How did you get into cake decorating?
My first recollection of cake decorating was when I was only 13 and my Auntie took me to Welshpool Sugar Craft Guild to watch a demonstration on how to make an orchid. I was instantly hooked and amazed by how a singular ball of paste could turn into something so realistic. I was fortunate enough that, my Auntie, shortly after the demonstration brought me my first ever orchid cutter and flower paste, and I have never looked back since. What really made me want to pursue my passion in the cake decorating field was after winning my first bronze, at the age of 14, which then lead me in later years to win several gold awards and best in shows for my sugar flowers. Nearly 30 years on, I am now sharing my experiences with people all over the world and hopefully inspiring them to create and gain the passion I gained as a child.
What made you want to pursue airbrushing?
I was first introduced to airbrushing after Pam Weightfield, a very talented airbrush cake decorator, was looking to retire and wanted me take over her work. After I was trained on a Badger Airbrush, I was instantly petrified as it was too complicated which persuaded me to give up airbrushing completely.
However, in 2010 me and airbrushing crossed paths again, when Shesto gave me one of their smaller compressers and I fell in love with how easy it was to use. I ended up licensing my name to company, being the first to ever sell the complete airbrushing kit in the cake decorating market and assisted in selling thousands world wide. Several years later, I wished to broaden my horizons in the airbrushing field and experiment with varied techniques as well as not only use it on cakes but other mediums, like card, canvas, and wood, which I found I could no longer do with the smaller Shesto Compressor Kit, so me and Shesto peacefully parted ways and I am now in partnership with the Airbrushing Company.
As I progressed with broadening my knowledge of airbrushing, I met many famous airbrushing artists from across the world, who also taught me hints and tips within the airbrushing industry, which I now share within my workshops. I also place great importance in making sure no one is afraid of using there airbrushing kits and does not keep it in the box like I did when I first started. Airbrushing can be so rewarding and it is a real shame when so much money is spent on a kit and it is not used, I know this from my own past experiences.
To help people fall in love with airbrushing and show how easy it can actually be, my book ‘airbrushing on cakes’ is designed to give easy step by step ways and show different techniques anyone can use on their cakes. I designed it so people had an easier start into airbrushing with a great range of skills which I wish had when I was first starting off in airbrushing.
What inspired you to write your 3 books?
I have been really fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to publish 3 books, world wide in multiple languages and gain so much positive feedback from every single one of them.
My first book, ‘Sugar Sensations’ which was published in 2010, includes 6 celebration cakes and provides step by step instructions on how to create flower themed based cakes. I was first inspired to create this book after a publishing company came up to me asking me to write a book, involving celebration cakes which people can easily recreate.
In September 2015, I released my second book called ‘Airbrushing on Cakes’ with 10 stunning step by step projects. The idea of the book came from long conversations with my German publisher where we both decided to design a book to help build your confidence in the wonderfull art of airbrushing and I wanted people to stop being afraid of using the airbrush and help them adopt skills which I did not have when I first started.
The book I most thoroughly enjoyed writing was my third book, ‘The Kew Book of Sugar Flowers’, published in 2018, which allowed me to go back to my very first passion in the cake decorating field: sugar flowers. I show you how to create over 25 flowers and 10 different foliage’s, bringing them together to make Christmas Sprays, an Exotic Arrangement, a wedding posy and a wild flower cascade. When creating the book, I was mainly inspired by my old creations which made me win my gold awards and best in shows. It is a true expression of all my previous works mixed into modern, interesting flower arrangements.
I also have articles published in several national and international magazines and news papers including Squires Kitchen, Cake Decoration and Sugarcraft, American Cake Decorating Magazine, Cake Decorating heaven, Airbrushing Step by Step, The Sun, and many more.
Apart from being a Sugar flower and airbrush specialist and an author, what other things do you get up to?
Even though I specialise in airbrushing and sugar flowers, I also have a huge passion for all things creative which includes card making, knitting and crocheting. I love art and in a lot of my free time I am sketching and experimenting with new products and different crafts which I sometimes tend to blog about or show you as a youtube video. In particular, I enjoy sharing my knowledge by demonstrating and traveling worldwide, as I am an international judge and demonstrator, with a huge passion for traveling.
I have heard you have been on tv, what have you done?
Previously, I have worked on QVC and Create and Craft TV and have really enjoyed becoming a Create and Craft TV Ambassador for the last 3 years. I have also been on national news channels, with one the first ever collaborations to be done in the cake world, with our a Sugar Fountain. Me and a team of 6 other cake enthusiasts in 2004 all got together to create the biggest sugar sculpture in the UK at the time, which reach national news.