September 1, 2015
My personal take on creating your own styles and attending classes-
When people ask me how I started doing Lambeth style cake decorating, it was not for the money, obviously too time consuming. It was because, I had an instructor sharing the old styles and her passion of keeping a method of cake decorating alive as well.
As with all styles of cake decorating, artist see something in architecture or read a book and decided to do their own version or style. Every artist gets inspiration from the objects and scenery around them. Each instructor who has a true passion and heart for teaching shares their own techniques to make it easier for students to understand how to use the designs to benefit their own businesses or as a hobbyist.
I find my own inspiration, with being a romantic at heart and loving Victorian styles; which stems from my ancestors / great grandparents from Europe. This gave me my own personal challenge; learning and practicing precision, dimensional work and adding my own modernized, romantic flair of my own style. This is not coping or trying to be someone else, this is true inspiration love of true art and being able to replicate it from sugar.
As a teacher, I’m able to share my passion of what I felt was a dying art in 2006, no one was using decorating tips, they were using rolled fondant, molded items and cutouts. I was asked by a longtime friend to bring back Lambeth and start teaching it again, which I had never stopped; I continued to use the styles in my bakery and teaching at the local schools and my shop since attending my first classes in 1980.
In September 2006 I started my website focusing on teaching the Lambeth style of cake decorating. I decided I would bring back the true art, cake decorating tips, the true beginning of cake decorating. This would be easy for me, since cake decorating is my passion. I decided to add a textured Victorian bow to a Lambeth style wedding cake, adding my own romantic flair, ideas from my heart. I truly love how to explain and showing how to properly hold and angle the decorating tips to achieve a clean design.
I truly admire my instructors showing and discussing their experience and passion for the art, while I attended a hands on, personal class. Learning from an instructor in person, was key for me and has helped me to become the instructor I am today. I will and always give credit, where credit is due. I do not teach something that I have not worked with or done before; I have learned many mediums and techniques since attending my very first classes from my instructors in 1980-1984 and continued to learn and perfect my skills while working in bakeries, owning my own and teaching.
My word of advice when creating your own designs and choosing classes to attend; choose an instructor with a true passion for the art and learn as much as you can from them, while they are teaching. I wish some of my instructors had a book or DVD as a reference.
When people ask me about video classes online, I recommend learning from hands on, passionate artist/teachers. Use video classes for extra tips and techniques, but not as your only source of learning. When I recommend my personal DVDs, it is for a reference, after attending one of my hands on classes. Video classes are great, but in no means something you should learn from and then decide to teach. Learn from several instructors in person. Take pride in yourself and learn the true trade from real people, in person and then create your own style and flair.
In closing, my wish for my students is; my experience and passion for sugar art help other artist and potential students to be passionate about creating their own styles, rather than just coping to be popular; add you o wn flair and passion to your artworks.
By Kathleen Lange
Int’l Instructor/ Master Cake Design Artist