I had the incredible honor of attending Jacqueline Butler’s (petalsweet.com) Peony and Sweet Pea class in San Diego this past January and as an added bonus, got to meet another of my favorite cakers, Stevi Auble of Hey There, Cupcake ( https://www.facebook.com/HeyThereCupcakes)! This was the first sugar course that I had ever taken and it was nothing short of amazing. I was pretty intimidated about attending a class since my favorite sugar tool at the time was a toothpick. I thought that perhaps my skill level wasn’t advanced enough to take a class with THE Jacqueline Butler and on top of all my insecurities, I had absolutely nothing to wear. However, the techniques I learned, the tools I became familiar with and the tips shared by Jacqueline have become an essential part of pretty much every aspect of my sugar work. Since taking this class, I have enrolled in several online courses and I can tell you this. It is worth it to invest in taking a class in person. There is nothing like having the instructor there with you, observing and assisting you in learning the correct amount of pressure to use, how to repair a petal that breaks after assembly, how to adjust the petal dust colors to achieve the perfect look and even give you the added encouragement that you did something right! The online classes and Youtube tutorials are wonderful and very worthwhile but for novices like myself, the experience of having an incredibly experienced sugar master completely dedicated to seeing you succeed is like nothing else.
What I found through this class is that taking a sugar course is more than just learning to replicate someone else’s perfect flower. Its about gaining the techniques, confidence and skills in order to create your own version of that flower. After all, sugar work to me is all about tapping into your own creativity and being able to express yourself through your creation. Jacqueline’s class was exactly what I needed. I came home with an enthusiasm and new found love of this sugar art. Oh and by the way, I will warn you. Since the moment I walked out of that class, all I can think about is when and where I will be taking my next one.
Below are my photos from my class:
On the drying rack, peony leaves and sweet pea buds:
My work area:
This was Jacqueline’s sample, which of course was just gorgeous:
Petals drying and forming those beautiful curves:
Center of flower completely assembled with leaves and sweet pea buds drying:
Reminds me of a ballerina tutu:
Side view. Don’t you love those petals?
View straight on:
Sweet peas all finished and assembled:
My finished peony:
So if you want my advice, find a class and take the class. Not only will you learn the incredible techniques of one of the best sugar flower artists, but you may make some new friends too.