Classes Or No Classes?

Decorating By esangston Updated 6 Aug 2011 , 9:26pm by esangston

esangston Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 8:05am
post #1 of 9

Haven't seen a post anywhere about this and I'm sure someone has asked so forgive the repeat.

I've been playing with the idea of taking some decorating classes. I think I have a decent understanding of cake decorating and havent met a cake design I couldnt complete, but I've never been asked to make a cake with flowers (beyond drop flowers) so yeah... I've been watching a youtube video and basically learned how to make a rose but its still a work in progress.

Locally we have the run of the mill wilton classes at one of 3 hobby stores. But I've been looking at some that are about 2 hours away and about 3xs the cost. These classes seem to be more detailed as they cover gumpaste flowers in days and not just hours. Cost of the classes isn't an issue to me if I can get the education I want and a vacation from my kids is always a plus.

If you took classes, who taught you (pro decorator, wilton instructor etc)? What did you like or dislike about classes? Did you leave the class with more knowledge or just a basic understand that you had to youtube again how to do something.

If you were self taught - what were some of your best resources beyond this site and youtube?

Thanks for the info

8 replies
TexasSugar Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 2:40pm
post #2 of 9

Honestly in my opinion...

Watching a youtube video or reading a book on the how to's is great. It's a way for people to learn new things. But in taking a class you will get (if you have a good instructor) a whole wealth of information, usually a lot more than you will get watching a video or reading a book.

I'm a WMI, I took the Wilton classes 10 years ago. Before them I played with cakes. I don't know if I hadn't taken the classes if I would have picked up the stuff I had. There wasn't youtube back then. icon_wink.gif But I always say that the Wilton classes is where my obsession for cakes began.

Since then, I have been teaching the Wilton classes now for 7 years, have gone to a total of 6 ices conventions (have watched more of the 1 hour demos that I can count and have done a handful of the hands on demos at them), and am now getting into taking other classes.

I just spent a weekend 5 hours away from home taking a two day flower class. It was so worth it! Could I have sat down with a book and figured out how to do the flower petals? I think so, since I've seen enough flowers made and have even made some myself. But I picked up tips about wiring and coloring/dusting, that I probably wouldn't have seen in a book. I picked up other tips from answers that were given to questions that I might never have thought to ask.

One of the things I like about classes, is that you have someone there with you to say, "hey, you may want to try doing it this way and you may like the results better." Or "You know when you have this keep happening, well here, try this instead and it will help with that." You have someone there to guide you or your hands. A book doesn't tell you if you are holding or using the ball too incorrectly. A book doesn't tell you that if you do this your petals may look like that, and that isn't the look you are going for. Books usually just lay out exactly what you are suppose to do to complete the project at hand. They can't factor in for human error. And let's be honest, no one is perfect.

Another thing I have learned at the ICES conventions is that everyone does things slightly different. There is often neither a completely right or completely wrong way to do things in cake decorating. So if you were lucky enough to take classes from different people, even if they are on sorta the same subjects you could learn something totally new. Maybe something that makes doing it a little easier for you, or maybe you figure out a way to mix what the first and second person taught you to come up with your own style.

I think that it is great that people can self teach themselves. There is stuff I have learned via the internet and just trying things out to see if it would work. But I really admire and respect those, that may know a lot about cake decorating, and yet keep striving to learn more. I don't think taking a class means your skills are worth any less. To me it means you are looking everywhere you can for information to better yourself and your skills.

If you can afford it, have the time to do it, I say go for it!

Unlimited Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 2:45pm
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by esangston

If you were self taught - what were some of your best resources beyond this site and youtube?




Self taught (before the internet) with the help of Wilton books. It was also a great learning experience to be a cake decorator at several bakeries and to have the opportunity to watch others work.

esangston Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 12:31pm
post #4 of 9

Thank you for the replies.

I wanted to go work at a local bakery but whe they saw my work, one had told me that they had heard about my cakes and said that they couldn't hire competition to learn their secrets... I can understand their side of it but at the same time, they don't offer the kinds of cakes I do. Their Idea ofo a sculpted cake is a sheet cake cut and iced. I offer something completely different so I didnt think I was a threat.
I might dabble in the wilton classes locally til my kids are a little bit older (4,2 and 5mo) and then I'll go elsewhere for a more detailed education if after the classes and this site I feel like I could use some more input. I figure with cake decorating theres always going to be something new to learn. Which is one of the reasons I really enjoy it.

TexasSugar Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 2:01pm
post #5 of 9

How far are you from Norcross, Ga?

https://nicholaslodge.com/classes.aspx?nd=425

esangston Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 2:15pm
post #6 of 9

I'm about 2.5 hours away... I saw his classes and heard good things.. Have you been to one of his?

kakeladi Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 2:19pm
post #7 of 9

Deffinately bite the bullet and pay to attend Nic's classes!! He is such a patient teacher. His work is sooooooo quality!! The attention to detail is awsome icon_smile.gif
I have not attended his classes in GA but have taken lessons from him at Cake Camp; CA mini classes (long before 'cake camp' started) and ICES.

TexasSugar Posted 5 Aug 2011 , 3:07pm
post #8 of 9

I haven't been personally, but I have seen him do demos at ICES. If I had the money to travel there, stay in a hotel and take the class I would so sign up for a week class with him!

esangston Posted 6 Aug 2011 , 9:26pm
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

Deffinately bite the bullet and pay to attend Nic's classes!! He is such a patient teacher. His work is sooooooo quality!! The attention to detail is awsome icon_smile.gif
I have not attended his classes in GA but have taken lessons from him at Cake Camp; CA mini classes (long before 'cake camp' started) and ICES.




Cake camp?

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