Fondant Figurines - Talent Or Learned?

Decorating By CakesbyBecca Updated 12 Jul 2008 , 12:31am by Tona

CakesbyBecca Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 4:04pm
post #1 of 26

I tried and tried last night to make a fondant Sebastian crab for my dd's cake coming up next month and I just couldn't get it right. It made me wonder, is the ability to create fondant figurines a talent (ie you either have it or you don't) or can I learn how to do this? If it can be learned, how?


25 replies
tree45 Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 4:16pm
post #2 of 26

I think some is talent but it's something that can be acheived through practice. When I draw or model fondant, break it down to simple shapes and then go from there. Oh also I have a set of Play-Doh and if I know I'm gonna need to make some figures, I like to practice with that while I'm sitting around in the evening. icon_smile.gif

beachcakes Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 5:16pm
post #3 of 26

Learned! I couldn't make a figure to save my life! Take a look at aine2's tutorials -she's amazing!

CakesbyBecca Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 9:06pm
post #4 of 26

Oh, good! So there's hope for me after all icon_wink.gif . Now let's see if I can figure out how to do a crab in a month. At least my daughter's only 3, so it could be a red blob and she wouldn't care icon_smile.gif


LeanneW Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 9:21pm
post #5 of 26

practice makes perfect

beachcakes Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 11:53pm
post #6 of 26

I agree - practice! icon_smile.gif

I also find it helps to sketch it out ahead of time - it helps to see the various shapes. That's what I did with Peter Rabbit in my avatar. Ovals, circles, sausages...

danijus Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 12:44am
post #7 of 26

Has anyone purchased aine2's tutorials on her website?
I was thinking about ordering them.

michellesArt Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 12:54am
post #8 of 26

i haven't purchased them but they certainly shed some light on problem areas i've had. i just started doing figurines (my fairy in pics was the second, didn't like the first and i was blown away by my mermaid) i can't wait to do more but although i think it's something you could learn-with plenty of practice, unless you have some talent, you might need a lot of patience while you learn. gl icon_smile.gif

BrandisBaked Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 12:56am
post #9 of 26

You should have seen the first figures I did were awful! The princess "bride" looked like a pig! (See here:

I was so embarrassed that I purchased every book on sculpting, anatomy, etc. that I could find as well as all the videos. And then I practiced. Now, I think I do ok. (See here: icon_smile.gif

butterflywings Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 12:59am
post #10 of 26

i bought some of those clay sculpting books that you can find in the clay aisle at like michael's, a.c. moore and hobby lobby... (i bought mine off ebay) and the crab & lobster on my sand castle cake, as well as the horse (instructions for him came from a cake deco book though) are the only figures i've every sculpted (in fondant, gumpaste, clay or otherwise) and i KNOW if it weren't for the instructions in the books i'd NEVER have done it!

tchrmom Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 12:59am
post #11 of 26

I hope it can be learned. Otherwise I have no hope. I have just made jungle animals for my son's cake. Thank goodness he likes them. (It does help having a 4-year-old-- almost 5.) The first batch of fondant was too dry and the animals looked a bit geriatric. After a tip to add shortening, the next few improved somewhat. I'll post the finished cake-- the party is this Sunday.

bobwonderbuns Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:07am
post #12 of 26

Buy a clay figures book and practice the basic techniques. Then practice practice practice. Over time you will develop your own style. Hope that helps some. icon_biggrin.gif

Jenn2179 Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:09am
post #13 of 26
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked

You should have seen the first figures I did were awful! The princess "bride" looked like a pig! (See here:

I was so embarrassed that I purchased every book on sculpting, anatomy, etc. that I could find as well as all the videos. And then I practiced. Now, I think I do ok. (See here: icon_smile.gif

I looked at your pictures. You do better than OK!

Win Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:10am
post #14 of 26

I think there is a certain amount of inate ability to it, and then a lot of trial and error! icon_razz.gif I LOVE doing figures and truly, everyone, Aine2 (Lorraine) is the most delightful lady in the world. Her work is stunning and yet she is always available and gracious. Go to her blogspot: for some tutorials you do not have to buy. I guarantee you'll be hooked and want to then make the investment. For me, it was years of playing with sculpy for various school projects that led to working in fondant. As well, there is a formula, half fondant and half gumpaste for figures that dry hard and hold their shape.
Keep practicing - it will come!

Tray2 Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:11am
post #15 of 26

I think it is a talent that can be learned if you are willing or have the option to put time and heart into.... I myself have tried my hand but am no where near good at it... I purchased the Annie2 instructions... I was charged but never got the info... I emailed and still never rcvd it... icon_sad.gif .. I know so many others have ordered it and rcvd it so I am sure I am the exception... If you are not sure you want to order it.. you might try some of the free ones first. She gives a very detalied instruction that makes you think you could make anything!!!!

Win Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:17am
post #16 of 26

Tray2, contact Aine2! She will be horrified that you did not receive them and will want to rectify the situation.

minorfan Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:23am
post #17 of 26

It can be learned !! You learned the rest of the cake deocrating. I buy a lot of books. They really help and Creative Celebration Cakes is a really good one with step by step for the fondant characters in it.

One thing I have found that makes it easier for me is to use small cutters - small circle , square etc so when I am making something that needs 4 equal parts I get really equal parts. If I just try and wing it or eyeball it, it always seems off but if I use the cutters to get the same amount then I am much happier.

Bought some clay cutters that were really small and they are great for little things I need on fondant characters. At least now things are not lopsided (as much as they used to be)

Motif Bible is also good to help learn to do some shapes and the Sculpty books help some also. I also practice with figures from Debbie Browns books and let them dry and store for future projects so I am not trying to rush to get things done and learn the figure at the same time.

Also here on CC is the 2 minute figures with step by step instructions, just search 2 minute and they come up.

And get a glass of wine and practice.

icer101 Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:41am
post #18 of 26

i have taken maisie parrish's classes...... mercedes's classes..... she is great too...... she will be at convention this year demoing for the first time in a while .... when i have to do something... i buy a model of it.... i don,t open it.... take it back... that is how i made a mach 5 speed racer car.... i did buy aine2 tutorials on line and will buy more.... i look at books... and have to make something somtimes over and over before i get it like i want it... it doesn,t come easy for me.... but i love it... don,t we all? hth

CakesbyBecca Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 4:41am
post #19 of 26

Thank you so much! I'm excited now icon_biggrin.gif I watched some of Aine2's free videos this afternoon and learned sooo much! I can't wait to sit down and give it a try. I think I'll check the library too and see if I can find some instructions on clay modeling. YAY!!!


jkeeler Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 5:03am
post #20 of 26

Wow BrandisBaked---you certainly did improve--what an inspiration. I made my first teddy bear in fondant for a birthday cake--I think it's cute but a little too pudgy. You've certainly shown that practice does make perfect.

jjkarm Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 5:17am
post #21 of 26

My art teachers in college used to say that artistic talent is 3% natural and 97% learned. You can do it thumbs_up.gif !

jess85 Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:01pm
post #22 of 26

a little natural talent helps but i think it's really tring out different thing, copy people wotk and then try it again your own way, play with the eyes and mouth's and things like that and you'll get more and more confortable and creative. i was really scared to start but oncei did, i got the bug. as the others have said th online tutoriala and articles are a great help. Good luck and keep trying

Tray2 Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 11:08pm
post #23 of 26

I just want to let everyone know that after I posted my comment re: this topic... and the fact that I did not receive what was ordered from annie2 she contacted me and verified an email was sent to my husbands email the day after payment. It was a technical issue not an lack of delivery. She was very nice about getting the item to me as quickly as she could. It is great to deal with people who care about the products they offer. I hope no one in any way took what I posted as an attempt to keep people from ordering from her. Her work is great and she has a great ability to explain things so well that you are able to make a figure that looks like what you wanted it to look like on your 1st try. Good luck !!! thanks tracy

aine2 Posted 10 Jul 2008 , 11:31pm
post #24 of 26

Tracy your post wasn't taken in that context at all...believe me. I'm glad I noticed it and you now have what you paid for. Enjoy it....and thank you too for letting everyone know all is well. thumbs_up.gif

missmeg Posted 11 Jul 2008 , 7:49pm
post #25 of 26

I have to say talent...only so much can be learned.

This is true for myself - I never could figure out how to play with play doh, so I find fondant very, VERY intimidating icon_wink.gif.

Tona Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 12:31am
post #26 of 26

I am working on learning how to do the figures also. I just keep on working on them. I beleive practice practice and more practice.

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