I just completed a cake for Saturday, that was two tiers (8in round on top of a 12 in round). I have Sharon Z's 'flawless fondant' DVD and I use that to level my cakes, fill my cakes, trim my cakes and crumbcoat my cakes. I followed her steps for both of my cakes, and decided to cover my 8 in cake first. I put my cake in the fridge to chill for about 15 min, and in the meantime I decided to use my Mat to roll out the fondant for it. I was previously having problems with sticking and rippling...Sweetwise directed me and said that it was probably too much shortening and to just wipe it away or wash it. I decided to wipe off any excess shortening and after doing so the mat was SO much easier to handle.
I put my fondant between the vinyl and started rolling. The rolling was extremely difficult for some reason, and I actually had to get my former-bodybuilder husband to roll it for me! Then, when it came time to cover the cake, I had a VERY difficult time getting the fondant to peel off the vinyl! It was peeling, but VERY slowly. I had the youtube video right in front of me while doing it, so I could make sure to hold my mat 'taut' the way Sweetwise does it. Unfortunately, since it was taking forever to get the fondant off the mat, whatever was getting off was falling onto the cake in a very rippled way. Since no cornstarch is used, the ripples began sticking together.
When I finally got all of the fondant off, the fondant was so moist (because no cornstarch was used) that the fondant also stuck to the cake board under the cake which made for a terrible mess while cutting away the excess. ALSO, since the fondant application was so difficult, I developed a TON of ugly air bubbles all over the cake. I was SO disappointed with the result (especially after all the work of levelling, trimming etc), that I decided to roll the fondant for my 12in cake the old fashioned way. Well, it was extremely smooth to roll out the huge piece necessary for a 12in cake AND it went on so beautifully, didn't stick to anything and didn't yield any air bubbles.
FTR, I had similar difficulties with the Sesame Street cake posted in my photos. Luckily a lot of the trouble spots were situated in the back so it doesn't appear in the picture. (the cake I'm referring to in the post is not yet pictured in my pictures)
Again, this is nothing personal, it's just business. I entered into a business transaction when I decided to purchase the mat, and like any other consumer I'm just offering my honest feedback. Sweetwise has been wonderful offering her help with me and other posters and I know that's definitely good business practice. Unfortunately, I'm disappointed with the product I bought and will likely not be using it again after encountering pretty serious problems with 2 cakes in a row.