To Enter or Not to Enter?

This past June was the 5th Annual NY Cake Show at Pier 36 In Manhattan. With so many categories to choose from how do you decide what to enter? I usually enter a category I can have fun with, cookies, cupcakes, celebration cakes or sculpted cakes!

Traveling is a big factor in deciding at least for me, because if I can drive with it then I can go alittle bigger and unique in design. If I have to fly then I usually scale things down, make it something I can take as carry on or put in overhead.

The past few competitions I’ve been trying to create something different than my usual work or to work with materials I normally don’t get the chance to. For the NY Show I decided to challenge myself and enter into Showpiece!

Showpiece is a category where the cake is based on a pre determined theme. This years theme was Broadway.

Each competitior had to chose one play from a list and then create a cake based on that play. Each cake needed to be in proportion to the table provided ( 5’ diameter) and to also provide the table covering and decorations which would lend to the overall display. So your cake is not on a table with other cakes, its individually displayed and usually prominently on the show floor.

This was a big change for me and scoring is quite different from the other categories. I knew I had to create a clean piece, use many techniques ( and use them well!) and follow all the guidelines!

I worked for close to 2 months on this piece, alternating between stress and frustration! Certain elements worked and others were a big failure! I bugged friends online and on the phone but in the end I created a piece I was proud of. I knew what my flaws were but I was happy with the finished product!

Cakes with Character - Collage

And to my surprise I took 3rd in division!! So happy and more confidant to now work on my next big competition for the Oklahoma Sugar Art Show!

So after all that why do it?? I don’t enter to win, I enter to challenge myself, to work in mediums I don’t get to, and to experiement with new techniques and to surprise myself with the finished product!! You never know what will happen unless you give it a go! Try it, you may surprise yourself! And its about growing as an artist and pushing the boundaries of yourself and your art! Yes it can be stressful and frustrating and there were times that I walked away from it all for a day or two. But in the end even if I didn’t place I still created a damn good cake that I couldnt wait to show off!!

Looking forward to seeing more of you at the next show!!

Let the Competitions Commence!

Well competition season has now started and is in full swing! The Austin That Takes the Cake show started things off with a bang! There are many more exciting shows that have taken place and more coming up, SoFlo and the NY Cake Show! If you get a chance try to go and see all the amazing entries and even better if you can enter a piece I would highly suggest it!

Austin Cakes Collage.jpg
These are my 1st & 3rd Place Winning Entries from The Austin That Takes the Cake Show!

For me competing is all about the challenge, to push myself to step outside my comfort zone and try new things; to take classes and up my skill level. To see what new products are out and the exciting possibilities they have to offer and of course to meet up with industry leaders, innovators and great cake friends!

 

I know competitions sound scary and you read all these stories online about mishaps in transporting pieces but I feel they offer healthy competition among artists and are fun to enter! Dont feel intimidated! Research the show if you’re considering entering or at least come to the show to see what it all entails. Read the rules! Reach out to fellow competitiors and ask questions. Don’t leave things to the last minute!! And always prepare yourself for anything and everything to happen. Never feel like you can’t do it because of who is entering; you never know what the judges are looking for.

After competing at the Austin show I am now taking some time o to get ready for taking my game to the next level! My next competition show is the NY Cake Show. I will be entering in a category I never have before and trying new skills and techniques for the very first time. But I look at it as a great practice run for entering into Grand Wedding at the Oklahoma Sugar Art Show. I’m very excited to get working on my pieces and to see the final results!

Again its always about the challenge and I look forward to seeing what others bring to the table. And its always exciting to discover new talent and new techniques.

April Showers Bring….CAKE!

Where does the time go?  March certainly came in like a lion and I think went out like one too! Im still trying to catch up from my many adventures that past month! So much traveling across the country, competing, fun stuff, learning new techniques and catching up with and making new friends!

And now were into April and Spring has certainly sprung as well!6a0120a5924ef0970b01bb08ce9f43970d.jpg

My first journey was to the Austin Texas That Takes the Cake Show.  I entered into 2 categories, Tiered Non-Wedding and Cupcakes! My tiered cake was a Jack Kirby inspired hand painted cake .

To get all the info on this cake click here!

Sailor Moon Cupcakes.jpgAnd Sailor Moon inspired cupcakes for which I took 2nd Place!

Next up was the Cakefest Competition in Lafayette, LA with this theme being “Freakshow” I entered into 3 smaller categories as I didn’t have time to create a cake. Cookies, cupcakes and decorated board! Took 1st Place on all 3!!

Cookies.jpgLA Cupcakes.jpgDecorated Board.jpgLA Awards.jpg

In between all the traveling and orders I was also honored to be a part of so many fun cake collaborations. One in particular had my contributioIreland Fairy.jpgn traveling across the world over to Ireland! Away with the fairies was a collaboration at the Irish Sugar Craft show with contributions from 250+ artists.

Watch below to see it all come together!

Another collaboration I was honored to be part of was the Sugar Artists for Autism Awareness!April Sugar for Autisim.jpg

And last but not least I also put together a collaboration “ A Sugar Artists Tea Party”! Pop on over and take a peek at some of these gorgeous Tea party settings!

https://www.facebook.com/teapartycollab/

Until next month which is almost here stay tuned for more news and more reveals!

CAKE COMPETITIONS

It’s that time of year again, though it doesn’t really end we just take a short break over the summer! Cake Competitions/Sugar Art Shows are in full swing, with the Satin Ice sponsored CakeFair in Orlando which just ended and the upcoming Oklahoma Sugar Art Show (OSSAS) first weekend in October. There’s Cake International in the UK in November, The Cake Masters Awards as well and then the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique Culinary Art and Exhibit in NY. Lots to do, lots to see and lots of amazing people to see, talk with and learn from.

I love doing these competitions because it gives me an opportunity to create works of edible art that my customers necessarily wouldn’t ask for and to try something new and different. Yes, it can be stressful, like how do I get my cake there? Drive, fly, ship it out? What if my cake is damaged? Should I bring a tool kit? Do I have time to fix it? I’ve gone through all of these experiences doing shows and you always seem to work something out and be able to get a piece on the table.

I compete not to win, but to push myself further, learning new techniques and trying different styles or designs that I would never think of. If I win, great an added bonus but my goal is to get something that I’m happy and proud of out there for other people’s enjoyment.

I also love the camaraderie of the cake community. Love seeing old friends and making new ones! I love taking in all the other competitors’ pieces and seeing so many different takes on a certain theme! Learning what to do and what not to do. Taking classes so I can further myself along and bring back what I learned for my customers.

As I’m writing this I have finally completed my 3, yes 3 pieces for the OSSAS show. I decided to enter in some other categories that I usually don’t do work for. Figured I would try something different this year! Oh and I’m also competing in the LIVE cake challenge as well! Crazy I know but I am so looking forward to the show, seeing my friends, talking cake and seeing what’s next!

Its a busy 4 months with more pieces to create but in the end its all fun! If you have a chance to see a show in your area, come on out! You won’t be disappointed!