Oriental And Australian Stringwork?

Decorating By DoniB Updated 15 Apr 2008 , 6:12pm by sweetflowers

DoniB Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 5:15pm
post #1 of 12

Greetings all! icon_smile.gif

I did a search, but came up with very little... does anyone know of a site or something that shows the basics on how to do either of these methods? I think they're absolutely gorgeous... I'd just like to know how! LOL I can probably figure it out, but I'd like to start with some basic stuff...

Any help? icon_smile.gif

Thanks in advance!

11 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 5:30pm
post #2 of 12

I've never heard of oriental stringwork. Would you please post the link(s) to the information you have on it?


Theresa icon_smile.gif

DoniB Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 5:57pm
post #3 of 12

here's one picture I found of it just now... there are two in the CC archives if you do a search on it.

that link is a much simpler version than some I've seen. Some are just down-right impressive!

The one thing that confuses me about it is that I know it's done upside down. But I'm not sure I've ever seen a real cake with this technique. Most of the examples I've seen have been practice or dummy cakes. So I'm not sure what to do to prep the cake for the technique, though I'm sure it's obvious and really simple. icon_razz.gif

That's why I'm hoping someone who's done it will see this and point me in the right direction. icon_smile.gif

It's really cool-looking, though!

playingwithsugar Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 6:00pm
post #4 of 12

Ok, thanks.

I know what it is now, I had just never heard it called that before. I saw this on a wedding cake in a bakery window in Chinatown, NYC, about 3 years ago. I did not know of the specific name.

Thanks again!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

aztomcat Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 6:01pm
post #5 of 12

I know tobagarret has a cake called 3 tiered wedding with Australian stringwork....
Here's the website:


here's a few more places with pics:



also if you search the Sydney Royal Easter show, they have a cake competition every year and a lot of the wedding cakes have stringwork.

There is an Australian cake forum with a gallery: cakedec.forumotion.com - Maybe you can find ideas there as well.

Don't know much about oriental stringwork.....but you've made me curious.

Omicake Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 6:13pm
post #6 of 12

Cakemommy is a CCer who does exraordinary string work.Maybe she could be of help to you if she knows of a site where you could find some information.

smab109 Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 6:25pm
post #7 of 12

"The Complete Book of Cake Decorating with SugarPaste" by Sylvia Coward has step by step instructions.

You definately need a steady hand and lots of patience

alanahodgson Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 8:46pm
post #8 of 12


The one thing that confuses me about it is that I know it's done upside down. But I'm not sure I've ever seen a real cake with this technique. Most of the examples I've seen have been practice or dummy cakes. So I'm not sure what to do to prep the cake for the technique, though I'm sure it's obvious and really simple. icon_razz.gif quote]

I think part of the reason why you've seen dummy cakes is because it takes so long to complete such detailed work. An American cake would be yucky by the time you finished your design. From what I've learned from reading Toba Garrett's "The Well Decorated Cake" Traditionally this type of stringwork is probably done on fruitcake, covered first with marzipan and then with fondant or royal icing. Fruitcake keeps FOREVER!!!! as we know by the old jokes. So since there's less worry about the cake spoiling or being stale you've got weeks to complete your stringwork design.

ETA: Or am I thinking of Lambeth??????whoops! I could be totally talking out me rear!

DoniB Posted 13 Apr 2008 , 9:27pm
post #9 of 12

ya know, that would make sense. And with fruitcake, it's hard as a rock anyhow, so turning it upside down wouldn't be a problem, since whatever's holding it wouldn't damage it much at all. LOL

Hmmm... I'll have to think about that for my dad's birthday this Christmas... he loves fruitcake. icon_razz.gif

redred Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 9:20am
post #10 of 12

Nicholas Lodge and Norma Laver both have written books about stringwork. They are not recent, but you could ask your library to help. I use dummy cakes for stringwork and extension. If the cake is to be upsidedown, let the fondant dry for at least a week - preferably 2 - before turning it upside down. That is why it's not a good idea to use real cake for this sort of thing. It is important to get your royal icing right; too much air and the strings will be weak and break; also, need certain consistency for certain things; the smaller the tip, the looser the icing. Sift it in a very fine sieve to ensure no lumps, otherwise the constantly blocking tip will drive you nuts!

bashini Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 10:09am
post #11 of 12

Hi, I have a book called THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF SUGARCRAFT BOOK 2. The pricipal teacher is Nicholas Lodge. They have all step by step instructions with the photos and some templates as well.

sweetflowers Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 6:12pm
post #12 of 12

I have an oriental stringwork cake in my photos. Fruitcake is best for this work not only because of the length of time it takes (though you can do it in 2 days) but because it's extremely fragile. If the board flexes or cake settles or moves during transport the whole string structure will break. These strings are overlapped so you can't break just one! And you are right, the cake is turned upside down to work on.

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