Monday, January 7, 2013

Craftsy Class Review: Classic Sugar Flowers: Peony, Anemone, Tulip

This Craftsy class was led by Nicholas Lodge and covered the basics of three types of sugar flowers, peonies, anemones and tulips. I've added it this week because it's on sale for 25% off, so you'll save a little money if you get it now!

This class was well worth the price, since Nicholas Lodge has such an extensive background in making sugar flowers and in teaching. He's incredibly comfortable in front of the camera and gives you a constant stream of information and tips as he's making the flowers. Not a lot of wasted time here, just good information.

I actually picked up a few tips in this video, which was great. I think that you'd be able to make decent flowers after watching this class even if you were a gumpaste beginner. The demonstrations were clear enough that even if it took a little practice you'd be able to replicate the flowers.

Something that I liked about his approach was the fact that he kept mentioning that real flowers looked a certain way, so you wanted to do this or that to make them more realistic. That was a real bonus in my mind, since I like sugar flowers that look real, not costumey.

This class was different from the other ones that I've seen in that there wasn't a lot of filler, either. You don't have to sit through half an hour of color being kneaded into fondant, so that was a change from what I'd seen on Craftsy before. Each flower had its own section, and there was a lot of information in each one.

He still uses egg white for glue, which was one of the few things I didn't like. Hello, salmonella. It's unlikely that anyone would eat the flowers, but water or gum glue is probably safer.

So my overall review:

Skill Level: Intermediate gumpaste skills, or at least a beginner who's willing to learn by making some mistakes.
Equipment You Have To Have: A lot of cutters, veiners, floral wire and tape, etc. Check the class materials list before buying because if you don't have a lot of this stuff already it can add up.
Sleep-Inducing Level: Not bad, but I did start to nod off during the anemone section.
What It Assumes You Already Know: Basic gumpaste info, how to handle and store it, etc.
Unnecessary Difficulty Level Of Methods Demonstrated: Not much, other than using the groove board when you can wire the flowers faster the way I like to, haha!
Annoying Host Habits: The only thing, but this was a biggie, is that he says "anemone" wrong. Over and over and over. It's like when Dubya said "nucular" all the time. He says "AneNoMe," and says it throughout, so it's obviously something that he can't get out of his head. I kept thinking of all of the people who have taken classes with him, and how they probably sat there thinking "He's saying it wrong, but I can't correct NICHOLAS LODGE!!!" Oh, the horror. That's where you go ask him a million questions that include the word "anemone" and make sure you pronounce it really clearly to him multiple times in the hopes that he'll catch on without you having to point it out to him directly.
Level of Helpful Hints Learned: I got a good bit of information out of this, even though I have plenty of gumpaste experience. Just different ways to do things, little tips, that kind of thing. I'm confident in recommending this class to people who want to see some good tips for gumpaste flowers. This class would be worth buying even at full price because there's so much information in it.

Click here to go to the class on Craftsy: Classic Flowers Class


Next week: Jewelled Wedding Cakes.

(FYI- watching Craftsy classes on a PC allows you to see the questions that have been asked by other students. Mobile devices don't always show those.)


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and is a Craftsy affiliate.

2 comments:

Eva Farragher said...

I've been learning through Nicholas Lodge's references and books for years now, but I still bought the Craftsy class. He is very good at getting the realism into flowers. Another great Brit is Alan Dunn. I find there is a huge difference between UK/Australian flower makers and USA ones. Even Ben Ron Israel's flowers do not have the same level of realism. So, I guess I am saying I also recommend checking out the UK masters!
Cheers,
Eva

TT Chrisy said...

thanks for the review!