Redsoxbaker Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:08pm
post #1 of

How many of you experts are self-taught? Some people have such creative and natural abilities and don't need to take classes! I wish that was me. icon_rolleyes.gif

120 replies
weirkd Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:15pm
post #2 of

Im not an expert by no means, but I am self taught. I think if you can apply any kind of artistic ability to cake decorating its better than having formal training. Someone I talked to recently on here has a degree from La Cordon Bleu and she said they didnt teach her anything in cake decorating.

dalis4joe Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:18pm
post #3 of

I'm experet either but I am self taught.... mostly here at cc and through the tutorial threads here... there are a lot of blogs... sites... you tube videos... articles here... any many are made by highly regarded proffesionals (sp?) in the cake artistry business.... I feel what I have leanred... has been from the best of the best icon_smile.gif

bashini Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:18pm
post #4 of

Hi, I am a self taught decorator but I am not a pro by any means!!!!!!!!!! I loved baking from young age and baked cakes for all my family member's b'days. Started learning to decorate from books, internet and buying online tutorials. The only class that I have been to is Alan Dunn's flwoer making classes. icon_smile.gif

GI Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:19pm
post #5 of

There are lots of self-taught, just have to have a passion for caking! icon_lol.gif A few tools, inexpensive.....if you wish...as for going to a school, that would be way cool in my book! I would love to do more than I do now. I think for the most part, it just takes practice, practice, practice! Some have more of a natural ability, some not. But I wouldn't give up! thumbs_up.gif

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:20pm
post #6 of

I'm self taught.... wish I had access to some professional classes, but the only classes in my area are Wilton classes, and the instrustor of those classes says their classes wouldn't help me any. However, I KNOW there is a lot more I need to learn

Ursula40 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:20pm
post #7 of

Self taught, not a pro by any means, would LOVE to be able to take lessons, but people like my cakes well enough to buy them and also become repeat customers, so I can't be that bad

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:24pm
post #8 of

I went to Le Cordon Bleu and there was no real cake decorating lessons. There was a week or so in bakery that we learned how to pipe designs onto dessert plates with chocolate, vanilla creme, fruit purees. But nothing on how to do a shell boarder or a rose. Actually we learned how to pipe roses in the dining room class because instead of pats of butter being served at the table, we would have butter roses. We did them the wrong way (I know now) but we did them.

YouTube is the best way to learn simple decorating. Even some advanced stuff too.

http://www.youtube.com/user/SeriousCakes

http://www.youtube.com/user/tonedna1

http://www.youtube.com/user/aine2

A few of my personal favorites!

terrylee Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:27pm
post #9 of

I'm self taught also......a friend....many many moons ago, taught me to make icing roses.... that was the start. I have love decorating cakes from the start...and it so amazing how the cake styles have changed over the last 30 years.......I am still learning. There is always a new challange and new techinque to learn.......LOVE IT.....

Redsoxbaker Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:30pm

You guys are way too modest! Your work is definitely professional. Most of your work is probably better than a lot of people who have taken classes. I can not believe all the information I have learned from all of you. I plan on going through all the past posts that go way back. You tube has taught me a lot too! Thanks for inspiring me! icon_biggrin.gif

Stitches Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:30pm

I'm self-taught with everything (so was my Mother....so I sort of learned from watching her, but not really). I am a professional Pastry Chef......here's my flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/19309786@N07/

When your really interested in something you can learn everything from books and on line.

mamawrobin Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:31pm

I'm self taught. I've never taken any classes and it probably shows icon_lol.gif I do watch tutorials when I need to figure something out. I would certainly take some classes if there were any available in my area.

creations Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:37pm

i am some what self learned, i only took 2 course of wilton but before that i was on my own , took course just to see where i need help in and as u can see i stop at 2nd class, and continue to pratice and learn as i move on , i say with my creativity and knowledge from art class i was able to make my cakes the way they are,

tarheelgirl Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:38pm

I'm also self taught. I've never taken any sort of class. But have learned most of the techniques through CC , watching videos and practice.. practice.. practice. I picked up a few tools to do my son's 1st birthday cake.. 10 years ago! Since then I've been hooked!! thumbs_up.gif

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:41pm

Personally (and not speaking of myself here) I think the best decorators are the ones who are self taught. Those people are the ones with the natural talent. You can teach anyone how to do something, but the ones with the natural talent are the ones who are great. I'm not saying that the decorators who took classes aren't as good... but they probably would have still been great decorators even without classes... just as Rose_N_Crantz said... pretty much taught themselves.

I have people as me all time time about "teaching" them to do cakes.... I always say that I still have way to much to learn to be teaching anyone anything!

mireillea Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:43pm

I am self taught too and learn something new every day!
Classes that I would like to follow are way too expensive and too far away (US, UK). There are so many good books and you tube movies, and of course all the tips from CC...

So I just take one of my favorite books, sit down, practice, practice, practice until I am satisfied enough at that moment.
Haha, and half a year or so later, I think to myself: O, the rose/cake/etc. that I make now is so much better than the one from half a year ago! And this continues year after year, so I am never really completely satisfied with the results, but I guess that is just what you need: wanting to improve yourself.

Ursula40 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:48pm

Oh how I wish I could get onto youtube, but that is blocked here, as are all blogs, many of which apparently have great info

KodiM Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:51pm

I am self taught. I took the Wilton courses to teach me the basic piping techniques, but the carving and everything else I've learned from books and tv. I read a lot of the cake books and just practice, and I watch all the cake shows and dvr them and pause them and rewind them and I've learned a lot of great tricks/ideas that way.

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursula40

Oh how I wish I could get onto youtube, but that is blocked here, as are all blogs, many of which apparently have great info



Oh that's too bad icon_sad.gif There are so many good videos on youtube! I've learned to do a lot using it.

ZoesMum Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:59pm

I'm self taught too! I was considering going to a class, but the Wilton ones were all I could find, and I don't think they would teach me much at this point. Maybe the class that teaches piping, since that is one thing I haven't experimented with yet, but I don't think I'd bother paying for fondant classes!! Like others, everything I know I learned here or on youtube...

Ivy383 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:13pm

Wow! mireillea, KodiM, ZoesMum your cakes are beautiful! It is really cool that you are all "self taught". I took one Wilton course and check out blogs and youtube very often...(ok, ok...all the time! I'm hooked on cake videos)lol It's nice to see that that people can learn from the comfort of their own homes how to decorate cakes. You are all an inspiration and motivation to new decorators! (like me) icon_biggrin.gif

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli and Ursula40 Are you gals self taught as well? Your cakes are also beautiful!

Edit: Sorry... I just noticed that I missed page 1 of this post, so my ?'s have been answered. You are all very talented!

MrsPound Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:18pm

I'm self taught.. just started a few months ago with the idea of making my own birthday cake. I have made 4 cakes in the past 6 months. When I started I just got in my kitchen and did it.. THEN i found this website!!!

It's just a hobby of mine when someone asks me for a cake. I wouldn't want a business out of it... I love to cake and don't ever want it to be a job for me! icon_biggrin.gif

I have seen so many talents on this website alone, with pictures, advice, tutorials... I'm okay with not spending the money on classes (Wilton) and just trial and error.. I buy one new tool for each new cake I do, and one more color usually... I'm starting to get a collection, and I will buy anything on clearance!

Also, I am a scrapbooker, have been for 10 years... I think that brings a lot of what I do, creativity wise.

Eh.. and that's all I got to say about that!

ttehan4 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:30pm

No pro here either, but Im self taught. I still have alot to learn and still learn something new everyday. I have been doing cakes for a little over a year now and I have been creating about $7000.00 worth of cake a month just from my home. Every week seems like it is more busy than the last and I absolutely love it! Just in the two days this week Ive already sold 6 more cakes! Love it , love it , love it!!!

Cakeonista Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:38pm

No way do I consider myself an expert but I am self taught and cc has done much of the teaching for me. So many of my dilemma's and questions have been answered through this fabulous website and kind and caring people. I thank you all for helping me be creative and to do what I absolutely love doing.

ShelleyMJ Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:39pm

I took the first wilton course and my husband purchase Sharon's videos for me for Christmas.. The rest I have learned from all of my CC friends and experimenting!

KHalstead Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:39pm

I'm also self taught or should I say Cake Central taught! Everything I know I either learned from THIS website or through trial and error.


When I see online tutorials I always laugh because they'll tell you "don't ever do this because it won't work" and I'll sit there and go" but that's how I do it!!"
The same thing doesn't work for everyone, just look at cakes from people who all sit in the same cake deco. class.........no 2 are the same........and everyone seems to have a different skill level, even though they all just took the SAME class!!

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivy383

Wow! mireillea, KodiM, ZoesMum your cakes are beautiful! It is really cool that you are all "self taught". I took one Wilton course and check out blogs and youtube very often...(ok, ok...all the time! I'm hooked on cake videos)lol It's nice to see that that people can learn from the comfort of their own homes how to decorate cakes. You are all an inspiration and motivation to new decorators! (like me) icon_biggrin.gif

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli and Ursula40 Are you gals self taught as well? Your cakes are also beautiful!



Thanks!

mireillea Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:43pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivy383

Wow! mireillea, KodiM, ZoesMum your cakes are beautiful! It is really cool that you are all "self taught". I took one Wilton course and check out blogs and youtube very often...(ok, ok...all the time! I'm hooked on cake videos)lol It's nice to see that that people can learn from the comfort of their own homes how to decorate cakes. You are all an inspiration and motivation to new decorators! (like me) icon_biggrin.gif

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli and Ursula40 Are you gals self taught as well? Your cakes are also beautiful!




Hi Ivy383,
Yes I am self taught but I made EVERY beginners mistake you can possibly think of. From not using an internal support system (we all know what happens then), to using wooden dowels and card board (not so sturdy too) to sps (ah, what a relief!).
I remember one of my first fondant cakes. It was a huge 5 tier wedding cake. The wedding couple wanted a cake in aubergine (that was the first problem icon_sad.gif), light scroll work and a few flowers here and there. I finished the cake the night before because I had to deliver it the next morning (a 150 km drive!!! how stupid can you be with one of your first cakes).
Okay, so I was pretty pleased with myself that night, but when I came down the next morning I could tear my hair out! The cake was wrinkly and had cracks all over it. It looked horribly. Terrible! And I had to leave in 30 minutes!
I had no time to redo the cake or to redo the fondant. The only thing I could think of was fill three bags with colored icing and pipe over the cracks. And as I was doing that, more cracks began to form and I couldn't feel more miserable!
I finally placed the cake in the car because there was no time left, took more icing with me, drove the two hour trip to the venue. Driving made the already hidious cake look even worse. I finally arrived and placed the cake as far as possible out of sight with the worst cracks at the back. I had to put even more icing flowers, strips, dots, leaves and everything I could think of on the cake, just to hide all the flaws and belief me there were MANY!!! I am sorry that I don't have a photo from that monster.
The ultimate cake looked nothing like the couple ordered. I felt so bad! I apologized a million times. Luckily they were not really that interested. It was a big party and they were more into the dancing and having fun.
I decided to stop doing cakes then and there. And I did for two years. Then I finally had the nerve to pick it up again. And I am glad I did.
I work so much different now. I now feel confident when I am doing wedding cakes. I KNOW what I am doing, I know what I am selling and I know I can now deliver the quality the client deserves. But boy did I come a long way! And.... still learning!

tonedna Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:43pm

I think that being self taught is a difficult task. Not impossible, but difficult.
One need to be passionate and have a lot perseverance and patience. It requires a lot of practice and some things come easy, but some things require lots of trial and error.

I been through this road. But I think there is nothing wrong with taking classes.
When I started, there where not a lot of classes in my area. Now there is more people teaching, wich it's not only fun but very helpful. I wish I had this option when I started. Self taught can get one frustrated at some points.

I used to take breaks to re-group and try again.
Edna icon_smile.gif

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:45pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttehan4

No pro here either, but Im self taught. I still have alot to learn and still learn something new everyday. I have been doing cakes for a little over a year now and I have been creating about $7000.00 worth of cake a month just from my home. Every week seems like it is more busy than the last and I absolutely love it! Just in the two days this week Ive already sold 6 more cakes! Love it , love it , love it!!!



DANG! I'm in awe! $7000 in one month? Wow! How many cakes a week do you do? I'll be the first to admit that I'm slow.... I don't like to rush, I like to enjoy the decorating process...but I can do 9-10 cakes a week easy, and 12-13 pushing it. Mostly birthday cakes... with a few wedding cakes thrown in there. No more than 1 wedding a week though.

My problem is that I don't want to have a cake finished more than a day or 2 in advance... not exactly sure how long they will stay fresh and moist. Which has me trying to decorate most of them on thurs and fri.

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