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Only the curious will learn…

An ambiguous title, I know, but I do love a good quote. And I feel it perfectly sums the conversation my pal, Vicky Teather of Yellow Bee Cake Co and I were having earlier this week about some of the amazing classes that we have been lucky enough to take during our time in cake.

I had featured this amazing creation that Vicky created during her recent class with Carla Puig in last week’s Something Sweet 19 and, of course, I have rhapsodised-a-plenty about my experience learning from Carla earlier this year.

But actually, I have been very fortunate in that, since I started my blog just under a year ago, I have been invited to take part in some truly amazing classes with some fabulously talented people and thanks to the generosity of these wonderful individuals, I have been encouraged to really push myself out of my comfort zone and try some new things that perhaps I wouldn’t have tried at home on my own. As a result, I have been able to add skills and mediums to my repertoire that can’t fail to enhance my own creative projects.

Wafer paper flowers with Dragons & Daffodils Cakes by Rhianydd Webb

During our aforementioned conversation, Vicky and I got chatting about our dream class – the class that, if we could take any class with any artist, who would it be and why. It really got me thinking, because there are so many amazing cake and sugar artists out there right now, pushing the boundaries of sugar every single day.

A huge consideration, when looking for a class of course, is the individual taste of the individual wanting to take it. I think we can all have different motivations for taking classes – whether it’s because we want to add a new product or skill to what our business can offer or simply because we are a fan of the artist in question’s work and want to spend some time ‘learning at the hands of the master’, so to speak. As an enthusiastic amateur, I definitely fall into the second camp!

My first class experience taught me one very important lesson though. I went into it thinking that I was going to create a perfect replica of the piece originally created by the tutor and, after struggling a little to keep up during the class (due to my own perfectionist tendencies), I was initially disappointed with my finished piece. However, I have since come to realise that when one attends a class, we aren’t there to produce a beautiful cake or sculpture (although that is a nice bonus), but rather to learn the skills and techniques to allow us to replicate one later at home – after a bit more practice of course!

I think that when you allow yourself to have that mindset and take the expectations and pressure off of yourself, you are guaranteed to have a much more enjoyable learning experience. After all, as I teach my pupils at school, mistakes are opportunities for learning – we only fail at something when we give up trying.

But I digress… The question I guess I am trying to pose – inspired by these ramblings – is, if you could take any class with any artist, what would you want to learn and from who?

Avalon’s amazing sculpture of AHS’s The Countess

As I say, I have been thinking about this for a few days now and, because I am totally going through a bust phase at the moment, I would probably look to one of my favourite chocolate bust artists. I absolutely love the work of Corinna Maguire, Avalon Yarnes, Carla Puig, Marta Hidalgo and a lot more besides and, having already been lucky enough to learn from Carla, I think my next dream class (today at least) would be with Marta Hidalgo of Peccata Minuta, who I originally discovered when we both took part in Isabel Tamargo of Tartas ImposiblesSweet Summer Collaboration in 2016.

There is a real sense of drama to Marta’s work and it never fails to capture my imagination. If I was to put myself on the spot and force myself to choose one of her designs? It would probably have to be the incredible teen vampire that she created for last year’s Sugar Spooks 2017 – although her previous Sugar Spooks piece for the 2016 collection, Aquelarre is an incredibly close second!

I just loved the juxtaposition of the traditional elements of vampire lore with a very cheeky looking young lad and the level of detail Marta was able to capture within the design was incredible!

So yes, I think that would be my dream class, but how about you?

Feel free to let me know in the comments or over on Facebook of course…


Incidentally, if you would like to take a class with Marta, she is currently touring with her Little Jester, Baroque, Snail Fairy and Unicorn Elf classes. Her next UK class will be the Unicorn Elf on 26th-27th September at The London Cake Academy. For more information, check out the Facebook event here or visit the London Cake Academy websiteUnfortunately, the classes are during the week, so I’ll be at school, but I cant wait to see all of the student’s amazing results!

4 thoughts on “Only the curious will learn…”

  1. Ooh!! So many I would love to learn from 🤔. Today it would be Mike Mccarey. He’s doing a two week course, what a dream that would be. Although I’ve done a small amount of structure work I’m not that confident and would love to learn from a master!! I would love to invest more in myself and may get around to it next year. The sun has now left my kitchen so back to caking for me!! 😳

  2. I’m a huge fan of Marta Hidalgo, starting when I saw her child with cherries in her hair, I was so moved by it. Love all the other artists mentioned, incredible talent!! I would so love to learn from Marta though… I really would!!

  3. Ohhh so many – Mike MacCarie would be my top pick but Martas work is incredible and Isabel and Carla and Avalon and a painting class with Calli! …… – my list is long and my Lottery winnings non-existent but a girl can dream. So many cake heroes and innovative technique plus the fact I adore the classroom room atmosphere, learning and meeting x

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