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How do I become a ICES Certified Sugar Artist?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am interested in becoming an ICES (International Cake Exploration Societe) Certified Sugar Artist.
I don't know how hard this could be and if becoming one has any advantages.
I wonder if any of you guys are a Certified Sugar Artist. Please let me known everything you know. icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks!
post #2 of 22
The general guidelines and other information concerning the exam are available on their website:

http://www.ices.org/education/certification/certification.html

The slots for the 2011 candidates are filled, but they are taking applications for 2012 exam to be held in Reno, Nevada.
"It's not denial. I'm just selective about the reality I accept." --Bill Watterson
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"It's not denial. I'm just selective about the reality I accept." --Bill Watterson
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post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks!
I already got the application but I wonder how hard it is the test? You must score higher than 56 points in 8 skills.
Did you take the test? How difficult was it?
post #4 of 22
I'll be testing in Charlotte next summer. 3 friends took it this summer and I sat with them at convention after the process. This year there were 2 CMSAs awarded and I believe 5 CSAs. As I recall, at least 5 people didn't qualify for either designation.

It's a grueling 8 hrs. The criteria are extremely specific and must be followed to the letter in to avoid disqualification or low scores.
Any single score of 6 from any of the judges on any skill eliminates the option for CMSA, but with other criteria met it still allows for CSA.

In order to attain CMSA, you must be very proficient in each compulsory skill and each optional skill that you choose to do. The skills cover, and rely heavily on, detailed piping, gum paste flowers, flawless cake covering in both buttercream & fondant, multiple types of royal icing work, and "dying" arts like lambeth, nirvana, australian & oriental stringwork, etc.

You have to work up and submit a plan for approval by April 1 prior to the test.

HTH
Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #5 of 22
What's nirvana and australian piping?
To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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post #6 of 22
Here is an example of Nirvana:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_vwJ2Ss2vN-o/SEfcHvu64EI/AAAAAAAAArc/AygKUlXDDRs/s1600-h/nir+1+now.jpg

It isn't australian piping, it is australian stringwork. (what we usually refer to as bridgwork or extension work)

Beautiful and delicate, these are true cake decorating skills!
Knowledge is a candle that when shared, doubles the light, but the insecure person believes knowledge is a candle that is diminished when it is split between two wicks.
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Knowledge is a candle that when shared, doubles the light, but the insecure person believes knowledge is a candle that is diminished when it is split between two wicks.
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post #7 of 22
Oh, I got it. Gee, the nirvana looks like runouts to me.
To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

Here is an example of Nirvana:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_vwJ2Ss2vN-o/SEfcHvu64EI/AAAAAAAAArc/AygKUlXDDRs/s1600-h/nir+1+now.jpg

It isn't australian piping, it is australian stringwork. (what we usually refer to as bridgwork or extension work)



Loucinda -

Would you please post a link to the blog that is associated with that pic? In all the classes I have taken, and in all the books I have, there's no mention of the term "nirvana". I would like to research it further.

Thanks!

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

Here is an example of Nirvana:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_vwJ2Ss2vN-o/SEfcHvu64EI/AAAAAAAAArc/AygKUlXDDRs/s1600-h/nir+1+now.jpg

It isn't australian piping, it is australian stringwork. (what we usually refer to as bridgwork or extension work)



Loucinda -

Would you please post a link to the blog that is associated with that pic? In all the classes I have taken, and in all the books I have, there's no mention of the term "nirvana". I would like to research it further.

Thanks!

Theresa icon_smile.gif



Nirvana named after an English cake decorator whose pen name was Nirvana. The cake is totally encased in run sugar (color flow, flood work) and is usually geometric in design. The flood pieces consist of splays, collars, side panels and risers. Collars and splays differ in size from one another by ΒΌ inch. It is built in a pyramid fashion being larger on the bottom and graduating to a smaller top. Nirvana means perfection, the ultimate. Run sugar pieces should fit accurately and should not have wide spaces or heavy borders to cover up where pieces do not fit. Hope that helps in what Nirvana method is. icon_biggrin.gif
I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
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I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
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post #10 of 22
Thank you so much. See what we miss here in the US? I really wish someone would come here and teach that Royal Icing class that I keep reading about.

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 22
No kidding!! I've never heard of it and I thought I owned every cake book EVER PRINTED!! icon_rolleyes.gif
To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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post #12 of 22
Knowledge is a candle that when shared, doubles the light, but the insecure person believes knowledge is a candle that is diminished when it is split between two wicks.
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Knowledge is a candle that when shared, doubles the light, but the insecure person believes knowledge is a candle that is diminished when it is split between two wicks.
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post #13 of 22
Nirvana, English stringwork & Austrailian stringwork are very similar, BUT they do have their diffrences and judges at ICES can tell, so practice hard, research and make sure you have it down pat......no errors or it will mean lesser points or disqulification. I want to take the test but I'm a big chicken icon_redface.gif I am thinking about doing it in Reno 2012. I have the stringwork work down and lambeth method, sugar flowers look natural (took a class in England with Allan Dunn) it's the Nirvana that freaks me out. My sides don't always match perfectly, so I need more practice. If you ever get a chance take a class with Toba Garrett or Stephen Benison they are stringwork gods lol. Also take the PME masters course, it covers all the stuff you need for the ICES testing. I have my masters course in PME, but I'm not good enough yet, or at least I don't think so.
I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
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I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
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post #14 of 22
Here's a Nirvana beauty--with instructions--on the Wilton website:

http://www.wilton.com/idea/Nirvana-Cameos

This is the cake Mary Jo Dowling did when she got her CMSA in 2009:

http://www.cakesbymj.com/About_the_Artist_files/nirvana%20whole1.jpg
http://www.cakesbymj.com/About_the_Artist_files/nirvana%20cake.jpg

A runout/Nirvana cake top and sides :
http://www.cakesbydebby.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/nirvana_cameos_cake_1.121195155_large.JPG

http://www.cakesbydebby.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/nirvana_cameos_cake_6.121195505_large.JPG

The one Loucinda shows:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_vwJ2Ss2vN-o/SEfcIkJyWBI/AAAAAAAAArs/4STKIyvFCDE/s400/nir+3+now.jpg

From s-u-g-a-r-c-r-a-f-tindia.blogspot.com (take out all of the dashes, as the word is censored on CC due to legal issues)

My own unfinished Nirvana style cake. I did this in the Advanced Master's Class at Wilton in Chicago and took it to display at ICES 2010 in San Diego in August.

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1820571

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
post #15 of 22
Thanks Rae, I'm looking forward to seeing more of this style!! icon_biggrin.gif
To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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