Help With Stringwork

Decorating By cous2010 Updated 8 Sep 2008 , 8:47pm by luvbakin

cous2010 Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 3:44am
post #1 of 10

For the life of me, I can't figure out how this is done. I've tried searching the internet as well as the forums and can't seem to find any tutorials or explainations. Any help or tips would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks in advanced!

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_518573.html

9 replies
BCJean Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 4:03am
post #2 of 10

I am certainly not an expert on Australian style decorating but I have done it a few times, about 25 years ago. It is too tedious for me and I don't like to work with royal icing.

On the cake you posted, you would put the bottom border on first and let it dry. To do the strings you attach the icing to the cake at the top and squeeze the string out, without letting it attach to the cake, until it is the length to attach to the outer edge of the bottom border. You then touch the tip to the border so your string attaches. Move on to the next string.

To make the little pearls on the royal icing strings, I would think you would have to wait for the strings to dry, then carefully pipe them on. Those strings are very fragile so you would have to be really careful. You better wait for someone else to advise you on that part. It kind of gives me a headache just thinking about it. My nerves can't take it.

It is beautiful though. I love the way it looks.

AsburyArt Posted 5 Sep 2008 , 11:24am
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cous2010

For the life of me, I can't figure out how this is done. I've tried searching the internet as well as the forums and can't seem to find any tutorials or explainations. Any help or tips would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks in advanced!

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_518573.html




Are you new to stringwork? That is blackbelt piping. What is higher than blackbelt, anything?

It's called extension work. Any Australian or English cake decorating book will have a description. Toba Garret's book has a description also, but her book stinks otherwise.

The bottom border (the extension) is overpiped several times and sometimes painted with thinned royal to make it uniform. Then the stringwork is piped and allowed to dry. The little spots (called Hale spots) are then piped.

It's tedious, exacting work.

cous2010 Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 5:34am
post #4 of 10

[quote="AsburyArt
Are you new to stringwork? That is blackbelt piping. What is higher than blackbelt, anything?

It's called extension work. Any Australian or English cake decorating book will have a description. Toba Garret's book has a description also, but her book stinks otherwise.

The bottom border (the extension) is overpiped several times and sometimes painted with thinned royal to make it uniform. Then the stringwork is piped and allowed to dry. The little spots (called Hale spots) are then piped.

It's tedious, exacting work.[/quote]


Yes, I am new to stringwork. However, I don't like to think that because a technique is a "blackbelt" level, I shouldn't allow myself to try it out. This being so, I appreciate you and BCJean letting me know that it is officially called Australian extension work. I'll hit up my research areas and hope that I can come up with something good to post icon_smile.gif

jenny518 Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 4:09pm
post #5 of 10

Although I, too, have never tried stringwork, I just got Tova Garrett's book The Well Decorated Cake yesterday, and I feel inspired to try. You're right, you should try something difficult because it's the only way we get better. Also, there are simplified versions of stringwork to start with.

AsburyArt Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 8:10pm
post #6 of 10

I didn't mean to imply you shouldn't try, just that it's one of the most difficult things any decorator will do.

I found Toba's book useless.


Good luck... icon_biggrin.gif

cous2010 Posted 8 Sep 2008 , 8:24pm
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsburyArt



...I found Toba's book useless.


Good luck... icon_biggrin.gif





I wonder if there are any books that would help...

nannie Posted 8 Sep 2008 , 8:41pm
post #8 of 10

you might also check your public library.

It seems like string work is a little old fashioned (probably since it's so time consuming) and not covered much in newer books but I've seen older cake decorating books which touch on this techinique.

Also, from what I understand, the consistancy of the icing is extremely important for it to move the way you want.

Good luck and be sure to keep us posted with your progress.

BCJean Posted 8 Sep 2008 , 8:44pm
post #9 of 10

I have an old, "Wilton Celebrate Wedding Cakes 1983", book which has a section on Australian stringwork, starting on page 126.

This book has a lot of other instructions also with gumpaste, fondant, spun sugar, buttercream. For someone who wants easy to follow directions for a very wide assortment of piping techniques, I think this book is great. It also has patterns in the back of the book for doing royal icing lace work.

I just checked and there are 2 of these books being offered on ebay right now, and the price is right.

hth

luvbakin Posted 8 Sep 2008 , 8:47pm
post #10 of 10

Christine Flinn also has a book called "Extension work". Good luck. On half.com it's $120.00!!

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