personally have learned more here on CC than anywhere else, and I feel like a lot of pratice helps also. Just my opnion, and your cupcakes and cake is great.

freakyfrau Posted 27 Jun 2005 , 8:26pm
post #7 of

Thank you all so much, your feedback is greatly appreciated.
I think I'll spend my time practicing on my own. I spent a year in school at a "proprietary college" (my employer sent me)studying medical coding and was so mad because I knew more than most the teachers! I try to avoid going through that again if humanly possible!
I think I'll just practice and continue reading and researching. Maybe take a college class if I get serious about it.

APCakes Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 2:42am
post #8 of

Even if you know some (or all) of the techniques taught in the classes, it might help to just get the excuse to practice and be around other cake decorators! It can be fun, but yes, the teacher does make a difference. Michaels has special deals on the classes each month, so it might not hurt to give it a try!

I did the classes with a friend, and it was really fun, even though I already knew how to do a lot of the techniques. It helped me get better, and I got humbled a lot because I didn't know as much as I thought I did! icon_smile.gif

momsandraven Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 2:57am
post #9 of

The biggest thing I got out of Course I, aside from how to make the rose, was how to identify if my frosting was thin, medium or stiff. That has helped me a lot. I also made a great new friend who was a classmate. For me, it was as much about getting out of the house once a week as it was about learning. If you're a pretty busy lady and don't have the luxury of taking a class just to get out, I'd wait for Course II.

emi Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 3:02am

Hi,
I registered for courses 1 and 2 at Michaels, and will be starting them next week in July. I'm a stay at home mom, and I look forward to meeting other people with same interests that live in my area. I've already learned so much from this and other sites, that I also thought it might be a waste of time, or not worth the money. But being away from the house for couple of hours a week, and doing what I enjoy doing in peace with no kids crying around, I think would be worth the $25 I paid for each class. Also, having the certificate of completion is a plus.
Emi

tcturtleshell Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 3:31am

IMHO,

I think if you have NEVER done anything w/ a cake other then bake it in a pan, leave it in the pan & plop icing on it you should take the 1st Course. If you've done more on your own I think it would be a waste of time. When I started all I did was the pan/icing thing. So I needed to learn everything! My Wilton teacher was wonderful!! She was a little fast for me but I got her to slow down when I didn't understand her. I learned so much!

If do not know how to make royal icing/color flow then it would be a good idea to start at Course 2. The royal icing flower are great fun to make!!

I wasn't interesting in Course 3 because I had no idea what fondant was but I took it anyway. I thought I'd never use fondant. Boy, was I wrong!!! I don't like Wilton fondant but since the DOS I had I LOVE MMF!!!!!!!!!! I already have a cake order using MMF!!!!!

Misdawn.......... I saw you make the roses I taught you, the rope & the rest & you have a nack for decorating!!!!!! If I were you I would only take Course 2 & 3... but then again you already know how to work w/ fondant!!!! Maybe just Course 2!!!! But there is more flowers in Course 3.

One thing about Wilton classes..........

You will have to buy a lot of stuff in order to take each course. Hobby Lobby sells the Course books. I would suggest that you look over the books & see if you already know some of the stuff they teach. That would help you make your decision.

I enjoyed every bit of the Wilton classes. It was great meeting people who was interested in the same thing I was. The great company & being away from family was wonderful!!

It's your call. Good luck!!!!

ump107 Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 3:57am

I am going to put in my $.02 about the Wilton classes. (This may be wordy but hear me out.) At this time I have yet to take any of the Wilton classes, there is a Michaels store less than 5 min from where I live but I just havent had the time to take a class between work and school. I have been involved in Fire and Emergency services for the better part of 12 years. I have taken many classes that are essentially repeats of what I have already attended. In each class no matter how similar or how much I knew going into the class I have come out with a little something extra in my knowledge toolbox. My feelings about the Wilton courses are I will take them when I can, hopefully soon. If you take the Wilton courses there is a good chance you will learn something whether it is a different way to do a border or a way of holding your bag differently that may provide better results. Even if your instructor isnt very good most likely you will learn a little something. Also look at it as a way to meet people with a similar interest that you may be able to share tips and techniques with. With that said it is truly up to you what you want to do, as others have said you could take one course and if you like it take another one, if you dont like it express your displeasure with the manager or whomever runs the courses and see if you can get compensation or a refund for the fee.
Best of luck to you in whatever you choose to do.

brennafaye Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 12:39pm

I am one class away from completing Course II. I have loved every bit of my classes. Not only have I had an absolutely fabulous instructor who has a wealth of knowledge but does not overwhelm us with personal anectdotes. The other thing that has been wonderful with taking the courses is the time out with others who share my interest and also a great way to occupy my mind when I am in turmoil in my brain. I am dealing with infertility treatments and the cake decorating classes are a time when I am so busy in class learning a new technique, flower, or perfecting something that I already knew that I can take my mind off the stress and actually feel relaxed. I even have a 1 1/4 hour drive to class but it is so nice to be there that the drive is more of relax time when I just can unwind and collect myself.

I knew how to do a lot of techniques before class but I am really glad I started out with Course I and I took the classes through the Michaels and my first course was 1/2 off so that one cost $12.50 and the second course was 1/2 off plus by signing up the last night of course I, I also got a $5 coupon and so it cost only $7.50. The necessary items with it cost a little bit but it was always worth it and can be used in the future.
Brenda

Misdawn Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 12:49pm

Thanks for the vote of confidence Tina. I already paid for Course I at the Michaels store here. I'm going to see if I can get a refund or use it for Course II. I don't know exactly how they do that. Thanks for the advice. P.S. I had a GREAT time at the DOS! Thanks for all your help!

littlebubbieschocolates Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 1:00pm

ive just started doing cakes. i want to do the classes but they dont have them here. which really sucks, and if they do there too far to go. thats why i think ill just get some dvds on how to do some of this stuff

cakegal Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 1:03pm

Well, when I took my classes at Michaels...they wouldn't let me skip Course I... I was more interested in Course III.... but I had to take them all....My teacher was new.... and slow.... but I did pick up some better ways of doing things.... But weighing it all in the balance.... I have my certificates, and alot of knowledge.... it was well worth the $75 for the lessons.... the only thing I was dissappointed about was... I was the only one taking lessons, so I didn't have the advantage to get tips from other cake decorators..... but my teacher gave me some really nice gifts.... I don't know if they all do that or not, but I appreciated it..
Happy lesson taking,
cakegal

toosdai Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 3:40pm

I am relatively new to the site and new to cake baking (my Fiance would argue that I am new to cooking, too). I am taking my last Course I class on Thursday and absolutely love the classes!

My instructor is a little chatty, with all of her anecdotes but she is a very good instructor and it seems like she really enjoys what she is doing. Our class has 15 people in it but she gives each of us the attention we need. Course I is very basic- we have learned Shell borders, Stars, Drop Flowers, Writing, Roses and Icing consistency. If you already have the hang of these techniques - I say start with Course II.

Good Luck.... icon_smile.gif

freakyfrau Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 5:01pm

wow, what great feedback!!!
Yeah maybe I will take a class, I had issues with icing thickness yesterday actually!!! It would be a chance to meet other people and I'm always up for meeting new people!
Thank you so much folks! I love this site!!!

mrsrunning Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 5:17pm

I will be taking course 1 even though I feel I know everything they are going to teach me except the rose, I can not get the rose for the life of me.

barbara-ann Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 6:01pm

my 13yr. old just finished her last class of course one last night. I went to each class and i picked up a couple of tips from the teacher. I took classes from an individual(who had her own shop) 20 years ago. She was a really good teacher. The one thing I liked from my teacher was that we learned to do a lot of different flowers and borders besides what the wilton course 1 and 2 teaches. (But I guess that's what you get when an individual teaches you.). I also am aware that they have a 2 hour time limit.
One thing I didn't like about my daughters teacher was the way she did her roses. By the time she was done making her roses, it was flat on the rose nail. When I learned roses, by the time I finished my rose, the was still a glob of frosting on the bottom where you have some room to take it off the nail. I don't know if that makes any sense or not. I hope it does.
Plus she taught us candy making!
I think you can always pick up tips in all the classes.

Misdawn Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 6:03pm

mrsrunning, talk to ntertaynme. She has a stick method for doing the rose that I learned this weekend. I could never do the rose either, but with her stick method it is so simple you'll hate yourself for not figuring it out on your own. Trust me, PM ntertaynme.

Calejo Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 6:50pm

I took all 3 courses, and at my Michael's, they wouldn't let us skip ahead a course or two. I was working at a bakery at the time and was beginning to get interested in cake decorating. I was grateful for the things I had learned there. She was able to teach us a lot through her experiences and instruction. I recommend them for anyone who's interested in refining their techniques or is just starting out. If you're concerned about whether or not your instructor will be an experienced one, you can always ask the store manager how long their teacher has been decorating/teaching before you take your class.

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