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The International School of Sugarcraft Book Two (Bk.2) Paperback – March 1, 1999
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First, these are thick and richly illustrated books. They are geared to learning as you go, but assume a certain familiarity with decorating concepts. They are old-world, European, classical, and conservative in their approach and the looks they produce. Everything from the delicate coloring to the even more delicate and intricate hand work makes it different from the current vogue of flashy and heavy-handed attention grabbing cakes. Understatement is key in this design philosophy.
This book, like it's companion (no.1, I haven't gotten no3 yet) , works big on a small scale. The looks in this book are primarily embroidery, lace, or fabric based making for very subtle and elegant formal cakes. Techniques not often illustrated in other books, such as smocking and filigree, pulled flowers, and flower sprays and corsages are featured. The scale tends to be smaller than what is usual now and the color palette is also subtler.
I doubt that I will ever try to duplicate a cake exactly the way its pictured but, on almost every page, there is an idea or a technique that I can incorporate into my designs and workflow. The major virtue of these books are their ability to inspire and instruct and open up new possibilities and visual references. As you turn page after page, you focus on this little detail here, that different approach to a flower you've done before, or There are ways to make your designs simpler and more subtle or more intricate and detailed. The point is that there are so many ideas. You pick something you've never done--or even seen-- before, and find that you can seamlessly integrate the 'old' idea into a design that still looks modern but is now different and richer.
I really recommend that you make these two books part of your library. They are both packed with ideas and techniques, they compliment each other well. When you first get them, your initial reaction will be "I can't use any of this!" But give yourself time to browse and skim and start earmarking and tagging page after page for little details.
will not be this books fault.