This week we spent 10 minutes with Cake International – Gold Award Winner, Laura Loukaides[caption id="attachment_11484" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Image:Laura Loukaides/Facebook[/caption]
When did you first start decorating cakes? I first became interested in cake decorating in April 2012 after watching countless episodes of Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes on Food Network. As my 19th birthday was coming up in June I decided to practice a few techniques to prepare myself to make my own birthday cake. I have always been passionate about art and design, baking has always been something I've done in my spare time so it was amazing to find something which combined the two! Where did you learn your baking skills? My mum taught me how to bake. I’ve always enjoyed baking cakes and cookies since a very early age. How did you become such a good artist? I taught myself different elements of cake decorating in blocks. I first began with the basics, learning to level and crumb coat a cake, moving on to covering in fondant and then simple piping with royal icing. Once I had reached a stage where I felt comfortable working with cake and fondant, I moved on to something more challenging, which to me was cake carving and fondant sculpting. This later led to working with dusting colours and an airbrush, but there is still much more I would love to learn! I find the best way to build your cake decorating skill set is to constantly keep learning, if there is a style you want to master, practice every single element you can until you feel confident enough to push on again. [caption id="attachment_11485" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Image: Laura Loukaides/Facebook[/caption]
How would you sum up your style? I like to create carved cakes as realistic as possible, but I also really enjoy making simpler cute cakes. I also really enjoy working with an airbrush and dusting colours as I like how it gives me control over how I want the overall finish of the cake to look. As I like to make a few different types of cakes, the overall style of my work can vary depending on what I’m working on. What is it that most appeals to you about sugarpaste modeling cakes? Working with sugarpaste allows me to have a clean canvas to build colour and texture on. When I’m making a carved cake I need to know I have a medium to work with which not only seals the cake, but also allows me to use different tools to create the look I need.
Where do you get your inspiration for creating new designs? Mostly I am inspired by real life subjects, food, animals, handbags, old shoes and photographs. I enjoy trying to re-create something as realistic as possible but I also really love making simpler cute cakes too. Trying to make realistic cakes helped me to study the colours, textures and proportions of a subject, whereas simpler cakes help me to keep my work clean and presentable, I feel both are very important elements to consider when working with cake. What’s your design process? I first like to look online for a few photographs of something I would like to make, I like to find as many different angles as possible so I can see exactly how something looks. I would then draw a quick sketch so I can see how I would like the cake to be arranged on the cake board. I try to keep as close to the sketch as I can, but I do sometimes like to add additional elements as I work to help balance the colour and shapes. [caption id="attachment_11486" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image:Laura Loukaides[/caption]
What are your top tips for sugarpaste modelling? 1. Start small - If you’re new to cake decorating, it’s best to work on something small to begin with, this not only helps you to get an understanding of how cake handles, but also how to work with fondant. 2. Work from a photograph not a cake - If you decide to make, for example, a cake which looks like handbag, find real photographs of a bag online which is of a similar style you would like to make, not a photo of a handbag cake. If you work from a photo of another cake, you can’t always see what the real details look like, which can result in an unrealistic finish to your cake. 3. Keep learning! - There is so much to learn when working with cakes, try new techniques and keep pushing for the next challenge. LAURA LOUKAIDES LAURA LOUKAIDES CAKES WEB: www.lauraloukaidescakes.co.uk FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/LauraLoukaidesCakes YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/LauraLoukaides INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/lauraloukaides