I've taken Wilton classes, and learned some figure modeling/cake carving techniques through online reasearch and trial and error, but one area I really feel lacking in is making good (realistic) flowers. So, I'm considering the 5-day Ultimate Gumpaste Flowers class at Nicholas Lodge's school in Atlanta.
This is obviously an investement, so I was wondering if any of you had been and had feedback. A few specific things I'm wondering:
-what is the teacher/student ratio (is it small enough that you can ask questions/get direction if needed)?
-are most attendees professional decorators (being mostly self-taught, and only a hobbyist right now, will I be out of place/not able to keep up)?
-any recommendations on lodging and/or any supply stores (other than the schools) to check out if I go?
TIA for any feedback!
The 5 Day Ultimate GP Flowers is a great class! I can't believe how much I learned--and everyone is extremely helpful and kind. There is plenty of one-on-one, as they consider a "full" class 22 students, I believe. Nicholas Lodge comes around to help frequently, as does his assistant who is also very helpful.
The other students are usually quite a mix--professionals, hobbyists, and a few w/ little or no experience in caking. The days are really full--he covers quite a bit of information and techniques. This can be good and bad--you feel as though you are getting your money's worth, but by the end of the week you can feel a little drained/tired (but in a good way).
As far as the expense, you are cared for very well. His partner has coffee and some kind of muffins/pastries when you arrive in the morning. He then makes what is referred to as a "light" lunch--usually salad, pasta or chicken (some kind of entre) as well as bread and dessert. Then there is the afternoon cookie break.
There are several options for lodging, depending on if you drive or not. If you have any other questions, feel free to let me know. I'm headed to another class this coming Wed., and can hardly wait!
Hi, once you go, you will be anxious to go again. A friend and i went 2 summers ago. It was wonderful. We have taken his classes when he comes around where we live at least 4-5 times. Just took one with him sept. 29 in charlotte nc.We can,t wait to go back to his school again. They treat you like a king or queen. It is fabulous. hth
I have sent my mom there for her classes (I'm just her sugar baby/assistant :p ) and she is a regular to their shop. Everyone there is super helpful and friendly. We're local so we're fortunate to have them there when we have questions.
For lodging, honestly, I wouldn't stay in the immediate area of his place if you can help it. The closest and best place to stay is probably 10 miles north of ISA (Sugarloaf Pkwy area) but even just a few exits north off the Pleasant Hill exit is better than Jimmy Carter(where ISA is). Comparable to that staying south would maybe be off N Druid Hills.
There is a general kitchen supply, Atlanta Fixtures, that is open to the public in the N Druid Hills area I mentioned. So only about 10-15 mins from ISA and on your way to/from the airport. They have a website atlantafixtures.com
For just cake supplies, (other than ISA) we use Cake Art (cakeart.com) and that's another 15 min ride from ISA, it's really not that far, but it's on busier state highways.
Anyway, hope that helps!
He is a wonderful instructor. I would take classes from him again in a heartbeat. You will have a wonderful experience if you take them.
Have always wanted to go. My friends that have attended say it takes your flower making skills to a new level.
Thank you all for the the replies and info on both the courses and the area. Looks like he has 3 five day floral classes scheduled for 2011, and I think I'm going to see if we can schedule one in. I'm getting excited just thinking about it! It will be the biggest investment I've made in my cake-crafting so far, so I really appreciate the feedback.
AI'm looking for a place where they do gumpaste figures and flowers. Do they offer that there?