What a lovely surprise to see my name on the front cover of the latest Autumn edition of Cakes & Sugarcraft magazine. It feels really good to be acknowledged as a top designer. Design is my passion and, as you can read in this feature, I actually consider myself a designer whose medium happens to be sugar. I am always happiest when I’m working on a new design or concept, I find the challenge of creating something entirely new enormously satisfying.
Writing for Cakes and Sugarcraft
I started my cake decorating career by writing features for Cakes and Sugarcraft magazine back in 1998. However, this is the first time the magazine has interviewed me. I was thrilled to be approached and delighted to be referred to as a top designer and see that the feature covers three whole pages! I was asked many questions including ‘How did your love of sugarcraft start?‘ and ‘Are there any trends in cake decorating at the moment that you particularly like?‘ Below are a few of my answers, ones I thought you might find interesting.
Have you trained as a sugarcrafter or are you just naturally talented?
“When I started back in the early 1990’s there was no internet, from which to gain inspiration, no YouTube or online tutorials to learn from and books were few and far between and on the whole incredibly old fashioned. So attending classes to learn the basics was much more crucial than it is today. I still remember my first lesson, it was how to make sugarpaste!
As for formal qualifications in sugarcraft I have none, just a wealth of experience and a desire to be different. I’m naturally inquisitive, I like to be inspired and I love experimenting so it didn’t take long before I was pushing the boundaries of what I’d learnt and carving a career in cake decorating.”
Why do you do what you do? What motivates you?
I know this question intrigues many people:
“It all starts with my Creativity! I am highly creative person and love the challenge of creating new and different designs. Researching excites me as it always sparks off so many ideas. I find the way some designs evolve over time totally fascinating. Like good wine, designs need time to mature and develop – it is often these designs that become my favourites. On the other hand, fully formed designs. Ones that just pop into my head as if from nowhere, which they do occasionally, still amaze me even after all these years!
For the next step of actually creating these designs, I have to work out the best or most suitable way of achieving what I have planned. Sometimes the methodology is obvious, but not always. Occasionally I have to get products manufactured so that I can create what I envisage. This can be very exciting. This is how the Lindy’s Cakes cutter and stencil ranges came into being and why they continue to grow.”
You have a very distinctive use of colour – what would you say are your influences?
“I am intrinsically drawn to beautiful and unusual colour combinations in the world around me and often use them to inspire the colours I use in my work. I carry a camera with me wherever I go and I often buy small items such as birthday cards or scarves just because I love the colours and think they would work wonderfully well on a cake!”
What would you say is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your career as a business owner?
Another frequently asked question: ‘
“I’ve learnt it’s very important to be passionate about what you do. It is also important to adapt to change. I have been running a business around cakes for nearly 20 years and during that time I have seen many changes. Over the last few years I have been concentrating on writing books but the world of publishing is changing. Consumers now have many more choices than before, so I am planning a gear change too”
Top designer feature
Many of the cake photographs that illustrate this top designer feature are from my latest ‘Mini Cakes Academy’ book, which is also reviewed in this issue of the magazine.
To find out more about my thoughts on cake trend predictions, a typical day in my life and where my gear change may take me, you’ll need to read the full article!
Issue 130 of the magazine is available NOW from Tesco’s, WHSmith and Sainsbury’s plus many cake decorating shops.
If you already have the magazine, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the feature and whether you consider me a top designer too!
Inspiring, creating, sharing