Increasing in popularity here in Ireland, Sugarcrafting has long been popular in the UK and USA. Popular TV programs such as “Ace of Cakes” have made people more and more interested in creating artistic looking cakes for all occasions.
Some professionals, although making and decorating cakes for a living, would say that it is still more of a hobby than a business. The amount of time that is invested in making a delicate bouquet of flowers could be as much as 40-50 hours! However, if you get hooked by the Sugarcrafting bug, the satisfaction that you feel when you have completed a work of art makes it all worthwhile!
What is Sugarcraft anyway?
Well, Sugarcraft can be described as three-dimensional cake decorating. It covers a huge variety of styles, and includes characters and models made from sugarpaste or fondant, to amazingly lifelike and botanically correct flowers.
Fondant is usually used to cover a cake – and can be bought pre-coloured, or can be coloured to exactly the right shade, usually using colour pastes. You can also use dusts in various colours to “paint” or brush colour onto your finished work.
Some of the most popular companies that manufacture Sugarcraft items are PME, Wiltons, Sugarflair, Orchard Products, FMM, and JEM. You can buy a huge array of tools, boards, cutters, plungers, colours, pastes, dusts and much much more to make your work easier. Although the initial investment may seem a lot, most of these tools will be used over and over again for years to come. A good idea is to begin by taking a workshop or a class in the basics of Sugarcrafting, and a good teacher will teach you how to make the best use of your tools, and to get multiple uses out of your various cutters.
There are some real artists around who specialize in different sugarcraft categories. For example, Allen Dunn is an expert at flower arrangements, and holds masterclasses. You can also learn from people like Maisie Parrish, Ann Pickard, Karen Davies and many more. Many of these experts hold classes, and publish books which can be purchased in specialized shops, online, or may even be available in your local library.
You can also become a member of a local Sugarcraft Guild, and enter competitions and exhibitions with your work.