I've spent about 20 hrs over the past 7-10 days making gum paste figures/leaves/flowers/horse chestnuts/berries for a cake I was to decorate tonight. After work I settled in to decorate the cake, and realized I had NO idea how to do it! The Alan Dunn photo that was my inspiration had ALL of the vegetation and mouse not on or in the cake, but rather on one side and then on the inside curve of a carved out side of the cake. I struggled so much, and am so discouraged. This was SO FAR beyond my novice ability. I only used about 1/3 to 1/2 of the things I made, as I didn't know what to do with them. What a miserable eye opener this was....
I'm guessing you're being way too hard on yourself. Post some pictures maybe someone here can give you some quick tips.
You are tired. I know the cake may not have turned out like you imagined but I can almost gaurantee that it's not as bad as you are describing!
We all feel this way at times...
oh no. I hate the feeling of being defeated by a project. post what you have so far and maybe we can give input. Also maybe post what you are trying to replicate. No judgement I promise!!!!
Here is the cake by Alan Dunn.
It's not attaching. Sorry.
I was able to download the photo in 'my photos'. If you look closely, you'll see a little mouse among the foliage.
How should I have arranged the foliage, and how should it have been attached to the cake board?
Alan Dunn is a master flower arranger and sugar artist of epic proportions.
His flowers are wired individually and then wired into sprays of varying sizes.
His cakes are covered in fondant and the sprays are then artfully arranged and sit on top of the dry fondant.
I think your cake is a darling homage to Alan's work. That mouse is a real cutie.
I've done cakes where I didn't want to use wires or put things in the cake to hold wired sprays, so I just attached things with buttercream, royal, or melted chocolate.
Yes, it looks different because with wired items, things can float and stand away from the cake, but that doesn't make your cake bad--just different in it's own right.
You did a nice job on the cake.
I agree. I think your cake is beautiful and has such detailed decorations! I wouldn't feel bad about what you've done at all. I'm sorry you weren't able to use everything you worked so hard on, though. Maybe you can save them for a future cake.
Thank you all for the kind comments. The decorations I made that I didn't use are the ones that I did put wires on. That's when I realized I had no idea how to make the sprays with all teh stuff wired together. I tried, but the floral tape kept spinning around the wires instead of it being still, and then I didn't know how he attached the sprays to the cake board.
Well, this was a good lesson, to show me everything I DON'T know how to do.....
Just keep practicing. It'll come together. Your gumpaste work is beautiful. Just imagine what it'll be like when you know what you're doing. You've gotta start SOMEwhere, and this is a great start!
I think the details and the colors on your decorations are good - I love the mouse and the bird! Maybe the cake for your inspiration was bigger to have more room?
Look at your work for itself, not in comparison to someone else. You have your own style.
Keep practicing, but your gumpaste flowers are way better than anything I can do!
Well, I am using YOUR cake as an inspiration for a cake. I think it is just tooo dad gum cute for words. My next fall leaves will def. have a mousie munching away on it.
Please don't be so hard on yourself. I think it is so good! As always, we are our own worst critics. Learn from it and move on. Chin up, find a mousetrap, get to your next cake my dear!!!!
Your cake is very cute and the flowers are lovely. I don't know what the original looks like but your take on it is very nice and you should be proud.
Wow! Thanks, everyone! I didn't expect good comments, honestly! The mouse took four attempts, but I was finally happy with this fourth mouse that is in the pictures. Thanks again! You made my day!
looks good. and I looked at your other cakes too. the one you have from the first wilton class is really good. You should see mine lol.
Don't be so hard on yourself. Your cake is very sweet. It looks like you did a nice job on the gumpaste pieces. And remember that your brother will know the love that went into it, which is really the most important part. I bet he'll totally love it.
Just keep practicing. I look at (and save) a LOT of pictures that have flowers and other decorations placed in a nice way so I can study the scale and proportion of them. I still have a hard time knowing when to quit adding stuff. Looking at lots of good examples helps. Hold on to all the extras you made. You'll probably be able to use them at some point.
And good god, woman, could you have picked a more accomplished cake artist to aspire to?! Alan Dunn's cakes are fantastically good.
My dear!!! Take it from a florist. Your work is awesome. Not only on this cake but the others as well.
Maybe when you feel tired or unsure of how things look, take a step back. Take a break for a couple of minutes, get some fresh air, maybe even take a pic. You'll see things better the second time around.
If this will help, you might consider asking a florist or take a class in corsage making. Just so you can learn how the components work together. Wiring is really very easy to do.
I think your foliage is super fab. The mouse is really cute too.
I'm not sure what the inspiration cake looked like, but I really like your cake. It takes a lot of work to deal with gumpaste anything! And, you did a great job. Nothing pops out as looking fake at all. That's the point right?
So - why not try to use up your wired foliage in a styrofoam thingy - majigger? You can use them to practice right? I don't know the first thing about the process...but maybe you can make a topper for another practice cake. And, then finish it off with a similar border on the bottom. Voila!!! Another practice run from the same set of gumpaste work...
I hope you're feeling better about it...