Austrailian Stringwork Experts

Decorating By Rylan Updated 25 Mar 2010 , 2:54pm by Bluehue

Rylan Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 10:09pm
post #1 of 18

I practiced last night and I had a hard time having clean points for the bridge (where each scallop meets). It's not sharp but a bit roundish (does that make sense?). I'm not sure whether I'm not doing it right, the consistency of RI was not right or if there is another step after the bridge is done.

What exactly should the consistency be. People have said it should be like thick buttercream and Toba's instructions says it is medium to stiff peaks. Can anyone help me with this?

17 replies
scgriffiths Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 10:25pm
post #2 of 18

Can you post a pic?? As "stringwork" (we call it extension work) is done through such a fine nozzle, I find if my RI consistency is not perfect, I get very frustrated very quickly, so if you were able to pipe easily I'd say your consistency was fine. If the points don't look quite right, I fix them up with a bamboo skewer before it dries. (Haven't done it for a long time, by the's just not in fashion here anymore!!)

Rylan Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 10:41pm
post #3 of 18

I don't have pictures of the ones I made but I believe we are reffering to the same thing.

I felt that the Royal Icing was a bit soft since it would have rounded ends. (but I could still pipe it out nicely) I wasn't sure if I should stiffen it up since I'm afraid it would break too much.

As for the points. How do you fix it with a bamboo skewer?

sadsmile Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 10:43pm
post #4 of 18

Let up on the pressure when you get to the point, stop pressure, touch it to the point and pull away. Use a damp brush to soften any points and tidy the joint. Also when doing the drop strings let the icing fall past the bridge and then stop pressure and pull away to break the string beyond the bridge. Then use a damp brush to wipe away the tail.

Rylan Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 10:47pm
post #5 of 18

Thanks Sarah. That is most likely what I was doing wrong. Since I put too much pressure, it usually beads up at the end of the string. I'll try again and see how it works. THANKS both of you!

Couturecupcakes Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 10:50pm
post #6 of 18

Here is a photo of stringwork I did in Toba Garrett's class. Are you having trouble with the bridge or the strings?

splash2splat Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 11:07pm
post #7 of 18

I love string work and I am now trying my hand at bridgeless extension work. A really good book to buy is "Floating on Air" by Linda Wong. She goes through it is all and talks about icing and how to keep the lumps out and recipes to use. I'm very pleased with it and even happier it only cost me somewhere around $9.00 and that includes shipping. Here's a link :

Rylan Posted 22 Mar 2010 , 9:45am
post #8 of 18

Couturecupcakes, your stringworks looks great! I was actually having problems with the bridge. The end points weren't as sharp as I wanted it to be.

Spash2spat, thanks for the book (the link you showed was already taken). I tried the bridgeless extension work last night and omg, I can't believe it was not as hard as I thought it would be--it was quite easy. The only thing is that it is super delicate, can't imagine how I would transport it.

splash2splat Posted 22 Mar 2010 , 1:58pm
post #9 of 18

I can't remember who but some one told me that they use Unbreakable Gel. It's used a lot in competitions. You can get it at Global Sugar Art.

splash2splat Posted 22 Mar 2010 , 1:59pm
post #10 of 18

Here is another link for the book, but you'll have to pay a lot more.

Rylan Posted 22 Mar 2010 , 8:48pm
post #11 of 18

Thanks again! I appreciate it.

lauthala Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 12:09am
post #12 of 18

Thought you might like to see this Rylan,was an entry in Sydney Royal show.

Rylan Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 12:11am
post #13 of 18

Goodness Lauthala, that just made me speechless. WOW.

Btw, I just realized, I spelled Australians wrong. Sorry.

FullHouse Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 7:15pm
post #14 of 18

Now I am nervous, Rylan. I've been wanting to try this since I got Toba Garrett's book, but if you are having issues, I don't hold much hope for myself. Though, seeing your harsh criticism of some of your other work, I'm betting that your bridge is great and you are being hard on yourself.

lauthala Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 11:20pm
post #15 of 18

Bridge work is very time consuming,use to take me a week or two,so best done on a fondant covered dummy or fruit cake.Hard on the hands.Pure icing sugar must sifted through very fine sieve as I use to use a 00 pipe for the drop work.If you want my notes of 25 years old be happy to give them to you,a tad long but thats fine.Photo is my first bridge work and wedding cake,25 years ago,old fashioned now,didn't have digital back then.


JulieMN Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 1:31am
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by lauthala

Thought you might like to see this Rylan,was an entry in Sydney Royal show.

Absolutely breathtaking!

all4cake Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 2:32pm
post #17 of 18

lauthala, your extension work is incredible!

One can also use a clean (not just new...but washed, rinsed sanitized and airdried) nylon stocking (support hose have a tighter weave and is MUCH better to use) to extrude the royal icing through before piping with it.

Bluehue Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 2:54pm
post #18 of 18
Originally Posted by Rylan

Btw, I just realized, I spelled Australians wrong. Sorry.

LOL - i was just going to say - thats spelt like Americans pronounce it

Once again Rylan - what ever you produce/create will be a stunning work of Art.

Bluehue x

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