Wilton Classes Or Not?

Decorating By rebew10 Updated 31 Dec 2008 , 6:32pm by quilting2011

rebew10 Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 7:57pm
post #1 of 28

I have always been intrigued by cake decorating and a couple of months ago, I decided to dive into it. I found this website and have learned so much just from it......but I still need a lot of practice to be up to par with many of you. I was wondering if taking the Wilton classes were worth it or should I just continue to practice. You guys look at my cakes (except for the first one- green/yellow) and let me know what you think. I just wish there was someone close to where I live that I could learn from. Thanks!!

27 replies
rebew10 Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 9:42pm
post #2 of 28

Anyone?

sdrper Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 9:52pm
post #3 of 28

I have had two of the Wilton classes but I learned more from this site and Practice, Practice, Practice...good luck

Lostinalaska Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 9:58pm
post #4 of 28

I took all of the Wilton Class's and really enjoyed them, but I have to say it has alot to do with the instructor and mine was great and has become a very good friend. By looking at your cakes your doing pretty good without class's maybe you should just look into the wiltons course four which is alot of gum paste flowers.

cakesmade4u Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 9:58pm
post #5 of 28

I SAY YES TO THE WILTON CLASSES. I don't see anything wrong with a wilton class they give you easy ways to do cakes and practice time. although I went to a opportunity school. And have fun practicing on friends and family cakes... icon_lol.gif

sparklepopz Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 9:59pm
post #6 of 28

Of course taking the Wilton classes is a good idea. You will learn a TON of things. It's always a good idea to be able to take classes. What major city are you near?

Ooocakes Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:02pm
post #7 of 28

I took 3 of the wilton classes... I enjoyed the interaction with the other students as well as the teacher but a lot of the stuff I learned on my own. Some times the class was a bit disappointing because of time issues. So much to cram into 2 hours. Especially when you have to wait for people to set up etc... it takes away time. I think the best thing I learned course 1 and 2 from there was how to make a rose. Everything else you can do pretty much on your own with practice. Also, my teacher kept skipping stuff or going through them really fast.

I think the 3rd class is the best because you learn how to make royal icing flowers... that is the class I learned the most from.

CakesbyBecca Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:08pm
post #8 of 28

Your cakes are beautiful! You are definitely gifted. I noticed that all your work, at least that you posted, is fondant. If you want to learn about buttercream and royal icing, the wilton courses can definitely help. The nice thing about the wilton courses is that they are so cheap! If you sign up and then decide you really don't like the classes, you really aren't out much. Like someone else mentioned, it really depends on the instructor.

brincess_b Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:19pm
post #9 of 28

i think it depends on what the classes offer! i have been doing a sugar flower one, and im going to keep going with that, cause i love it, and the teacher is great.
so in the interests of continuing learning, i was happy to discover that due to demand by college will be running a class again. only its stuff i dont think i need taught - i can prepare a cake for covering, i can marzipan a cake, my fondant is pretty good (room for improvement, but id rather practice than spend £85! {is that like $65 just now??? not sure what the rate is!} how much are the wilton classes, out of curiosity?). if it was just butter cream id be doing it! lol.
so the point is, if u think u can learn a lot, or if u are happy to pay and cut out a little practicing, why not. a big bonus in my class was meeting the nice people in it, and going through it all together. and even those who were more advanced still learnt something!
xx

Arriva Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:19pm
post #10 of 28

The classes are inexpensive (especially if you already have all the tools). I feel that they were valuable to me. This site and several DVD's have been very helpful too. My best friend took the Wilton classes with me, and that made it even more fun. We learn and try new things together. What one of us might find difficult, the other could help with it.

cakedecr8r Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:26pm
post #11 of 28

Take the Wilton class. You will learn some techniques and things in there that will prove very useful.

ranbel Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:28pm
post #12 of 28

I really enjoyed the classes. I did skip course 1 because I new the basics as for smoothing, borders and the wilton rose..thanks to my cousin, she taught me this. I took courses 2 & 3 and she also held a special 3 hr course strickly on wedding cakes, which was awesome. I haven't taken course 4, not sure if I need too.
It looks like you are on your way and know the basics, but as mentioned, if you are interested in working with buttercream it would be benificial to you.

bizatchgirl Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:32pm
post #13 of 28

I really enjoyed the Wilton's classes and I feel that they gave me a good foundation for what I do now. Through buying the supplies required for the courses, I also built up a little stock of the things I need most.

You may want to look at some of the course books. They sell them separately at the Joanne's in my area. I think at Hobby Lobby too. Page through them and see what they're teaching during each class. That way you can just take the classes that you really need. Like course 1 is a lot of piping and borders. If you don't need help in that area, skip to the next one.

Personally, I feel I forgot a lot of stuff from the courses. I plan to take course 2 and 3 again so I can re-learn all of the flowers.

rebew10 Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:41pm
post #14 of 28

about an hour south of Houston.

CharmingConfections Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:44pm
post #15 of 28

I never took a class... sometimes I wish I had, sometimes I think I can learn it on my own.

IcedTea4Me2 Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 11:01pm
post #16 of 28

I like the courses. Even if you think you know everything that's already in the book, you learn things from the other students and from the teacher that aren't in the book. It's fun to interact, also, with other decorating enthusiasts. It's cheap, too. It's worth it.

Lisa

saap1204 Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 11:01pm
post #17 of 28

I took three of the Wilton classes and really enjoyed them. I still want to take the fondant and gumpaste class. My instructor was great--she would stay late or come in early for questions. She made the class very enjoyable. I just wish the classes were three hours long, however; the two hours never seemed to be quite long enough. If you have the opportunity, take the classes.

Sheryl

Carolynlovescake Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 11:08pm
post #18 of 28

It honestly depends on the instructor.

Some go into class without anything, get a book and read from that and put the book back after class. You get two hours from right from the book and nothing more.

At mine you get raffle tickets for the last night of class for different things, if you sign up that night your raffle tickets get saved and the last night.

If you sign up at Lesson 4 for the next class I give you a free gift. The first night (Lesson 1) you get a free gift.

I have special like referral programs etc. and on and on. At the end of lesson four if people want to learn other non Wilton methods I will demo them but not instruct them. I'd rather them see how to do it right then learn it wrong and hate decorating because o fit.

I have hand outs galore for every lesson, every course and am always handing our recipes I run across.

For me I make it fun and it's a lot of work on my off time but my students are fiercly loyal to me and many have come back a second time this year to relearn stuff they have forgotten.

For it being a course that cost about $22 my students walk away with no less than 5 recipes, 6 hand outs on other techniques, or a tips sheet on that weeks techniques taught that aren't in the book, free small gifts, and my website/contact info for cake tech support regardless of them returning to another course or not.

jennifer7777 Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 11:11pm
post #19 of 28

As a previous poster stated, the classes are o.k. but it depends a lot on the teacher. I took course 1 mainly to learn the rose. My teacher sucked, though. I have also found that they sell the course books at Joannes, so what I did was just bought course 2 and 3, and figured I could teach myself and go at my own pace if I wanted to.

I saw your photos, which are really nice! You are advanced as it is...seeing as how you use fondant AND are doing stacked cakes. Everyone starts at different levels. When I took course 1, I too was doing fondant and more advanced decorating...but it was just that rose!
(I did learn other things, too)

The point is, with decorating, there is ALWAYS something new to learn/try/make and many ways to learn them. It all depends on your personal preference.

Uniqueask Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 11:33pm
post #20 of 28

Everyone has a good opinion, I took all the wilton classes, and did learn a lot, but I also thought I could have learned more. two hours was not enough, but I was taught things I did not know, even though you take the classes you need to Practice, Practice, Practice. by the looks of things you are doing a very good job, with your cakes, I still am having trouble with my fondant. and I have not learned anything with gumpaste the only thing I learned with gumpaste was to mix a small amount with fondant to make flowers, I do not know how to make those beautiful,flowers that I see on here made with gumpaste. so I think if you Practice more you will be ok but that is only my opinion

rebew10 Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 1:00am
post #21 of 28

Thanks for all the great advice. I do need to jump into the buttercream realm.....but am reluctant because I can't manage to get it smooth for anything. I did buy Sugarshack's buttercream DVD, I just need to watch it now!!

I have a John Deere cake for my niece that I have to make in 2 weeks and I would like to do it in buttercream. That will be an interesting one.

I sure do wish there was someone in my close vicinity that I could study under. A bakery, individual, etc......I would work for free!!! I just enjoy doing this for fun for my family and friends, but would like to get better and maybe eventually open a business years down the road or just work with someone in this field.

quilting2011 Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 5:52am
post #22 of 28

I enrolled in Wilton I. My teacher was horrible. She completed all courses in Wilton and taught the class. She has no other experience.

Well, I dropped out of the class purchased a Wilton book at Joanne's and learned on my own. Then I decided to take cake decorating classes at ICE in NY. I loved the teachers there. I ended up getting my baking and pastry diploma (weekend program).

I feel it depends who you have. There are Wilton teachers that are wonderful and others who I don't even why they are even allowed to teach.

I recommend before you sign up ask the students after classes if they like their teacher.

Carolynlovescake Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 7:35am
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bundtdiva

I enrolled in Wilton I. My teacher was horrible. She completed all courses in Wilton and taught the class. She has no other experience.

Well, I dropped out of the class purchased a Wilton book at Joanne's and learned on my own. Then I decided to take cake decorating classes at ICE in NY. I loved the teachers there. I ended up getting my baking and pastry diploma (weekend program).

I feel it depends who you have. There are Wilton teachers that are wonderful and others who I don't even why they are even allowed to teach.

I recommend before you sign up ask the students after classes if they like their teacher.




Hearing stories like this scare the spit out of me.

My tables are covered with brightly colored table cloths instead of drab brown paper.

I have an extra table at the end of the aisle facing the short way to buffer my students from the main aisle traffic (I don't have a class room I teach on the sales floor in a double wide aisle made for classes). On that table are frame offering the gift of a class and my Instructor specials (Register for all courses to enter for...., Refer 5 friends and get a chocolate making gift basket etc.).

When you arrive to any of your Lesson 1's you have a folder waiting with a welcome letter, your course book, and all the dates/course info on your student form already done.

I also own and maintain a website full of information and have spent a few long days over the last week setting up the message board forums.

I take what I do seriously (and have fun doing it). I want my students to enjoy those couple hours away from crying children, stressed out husbands, and be able to say their money was well spent.

I tracked my students and out of 114 taught last year, only 10 of them took just course 1 and never returned.

3 of them never intended to go further because it was for a wedding they had in a month. The bride, her mom and MIL to be took it to destress and learn roses since her MIL to be was doing the cake.

1 was diagnosed with cancer and was taking it with her daughter.

1 just wanted to try it.

The rest were finished in October and will return in January so I didn't count them yet since they haven't signed up for anything.

I guess I am sharing this to let those of you who got a bum deal with a teacher that not all of them are like that.

I strongly suggest that you take the Wilton student survey and let them know you had a stink-o class/course experience. (I have it linked on my site, and no it's not a shameless plug for it. The baby's screaming for me and it's nearly midnight so I don't want to take the time to link it).

If you ever have a course related question and don't feel comfortable returning to a teacher you didn't care for you can PM me, e-mail me, or reach me via my website. It's not in person but I'll do my best to try to help.

quilting2011 Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 10:58pm
post #24 of 28

Carol, I wish you were my instructor when I took the Class 1.

I had the horrible experience with class one. I ended up taking cake decorating classes ICES (Institute of Culinary Arts). My cake instructor there was the best and patient.

I asked the wilton teacer her experience it was completing the Course 1, 2, 3, and Fondant/Gumpaste. She was nice but did not have the experience of teaching yet. She would tell us to read the book.

I moved back to NY, now I will be teaching cake decorating on the side at the university. I plan to specialize for students that are deaf. (I am deaf).

Carol, you care for your students. I wish there were Wilton instructors like you.

Carolynlovescake Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 12:19am
post #25 of 28

What burns me is that many instructors out there are not qualified to teach. Completing them and teaching are two horses of a completely different color.

My first Wilton teacher was horrible. The next one not great but not bad either.

My third one well I won't go there.

That's when I said "I can teach and I can decorate why not try it."

Don't get me wrong I've had my challenges but it's no different than any other job, they all do.

My theory on any job is do what you love, and love what you do.

Wilton is the foot in the door to the cake world. No other company does it like they do for the beginner decorator. If I suck at teaching it's going to make them think they were the failure not me and give up a hobby that could turn into more.

Yes many on here hate them, hate their products etc and have no issues being outspoken against them but even they admit from time to time it's a great way with little investment to learn the basic techniques and grow from there once you are done with it.

Just as many sing their praise for their quality for the beginner level products, the price investment to get started etc.

I know many instructors who teach and leave it there. I don't and I won't. I become friends with my students because I NEVER want them to walk away saying they felt cheated on training for what they paid and I want them to grow. I want them to learn more.

I was asked last year when talking about students entering in the fair if I would be ok if they went up against me and I lost how would I feel? I'D LOVE IT! I want my students to do better than me in the long run because that means I did my job.

I'd feel bad if I went up against them in all fields and won a clean sweep.

Heck for 2009 I'm going to open my redecorated garage (going to turn it into a cake studio and also teach from home) to my students the week before the fair and offer for them to come and do their cakes right along with me.

There's no greater joy then seeing your students excel at their craft and knowing you had a hand in it.

sparklepopz Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 12:55am
post #26 of 28

How long have you been teaching Wilton classes, Carolyn?

Carolynlovescake Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 4:10am
post #27 of 28

I've been teaching Wilton just over a year.

I've been decorating since 1989.

quilting2011 Posted 31 Dec 2008 , 6:32pm
post #28 of 28

Carol-

Wish you were teaching in NY. You are a great teacher.

I will recommend you to friends that live in the Oregon area.

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