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Flowers and Dragons and Muppets… Oh My!

I have returned from summer break with a ton of cool experiences to share. I had hoped to blog through the trip, especially the ICES convention, but the internet was a bit more elusive that I had planned. So I will take a couple of posts to share some highlights, insights, and fun stuff.

hangin10

My first stop was San Diego for the 2010 International Cake Exploration Societe (ICES) Convention. You may recall my adventures in Chicago at the 2009 show… Had to do it again!  ICES invaded California with sugar artists from accross the globe who came to share, learn, and shop. While I do enjoy playing with the new products, buying tools/toys in the vendor room, discussing by-laws at a business meeting, and chatting with friends at the banquet (”cake prom”), the backbone of each day are the DEMOS.

A demo is set up in a room like this:

demo-room

You have a ticket assigned to a seat number.  Oh yes, these folks will throw down for a chance to get closer to the screen and most sell out before the event starts.

Some of the demos are for very specific techniques. The cake below is from a demo on stringwork. It is a classic technique made by drying think lines of royal icing (made with a steady hand!) and attaching them with the pink dots in a graceful 3D pattern. Before committing to a full class you can watch a master at work and decide if it is a good match for more in depth study. You can also compare the different methods that artists employ along the process. 

string

Truthfully, I just like observing people create beautiful things and seeing what random piece of equipment the instructor will use. Will it be a plastic tray from the dollar store? A high-end air brush? A new line of cookie cutters? Everybody has a creative solution to share.

 These gorgeous tulips were constructed in porcelain-like gumpaste and painted by James Roselle. The display cake was finished off with a generous handful of Home Depot know-how. Don’t they look freshly picked from a garden?

jr_flowers

This second boquet is also lifelike and graceful, but made entirely of gelatin (read: jello). How cool is that?

geletin-flowers

Another “new” idea in the demo schedule was marshmallow sculpting. A new twist on the cookie boquet. I love the little bee (shocking?!).

marshmallows

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