As I said in my previous post, I learned a lot from entering my first competition, although some lessons are harder to learn than others.
Once I was back from Birmingham, I checked the date of the next competition at the NEC, saw that it was only 4 months away, had a small panic, took a deep breath and started planning my next design(s).
I decided to enter a wedding cake this time and also another decorative exhibit. I started drawing up a few designs for the wedding cake. I had already decided that I wanted to use edible lace in my design but also wanted to incorporate as many skills as I could. Personally, I love wedding cake designs that include two, high contrasting, colours. I picked pale blue and black for my cake.
When I first started working on the cake, I added frills and drapes to two of the tiers. I knew how I wanted it to look but it just wasn’t working out right and the response from my mother was less than enthusiastic. At the same time I discovered Pretty Witty Cakes a brilliant website full of tutorials (a lot that are free), a shop, forum and more. I watched a video presented by Nivia Rodrigues about entering cake competitions. She put a lot of great advice in the video, reiterating what I’d already picked up, give yourself time and if you’re not happy with anything, change it. It was at that point I pulled off the frills and drapes, recovered the cakes and started again.
This is the wedding cake in its spot at the NEC
I was thrilled to get a Bronze award and the feedback from the Judges was lovely.
I also entered a decorative exhibit. I completely changed the subject of my design for this as I wouldn’t have had time to complete my original idea. I’ve been a Bowie fan for over 30 years and wanted this entry to be about him. I decided on a Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars theme. My design being Mars, with ‘Ziggy’ sitting on top, surrounded by spiders.
Another thing I learned from this entry; don’t try using a new medium for the very first time. I’d ordered some Flexique at the last minute, hoping to use it to make the kimono that Ziggy wore. Unfortunately, when I placed the order I couldn’t buy the edible glue to use with the Flexique and discovered, without that, the product on its own is impossible to stick together. In the end I used the Flexique with a fondant icing sheet that’s used with edible image printing and managed to stick the ‘clothing’ together with edible glue.
I think I made the head for the figure at least 3 times and tried various techniques for the hair before I was happy(ish) with it. I know its not a very good likeness of Bowie but as the Judge said, its more difficult to try to get a good likeness of a well known face. Overall I was happy with the result and the Certificate of Merit.
I really didn’t give myself enough time for this entry so knew it wouldn’t get a high award but it was done more as a tribute to Bowie than to win anything.