I'm quite new to caking (look at my posted pictures and you'll agree!!) and am wondering what is the BEST way to improve, or in my case, develop a technique. Bake a million cakes and practice decorating, or take classes. I've had Wilton One and Wilton Gumpaste/Fondant and I thought they were ok, but not amazing. I'm more interested in fondant than buttercream. Thanks for any and all advice. Additionally, I live in the Orlando area if you guys know of anything local.
Currently, my vote is practice. I've had some bad classes lately so I'm jaded....
Yup! I'd agree. Practice, practice...and then practice some more. As with almost anything that's the only way you'll get better. Pick a technique you want to learn... and do it over and over until it makes sense.
Some practice c an be done on cake dummies.
It does not take the place of working on a real cake. It just is different
So for things like practicing piping designs; forming swags, cornelli lace, covering a cake w/fondant you can practice on the dummy then when you feel comfortable, make a cake.
You can do a variety. I think you need to pick what's best for you. I think practice is definitely good, then maybe you can get DVDs, or check out youtube videos that show different fondant techniques.
Sharon Zambito (sugarshack) & Jennifer Dontz (JenniferMI) have fondant videos. I have sugarshack's...still need to get Jennifer's. Really good video.
I vote for BOTH!
I have been learning how to decorate by practicing, watching videos on YouTube, READING CC , and reading books
in the Wilton courses (and other courses, I'm sure), it's nice to have a more skilled decorator standing by to help.
Has anyone else been less than impressed with the Wilton classes? My first instructor (Wilton One) was Fair...no where near as good as a grocery store decorator. I had higher hopes. Are my expectations too high?
I've never taken a course. The closest one is an hour from my home, so I never took the time. I have just learned by doing. I think reading stuff on here, visiting youtube tutorials and practicing these techniques are really the best way. Wilton's website even has some helpful stuff.
But you can only learn what the teacher knows. So if the teacher doesn't know it, you can't learn it. That's why you have to experiment and teach yourself.
The quality of your Wilton Instructors teaching depends on how long and how well trained they are. Also it depends on Why they are teaching. I teach because I enjoy cake decorating and I get a great feeling when my students master the techniques I am teaching them. I do not do it for the money, although it does pay for some of my toys.
Course one is mostly about the icing and getting it right.
Course 2 and 3 are all about Royal icing and lots of flowers. Course 3 introduces you to the fondant and how to make a fondant rose and bow.
Please keep practicing and maybe take the other courses at a different store. I think you may get more out of courses 2 & 3. HTH
I really feel strongly that my wilton courses were phenomenal. My teacher was just terrific. She is an amazing decorator. I definitely feel lucky to have been taught by her. I am a more visual person, I can't look at a book and just get what I should be doing. I need to see someone do it. I think classes are a great foundation. And wilton courses don't go really in depth, but I think they are well worth it. Anyway, just chiming in!
I've only taken the first Wilton class, and I learned a lot of valuable information (I didn't know A THING), so I'm glad I did that. I think having someone who is skilled who can show you how to do things is beneficial. However, if the instructor isn't great you're not going to learn anything. I've benefitted a lot from Sharon Zambito's DVDs. It's great to be able to watch them more than once. No substitute for practice, though.
I am currently taking my final class...fondant & gum paste. I enjoyed the previous 3 courses and learned a lot. I was new to decorating before my classes and I have a long way to go. I know that practice will be the key.
I have to drive 45 miles one way to get to my class. That is also the closest place for me to buy any supplies. I have started ordering some items online though. There are a couple of us (including my instructor) that are hoping to start up a cake club in our area. The closest existing one is over 100 miles away and they only meet every 3 months. I am looking forward to learning other techniques besides Wilton.
I have learned so much from reading forums on this website. There are so many amazing people here. I'm glad that I learned about CC. CC is a priceless tool!!!
When it comes to classes, pick a QUALITY teacher who give you QUALITY results. If you have a good teacher, that is 80% of the battle in getting good results, at least I think Ask around, are they good????
Then take what you've learned and practice. Sometimes getting the proper techniques down will give you the base to build your techniques/style on.
Hope that helps!!