Do You Need A Steady Hand For Piping?

Decorating By cakefort Updated 21 Sep 2009 , 4:41pm by vmertsock

cakefort Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 11:11pm
post #1 of 13

I tried doing scrollwork on a cake today just for fun. Apart from still working on icing a perfect cake, I was disappointed at how difficult I found it to pipe! I made the royal icing, used a Wilton "imprint thingy" (that's what it's called, right? icon_lol.gif ), and realized my hand just wasn't steady enough. I figure I could keep practicing to get the right pressure and the right pace for even lines, but I can't do much about my hand shaking. Should I assume this is fundamental to piping?

12 replies
indydebi Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 11:46pm
post #2 of 13

I use BC for everything. When doing piping work, I sometimes (just sometimes) thin it, depending on the size tip I'm using. The trick to doing scrolls, writing, etc., is NOT to go "slow and careful" but to move fast. If you move your hand/arm slow, then you start to shake.

Trace some scrolls on paper and practice piping those. You'll also have better results if you move your whole arm and not just your hand.

Faster is better.

littlecake Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 3:10am
post #3 of 13

i love doing scrolls...do em fast....you will be able to do them faster when you get more confident.....

instead of a writer tip, try using a small star tip...they don't show the shakey hand as much....as debi said...no need for royal.

vmertsock Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 3:11am
post #4 of 13

I usually use royal for piping work, but I go fairly slow. I hold the tip a decent bit above my cake and let it drop down instead of putting the tip right against the cake. I find this cancels out any shakiness I have and gives me more control.

cakefort Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 2:37pm
post #5 of 13

Does BC behave better than RI when piping?

vmertsock, you brought up another one of my problems--I either hold the tip too close and the line gets smooshy, or I don't hold it close enough and it doesn't stick or it skips. I assume when you say you hold the tip a decent bit above your cake, you mean for the top of the cake, rather than the sides?

I will try the star tip next time and see if that helps!

-K8memphis Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 3:02pm
post #6 of 13

Yes! What Indy said and to elaborate--be bold--be confident--there used to be this really cool painter on tv who gave lessons and he'd say in this Europeany accent "Fihre it in dere!" fire it in there

I'd loose the scroll design thing and also very important--take the index finger of the other hand to help steady the icing bag--use like one cup of icing at a time, looser icing like Indy said--practice all over the table/counter top till you find your rythm. It's there--pipe from your shoulder--forget you have an elbow--lean over the counter stand on a step to get the right heighth.

Just load & go--Make figure eights allll over--just go go go. Don't try & make them the same--just make them.

A session or two like that & you'll have it. And then you can start controlling/guiding it.

Rythm ideas for you--find your beat.

cakefort Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 3:04pm
post #7 of 13

You have a way of inspiring icon_smile.gif

OregonCakeLady Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 3:53pm
post #8 of 13

You might just have to build up those muscles. Everyones muscles shake when they are getting flexed in a way they don't usually get used. Practice and skip the coffee in the morning. I agree.... moving quick will help as well icon_wink.gif

vmertsock Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 4:12pm
post #9 of 13

Forgot to mention, I hold the bag like a pencil, instead of holding the way I do borders, hand closed at the twisted part. Did that make sense? When I pipe on the sides, I do hold it closer and go quite quickly. I think consistency is a big part of smooth piping, and while I've seen gorgeous writing done with just wilton tips, I like to use PME #2's for writing. The PME's in general are good for writing since they're a bit longer. I used to work for Colette Peters former assistant and she taught me those two tricks (hand position and tip choice) to help me and after I got used to a new hand position I was amazed how much easier it was and how much better my piping was.

indydebi Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 4:30pm
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonCakeLady

You might just have to build up those muscles. Everyones muscles shake when they are getting flexed in a way they don't usually get used.


Good tip! Icing that is too stiff will make you use your muscles harder and make your hand shake.

cakefort Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 4:30pm
post #11 of 13

I'm not familiar...what is PME?

Thanks for all the tips!

Arriva Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 4:36pm
post #12 of 13

Great topic. Y'all are great.

vmertsock Posted 21 Sep 2009 , 4:41pm
post #13 of 13

PME tips are European I believe. They are longer than Wilton and Ateco and lack the seam, which makes the icing come out cleaner and makes the tip stronger. They are a bit more expensive, but well worth it.

You can get them at: a h cakedesign dot com slash pmepipingtips.html

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