I'm trying to decide what to do....I want to take Wilton classes and the nearest is 41 miles away. I have been doing cake decorating for a few years, but am not comfortable with wedding cakes or flowers. Mostly, I do birthday cakes, almost always buttercream with fondant accents. What I can't decide is if I should start with Course I and work through all of the courses, or if Basic means REALLY BASIC, and Course I would be a waste of my time and money.
Thanks for your input!
It has been my experience that the basic class means REALLY BASIC!
In Course 1 you learn star tip decorating, figure piping, shell borders, roses, etc. If you already know these things, then you may want to consider moving on to Course 2. Some instructors, however, may require you to take Course 1 before taking the other courses, as it is listed as a prerequisite.
When I first took the classes, I was already familiar with all of those techniques (self-taught) but there were still many techniques in the class that made it worth the cost and the time. HTH!
I've been through all 4 Wilton Classes. Course 1 basically discusses covering a cake in buttercream, borders (shells, etc). and Wilton roses, which is why I took the class and decided to continue on to learn all the other BC flowers. In my location, in order to conitnue to future courses, you had to have the previous one under your belt... so to take course 2, you had to have a certificate from course 1.
In your situation, since there are so many miles to the nearest location, you may want to buy the book and walk yourself through the flowers.... although, for myself, seeing someone else demonstrate was easier to catch on than reading!!
If you can get to a Michaels or other craft store that carries Wilton books, you should check out the Class I book. It will show you all the items that are covered in the class. (I guess you could just buy the book and teach yourself). I do have to say however, that I also was already making cakes when I finally decided to take the classes, and I did learn a lot of things in course 1. But those were things that you can't get from a book, they were being able to ask questions and hear other people's questions and being able to talk to other "cakeys". You can get that here on CC, but creating a face to face bond or bonds with others who have your same passion is kind of hard to walk away from. I think you will learn something from the class....it might not be in the book....but you will learn something!
Follow your gut!
Wilton also offers several DVD's which included icing flowers. Check out their website. At least you can see the demonstration, but you won't have to travel 41 miles! I believe the DVD's are $19.99 each.
I am new to all of this but I took Course 1 first and then the others, I would say if you already do buttercream and fondant work you may be bored and based on your photos it looks like you may be beyond this class. Most of what is covered is basic, I was actually a little bit bored and I only did home decorating without any training. Course 1 covers all things buttercream, how to color it, how to use tips and decorating bags and the wilton rose. The course also requires a baked cake for each class, if you work full time like I did or dont have a stash of cakes in your freezer, it can be a bit of a pain to have a cake ready for class each week. Just my humble opinion. (side note, it never hurts to practice but 41 miles is far ride for "practice" given the price of gas)
I'm a Wilton Instructor (8 years) and judging from your photos in the gallery I would say that you could definitely skip course 1, however talk with the instructor and let her know you will be going to course 2 or 3 or fondant and GP. But I will say that, depending on your instructor, you may learn a lot of tips, tricks and shortcuts in Course 1 and I always say that 1 timesaving tip or trick is worth the 4 week class (maybe not worth the 41 mile drive though)
They do not sell the course books at Michaels but at AC Moore they sell all the books.
good luck. I think that you will enjoy all the classes, have you thought about teaching Wilton? Once you complete the courses you are eligible to teach. I'm a course 3 drop out!!! ha ha
feel free to ask me any questions!
Thank you, everyone for your replies! You've helped me decide to start with Course I. I'm sure there will be some stuff that bores me, but I did think that it would be better to start from the beginning in case I learn faster and easier methods of doing what I already do. Also, as I mentioned, I can't do flowers very well, so I'll appreciate that part. And, as gingersoave pointed out, I might be able to become an instructor. If I could provide that service to this area, possibly through the community college or some other entity, that would be awesome!
Mandy, please let me know when you become interested in becoming an instructor. I have recommended instructors after they have taken a course 1. Since you have so much experience in cake decorating you may be a good candidate to start off teaching after your Course 1 is over. The last wilton instructor at my account only worked at Cold Stone decorating ice cream cakes, no wilton classes......BUT....she came with no experience either......you have had experience and have done a wedding cake!!!
Keep me posted, I can hook you up with a supervisor, what area are you in? I'm on the east coast, Virginia Beach.