A guest post from Rebecca who is the Studio Manager & Decorator at Faye Cahill Cake Design
I don't know about you, but sugar flowers have never been my speciality. I have worked with Faye, coming up to five years now (eeeeek!), and avoided making sugar flowers almost the entire time. Earlier this year our sugar flower specialist moved up the coast and we have been scrambling to hand over the reins to another talented sugar florist ever since. Jacqueline Butler was visiting our studio in June, but I was scheduled for annual leave and would miss the class. I didn't think I'd mind too much (sorry Jacqueline), as flowers were never my main interest, but upon my return Faye asked if I'd give a few of Jacqueline's flowers from her new book a go.
Needless to say, I panicked and even complained at home about the task. I was very dubious of my ability to create some of her masterpieces and worried I wouldn't do a good job (anyone else held back from trying things because of this?). Anyways, I hesitantly read through the book and immediately fell in love with so many of her designs. The flowers seemed simple to create and didn't have too many steps, a huge bonus for someone so insecure about trying new things. I decided to try the English Rose, loving it's unstructured beauty, the Ranunculus, having always been a favourite in real life, and the Closed Peonies, because they just looked so good!
After a slow start, I really got into creating the flowers. Jacqueline has broken everything down into easy to follow steps and created some ingenious techniques that make some elements so simple . Everything has detailed supply lists and clear photos matching each step to its instructions. We didn't have the exact cutters, veiners or cupped formers, but I really like how my flowers came out!
My three favourites! English Rose, Ranunculus, and Closed Peony from top to bottom.
I love how unique each one is and how fluffy all the petals end up looking.
I even had a play creating some buds and different sizes. I made everything in white as we colour up using watercolour washes at Faye's instead of the soft dusting that Jacqueline uses. It made it even easier for me as I got to skip the last few steps!
That's one of my English Roses on a wedding cake from last week!
I guess the moral of this story is you shouldn't be afraid to try new things because you might love them and want to keep making flowers even though you have other work to do! Thank you Jacqueline for an amazing resource and for explaining such complicated things in easy to understand terms. I also love the photography in the book and the soft overall feel that comes across. Sorry I missed seeing you in Sydney this time!
Head here to buy Modern Sugar Flowers, by Jacqueline Butler.