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ICES09 - Day One

And so it begins. Day one at the ICES Convention was a lot of running around and getting acclimated. There are about 3,000 cake and sugar artists here from all over the world. Everyone is super friendly and the Chicago delegation has been very warm and welcoming.

Convention Cake in the Lobby

Convention Cake in the Lobby

I am having a little culture shock, coming from DC. People make eye contact, say hello, strike up conversations, and even HUG total strangers. Wearing this “first timer” badge feels a little like a bulls eye for enthusiasm. This is payback for years of HOBY cheers and initiations! I have met many wonderful people from Korea, Argentina, Canada and all over the US. All here to have a “sweet time”.

Illinois as a giant bag of icing.

Illinois as a giant bag of icing.

Aside from chatting up random folks, one of the things I enjoyed today was Orientation. They gathered all of the first years and reviewed our materials, the ins and outs, do’s and dont’s, and generally provided a meet and greet opportunity. In order to best explain getting the most from a class or demo we were surprised by Virginia’s beloved Sweet Life team. Norm Davis and Zane Beg did a bunch of rapid demos and had a Q&A on attending demos, classes, vendor exhibitions, and about a 1,000 other topics (Norm talks fast!). Flower punches, sugar guns, luster dust, gold airbrushing, rolling pins, tap out letters, yada, yada. Good thing there were three of them to keep up the visual aids. My brain was spinning (in a good way).

normdemo11

Here is a tiny cake that was used as a model for each technique.

normdemo31

You can see that the fondant extends down over the cake and onto the board- unifying the look. There is also a really cool tassel made with an extruder and a lace panel made from fondant. Elegant!

Norm also showed us different techniques for dry and wet painting and told funny stories about what it is like to compete in professional challenges. (Everybody wants to know what is going on behind the scenes, right?!)

normdemo21

And speaking of challenge, I am still getting a little shock and awe when I run into some of these artists in the hallways. I almost dropped my coffee when I came around a corner face-to-face with Kerry Vincent. I have so much respect for her work and would have loved to say so, but I just couldn’t get the words out! Oops. There is always tomorrow.

No photos were allowed in the cake room today, but I cannot wait to get some quality time in there. The cakes being carried up and down the hallways were outstanding.

Posted in Musings and Inspiration, Travel.

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