Thursday, 31 July 2014

PME Sugar Paste Diploma

Following on from my PME Sugar Flower Diploma I decided to continue towards my masters and get the Sugar Paste Diploma. I did this at the same place as previous, confection perfection, but I decided to do it as an intense 4 day course rather than over several weeks as I'd done previously. The course was more money, however, it included use of the equipment and all the materials. To me this is a big bonus as I didn't want to have to buy everything at once and I also didn't want to have to keep bringing cake. Having done the course I think that it's much better value for money to do it this way and intend on doing my final course as an intense one as well. 

Over the 4 days we worked on 3 main projects. To start off with we covered a round fruit cake, a square dummy and a board. We tiered these up and this was to become the basis for most of our work. We learnt how to put trim along the bottom in the form of twisted rope, flat rope, grass and marbles. 
Starting fruit cake turned upside down and levelled
Cakes covered and round cake edged
 The next job on this cake was to start decorating it. We learnt about decorative plaques and what they can be used for. We learnt how to make frills, Broderie Anglaise, swags, bows amongst other things. 

The side showing the frils, bows, marbles, decorative cut outs and the side view of the drape.
 This cake was then finished up on the final day with some modelling and a star burst on the top. We learnt how to model a sitting ballerina (mine hadn't dried properly yet so that's why she's wrapped in cling film). 
Over all view
Bow with pearl centre, swags and decorative plaques. 
Star Burst with hearts, stars and butterflies
Ballerina
Drape, bows, cut outs and Broderie Anglaise

Marbles, cut outs, bow and frills

Bows, sways and grass

Overall Cake
 One morning of the course was taken up with learning about carving cakes and covering them in basketweave panels. We were told the day before to pick something we wanted to make so I decided on a bird table. When I arrived the next morning it turns out that 3 out of 4 of us had the same idea!! The others changed what they were doing so overall in the group we created a cushion, handbag, dog basket and bird house (me). 

Carving cakes was more complex than I thought because of how precise it requires you to be. I had to carefully measure and square up all the sides to ensure everything was identical. I measure the roof so it was exactly symetrical. The sugar paste was stuck on in panels and I created a tiled roof and some vines for mine. We had very limited time so I wasn't able to do much more than this and most of us didn't finish, however, we learnt the required techniques. 
Front view of house
Side view, it got slightly squashed prior to this photo, it was straight before this! 
The final project that we did was a modelled scene on a board. We learnt how to make a pond scene with some grass and water. We then had a basic introduction to modelling where we learnt how to make a flat teddy bear. 
Flat Teddy
Having learnt the basics we then moved on to a 3D scene for a teddy bears picnic. We learnt how to create the teddy and make everything in proportion. We learnt about making a blanket and we then had fun creating as much food or accessories as we liked. I really enjoyed this task and I think the finished result is really good. 
Teddy Bears Picnic
Food!!
Pond and Handbag

By the end of day 4 I was exhausted but pleased to have passed another diploma. I learnt so much on the course and I'm full of ideas of cakes to create. Just as well because I have rather a lot planned in the coming weeks. 

I'm looking forward to completing my Masters by doing the final diploma on Royal Icing and Piping Skills. Hopefully I can do that before the end of the year.