Deciding On A Competition Design

Decorating By Danielle111 Updated 24 Jul 2008 , 12:44am by tracycakes

Danielle111 Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 6:41pm
post #1 of 19

Hi all, I'm going to be entering my first competition this fall, and want to begin working on the design... ...the category is wedding (no special theme), and I know that the more techniques used (well), the higher the score. I know I want to add gumpaste flowers and figurines, royal icing work (stringwork, floodwork, piping, etc.), fondant work, painting, brushed embroidery, and maybe a few other techniques (poured and blown sugar), but I'm having the absolute MOST difficult time deciding on the final design. How do you guys typically decide on your designs for competition cakes? Are you inspired by something to begin with? I found this picture of an antique french brooch that I would like to use, but there are SO many others I just can't decide. Any words of wisdom from you seasoned competitors is appreciated!!

Thank you!

18 replies
Danielle111 Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 6:44pm
post #2 of 19

Sorry... ...this is the picture

Danielle111 Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 8:27pm
post #3 of 19


crystalina1977 Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 11:28pm
post #4 of 19

sorry can't really help you, but wanted to give you a bump and tell you i love yourquote, very cute!

Danielle111 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:21am
post #5 of 19

Crystalina - thank you for the bump! I wonder why no one else has posted - I hope that I haven't overstepped my bounds by asking this question... icon_redface.gif

LetThereBeCake07 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:35am
post #6 of 19

no, you didnt overstep...i am just drawing a blank. I too loveyour quote!
maybe trying to ask the question during a different time of day may help...
good luck!

pinklesley1 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:36am
post #7 of 19

i think that you shoudl expand on that design... do with it...

mysweetconfetions Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:36am
post #8 of 19

The brooch pic reminds me of something an Ice Princess would have. How about a winter-like design with maybe a icy carriage topper?

sandygirl Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:36am
post #9 of 19

So what are the main concepts you are thinking of. I don't really have any advice. Just wanted to keep you at the top so the decorators more seansoned than I am can help you out.

janelwaters Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:40am
post #10 of 19

I'm really sorry that no one else has responded. I wish I could help, but I've never done a compitition. Actually I think I'm going to enter the fair comp this year, so I love that you posted this, I'm very interested in hearing others opinions as well.

Good luck!!!

GenGen Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:42am
post #11 of 19

I ditto on the quote and appologize profusely for being another who doesn't have the answer you need except i don't belive its over the bounds to ask icon_smile.gif if it was i'm sure you'd find the thread gone and or a pm about it i think.. (hmms)

i realy Wish i could help regarding your competition design but the work your planning is beyond my level of experience (chuckles) i'm not nearly that good.

GenGen Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:45am
post #12 of 19

I ditto on the quote and appologize profusely for being another who doesn't have the answer you need except i don't belive its over the bounds to ask icon_smile.gif if it was i'm sure you'd find the thread gone and or a pm about it i think.. (hmms)

i realy Wish i could help regarding your competition design but the work your planning is beyond my level of experience (chuckles) i'm not nearly that good.

gateaux Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 1:58am
post #13 of 19

I have no experience, but the broach is beautiful and if you use it as inspiration and go from there I am sure it will be georgous.

Your work is beautiful and impecable.

Good Luck with whatever you decide.

delicious_designs7 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:01am
post #14 of 19

I think of maybe a winter wonderland theme with the pic you provided. Maybe you could do ice skaters or something. It could also be more along the lines of Christmas ornaments or glass wind chimes. Not much help but, I try. icon_smile.gif LOL

I picture a beautiful night scene, maybe with dark blues with sparkling stars. Atop the cake, you could do something similar to the brooch to maye look like the north star or something. Then you could maybe paint a christmas tree/pine tree on fondant with a glowing star atop it. You could make a little scene around the tiers or something regarding winter. LOL Like I said, I try!

Win Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:12am
post #15 of 19

I entered my first big (big to me) competition this past March. It was judged by a rather prominent cake designer in my area and a past ICES regional president. I'm not trying to boast here, just let you know some of what I learned. The judging remarks scored me high not because I had used a lot of techniques, but the techniques I used were neat and precise as well as in scale. I had a tiered cake take second place and a novelty take first in my division as well as best in the division. The judges base the overall quality of the work in a competition on a much higher level than, in the end, the numbers techniques. So, take the techniques you do the best and run with them! Also, I'm inspired by odd things. One day I was musing as to where the Easter Bunny might find respite which is how the egg cake evolved. The tiered cake was inspired by my love of the Arts and Crafts movement. Start by deciding what it is you love most about that brooch. The color, the interwoven look of the overall design? Sketch out some ideas and walk away from them. The next day go back and see which design impacts you the most upon looking at them again from a fresh perspective. I'm willing to bet your design will become concrete from there...

HTH, and most of all... have FUN!!! I learned sooo much and had such a good time talking with other cake junkies.

calynmom Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:17am
post #16 of 19

Hi. I'm entering my first state and county fair competition this year also. I spoke with a judge last year and she told me less is more. Of course they like to see several techniques on a cake but to make it all uniform and flowing. Not to many wacky colors but everything you do has to make sense.

She suggested having a 2 different techniques on 2 tiers and then have a very simple top tier with a nice topper.

She also stated that the season themed cakes are nice because not a whole lot of wedding cakes have a season theme. (That's according to her).

I hope this helps.

KimAZ Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 4:38am
post #17 of 19

Hi Danielle,
I thought I might share a little of what I know from competitions that I've entered.
First, you're right in saying that whatever you do, do it well. Don't go for a lot of different techniques just because you can do them. Pick the ones you do best and stick to those.

For things like flowers, unless they are fantasy type flowers, make them as correct as possible. I don't know about your cake show but some judges are very critical and will mark you down if say the stamen isn't the right shape/color, etc or the leaves don't go with that type of flower. Also, be sure your petals are thin.

Color is important. Whether it be all white or mulit colored, just be sure the colors go well together and are pleasing to the eye.

Be sure your cake board/base is footed so it can be moved easily and be sure it's at least 3-4 " larger than your bottom tier. Decorate the board too. This was really stressed to us.

Be sure you know all the rules and abide by them because the judges will mark you down and/or disqualify you for not abiding. If the rules state that the entire entry has to be all edible, be sure it is and don't add some little plastic/novelty/fabric, etc, etc piece because that could blow your chances of doing well.

Maybe some of the others who've competed will chime in with some tips too.

Good luck!

Danielle111 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:12pm
post #18 of 19

Wow! Thank you guys SO much - there are SO many things I didn't think about. I will make a few sketches, and do as you suggested (walk away and come back to it later). I'll let you know what I come up with! Oh, and in the meantime, if you have any other suggestions or tips, I'm more than appreciative!

tracycakes Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 12:44am
post #19 of 19

I'm entering my first competition this fall also so I can't help you but I do enjoy reading what everyone else has written. I'm still trying to decide my design and techniques also so I understand where you are coming from. I think that brooch is beautiful and is great inspiration.

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