Ok....having a dilemma.
I applied for pastry school the other day. Of course right after I sent the application, DH reminded me that I had already applied a year and a half ago and probably didn't need to have my transcripts sent again. How did I forget that???? But I digress....
Now that I've taken that step, I started to wonder whether the right thing to do might be to skip pastry school and go for some art classes. Most of the employees at Charm City Cakes are artists....Colette Peters is an artist. I have never had an art class and am "creatively challenged". I can decide I want to make a cake to look like a certain object or animal, and do ok. But designing a wedding cake on my own seems like an insurmountable challenge, which is why I declined to enter the OSSAS wedding cake competition again this year.
Would my time be better spent by saving $$ to travel to decorating classes by people like Toba Garrett and Bronwen and Colette, etc and taking art classes here at home?
Boy... I don't know what to tell you. I've quite new to cake decorating/designing, so I don't feel like my opinion is worth much. However, I am an artist and I feel my art skills have helped me enormously.
Before I became a SAHM two years ago, I used to teach art to high schoolers. I usually could be found painting or drawing everyday. When I transitioned to SAHM, I had nowhere to work on artwork - my house is small and had no place to leave out my work, except the kitchen table. That was a disaster. I stumbled upon edible art and now I'm hooked. I spend a lot of designing my work on paper before I even enter the kitchen and I think that has really helped me.
I'd recommend a basic design class. In a class like that, there will not be so much focus on your actual artistic skill, but more emphasis on design, creativity and problem solving. Best wishes!
I'm biased but i vote for the art too...i earned a living as an artist before i did cakes and it has helped so much.
I'd rather do the art classes at home and travel to take seminars from the sugar artists. I have a drafting and design degree, which I took because of my interest in art and a desire to have a marketable degree once I finished. No creativity in the job, however, so cake and cookie decorating fulfill that need. A good foundation in art will be an asset to you, I think. And the seminars from the experts will give you ways to translate your ideas into edible art.
I'd go for the art school option too (art school grad myself).
I cant vote either way because I was wanting to ask this same question myself. I want to open a business and was wondering if going to pastry school would be worth it for me as well. I'm mostly self taught but fairly creative. I was looking to see if pastry school realy helps with learning the skills we need as a cake decorator/pastry shop.
I'd lean towards specific cake decorating classes if it's design creativity that you need, either from local teachers or, if you can travel, then to the best you can afford.
I think of pastry school as being somewhere to go if you need to learn the science of baking itself, rather than the artistic side of cake decorating.
The ICES convention would be an awsome place to get some all-around learning classes in, too.
It depends on what your goal is. If you don't see yourself doing pastry don't go. On the other hand what you learn will be priceless. If your just doing cakes go the art class route. Given the choice. I would go with what your last paragraph says, and then got to pastry school. You might think you can live on cake alone, but every once in awhile you just have to have a napoleon
My two cents worth. It will probably benefit you to do alittle of both. I am an x-art major. I think anyone can learn to bake, but alot have trouble being creative. Art classes can teach you ways to access that creative mind. Much of what I learned in art class can be applied to daily living. Instead of signing up to an art program -maybe just take some classes in learning how to be creative and how colors work together.
Art classes can teach you ways to access that creative mind. instead of signing up to an art program -maybe just take some classes in learning how to be creative and how colors work together.
That would be great! How do I find these classes? I tried looking for basic design classes and basic art classes, but the only thing I get is people running "graphic design" degree programs and basic art classes that involve learning to draw certain things (mainly the human form). I can't seem to find that basic art or design class that teaches me how to be creative and how colors and shapes work together. What would it be called? Do I look at art schools or design schools?
Any help appreciated! The deans of the design schools are starting to annoy me.....I don't want to take english, math, and business classes, which is what they are telling me I'd be taking for the first year.
I don't know what's available in your area. Near me we have an small arts council that offers classes and a vocational school. Maybe you can go to a bookstore or library and see what they have and read up on color theory. Google something like ways to bring out your creative side. Our community college lets us take just a class or two without signing up for the whole program. Also check to see if any schools have a continuing education program in art.
I love this question....I would also recommend are classes in your area. I was an interior design major and all of the drawing and coursework have come into almost every cake I have done.
I would definitely check into the non-credit classes available thru a community college. We have an excellent one here in Omaha, and they are adding different courses each session. They just need to know what people want to take, and they try to find an instructor.
You may also want to look into a community center. I just started taking a watercolor class for beginners at our center and its great. Its only 6 classes but we spend the beginning of each class talking about color theory, design, etc...
I think culinary training is invaluable! Sure it's great when your cake looks great... but more importantly, it has to TASTE great! (I just saw the updated thread about the gal who was disappointed in her Charm City cake)
Culinary school teaches you so much... and you learn the reasons why certain ingredients react the way they do to different stimuli... and you can learn to tweak your recipes, or have the knowledge to know why they are failing (and what to do to fix them).
I highly recommend culinary school. Best $30,000 I ever spent.
BrandisBaked where did you attended culinary school?? I am looking at schools now and would like a little direction...there are sooo many schools to look at!
I went to the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
I went to culinary and pasrty school, but I taught myself everthing I know about cake decorating. The touch on it briefly in school, at least they did at mine. You can learn a lot from books, magaines and trail and error. Joann's and Michael's offer classes and usually it's only $15-30 for a 4 week class plus supplies. You learn the basics, but you can get a job at Publix none of their cakes exceed level 2 classes
For me personally I took both art and home economics for 6 years in junior high and high school. I also took a year of art in college. I didn't take these classes because I wanted to arouse my interest in these subjects. I did it because baking and artwork have always been something I thrived on. I have never taken classes from other decorators, partially because they just weren't available and partially because I wanted to develop my own style. For me this plan has worked. I have not become famous but I have worked in some really awesome bakeries and have earned a living for the past 30 years doing something I love. If I have to choose only one of the options above I guess I will pick art school. I think you really need to open up the artistic mind whether you are baking or decorating.
Brandi and I went to the same school (different times) so maybe that why we both think that is the way to go. If you are going to use boxed mixes in 3 flavors only and concentrate on making them pretty, then do artsy things. If you want to bake from scratch and learn techniques specific to making food (how to dowel, roll fondant, etc...) then go the culinary route. The baking science aspect is incredible.
Well i think both are important its only depends upon your requirement. In the art classes we can learn various art forms and does various painting and drawing according to our mood and interest.
According to me art classes are the best option to choose. In the art class you can opt various art stream according to your interest and learn how to analyze an object and implement it within painting.