Our editor Leeanne Cooper reviews a life class with Laura Dodimead, aka Life In Sugar.
I always wondered what it might be like to take part in a life class, sketching the human form in all its glory. As soon as I tried modelling my first wire armature character, I instantly wished I had paid more attention to form and proportion in art classes at school…
So, scroll forward a few months and I receive an invitation for a one-to-one workshop with CD&S regular and gold award winning cake artist, Laura Dodimead.
Cake cave: well if you make the front cover, you should frame them!
Why learn from Laura
I can’t tell you how excited I was, especially after seeing her amazing Queen and Prince Philip cake at Cake International (awarded gold and 2nd in Pushing Boundaries). This girl can sculpt and create almost caricature style chocolate models so I jumped at the opportunity and chose her ‘Naked Ladies’ class to work on my ‘posing’ and ‘proportions’ and to try modelling with chocolate for the first time. Laura also passionately believes in cakes tasting delicious, as do I, so trying her chocolate techniques appealed on aesthetic and eating values in equal measure!
Arriving at Laura’s super vintage chic workshop at a mill conversion in Bagshot Lea, I was welcomed with coffee and vegan snacks, a quick tour of Laura’s studio (I wanted everything, this girl has fabulous taste) and the promise of a delicious vegan lunch ordered especially for me. Within five minutes, I felt totally at home, super motivated to learn from this chocolate master and really pampered…if education always felt this indulgent we’d all be scholars! FYI It isn’t only the styling of Laura’s studio that’s cool, the ambience is too; to keep the modelling chocolate from getting too warm to work with.
Laura teaches an awesome hipster wedding cake topper class that will wow your clients!
Laura explained in detail the benefits of using modelling chocolate and quickly got me started with a template, my print-outs to take home, and my lump of scrumptious modelling chocolate. She showed me how to work on wooden skewers paired with a polystyrene dummy and also made a model at the same time so that I got over the embarrassment of sculpting a nude surprisingly quickly, and even gave mine extra plumptious thighs, bottom and boobs.
Leeanne's very own 'naked ladies'!
The take away
I learned, very quickly from Laura, that modelling chocolate is very forgiving, that imperfections in proportions can actually make a figure more realistic than not, that carrying extra weight looks great on a sugar model and that I know I must take another class with Laura and soon….the naked guys and character faces look fab! Only next time, I won’t sit my newly crafted model in front of my car heater for the three hour drive home - oops!
To check out Laura’s upcoming cake classes or to buy a voucher for a friend, visit Laura’s Facebook page @lifeinsugar