Joshua John Russell has Class!
Last weekend ISAC hosted a class with Joshua John Russell! I wrote about his upcoming class a few weeks ago on the blog, but the process photos from the class just BLEW UP on facebook and instagram, so I thought I would share how amazing the class actually was! I was very excited because I had never met Joshua before! Before Saturday, I had only seen him on the TV shows Food Network Challenge and Last Cake Standing. He lives here in Atlanta, and is a regular at ISAC (both as a visiting instructor and valued shopper!). Joshua is such a nice guy, and was totally fine with me hovering over him taking pictures while he taught his class. That's right dear readers, I had to suffer and hang out with one of the coolest cake decorators in the world just so I could write a fun and exciting blog for you! :) All joking aside, Joshua was very nice, a wonderful teacher, and just an amazing and stylish cake decorator. If you have taken his Craftsy classes you know that he is inspired by fashion and fun fabrics; seriously, one is called Fashion Inspired Fondant. If you haven't taken his Craftsy classes... well, why haven't you?! His Modern Buttercream Class is FREE. FREE!
The first order of business on Day 1 of Joshua's Along Came a Spider cake class was to create that amazing sugar spider! Many of our facebook and instagram friends asked what mold was used. No mold! The spiders were created free hand by Joshua and each of the students! They did use a template Joshua had created, but that was just to ensure that the correct size was achieved. After the cakes were covered with fondant, the students were treated to a special product, developed by Joshua, that isn't even available to the public yet: plant based edible glitter! The glitter was used to create a fun and sparkly texture on two of the cake tiers! If you know anything about Joshua John Russell, you know that texture is a big part of his cake decorating style. After all the students had glitter-ized their cakes, Joshua demonstrated how to create a spider web pattern on the middle tier. And before you ask, nope- no texture mat was used!
Day 2 of Joshua's class began with an Art Deco style frame for the middle tier. Our students definitely had a love/hate relationship with their gumpaste extruders! If you have ever used one, I'm sure you can relate. But in the end, all the frames looked so classy and stylish. Next up was string work. A whole lot of piped royal icing string work. It seemed daunting at first, but everyone found the piping to be relaxing and therapeutic! Cake therapy. Once all the piping was completed, the students were in the home stretch. They attached their spiders to the cake, and began to add the final touches of gold or silver.
Of course, all of our students made beautiful cakes! It was, as always, so much fun to watch everyone create their own version of the Along Came a Spider cake. Yes, they all made the "same" cake, but each of the cakes had a different colored spider web tier, all of the spiders were decorated in different ways, and the string work was all a bit different. It was amazing how each of the cakes truly reflected its creator. That's one of the things I love so much about my job. I'm lucky enough to see many cake artists (whether professional, amateurs, or home bakers) learn, grow, and expand their decorating skills. Another thing I love about my job? Getting to know all of our students! This was a particularly fun group if I do say so myself.
Classes at International Sugar Art Collection
One final note- Many times after posting class photos to our social media sites, we notice people commenting that they did not know the class was being offered and wish they had known so they could have signed up. If this has happened to you, here are a few tips:
1. Subscribe to this blog. Look over to the right side of the screen, add your name and email address to the "Subscribe Now" box and click the button! Voila! I will always share information about our upcoming classes and events.
2. Sign up for our newsletter. This is separate from the blog. You can join on the homepage of our website, www.nicholaslodge.com. New and upcoming classes, as well as our class schedule will also be announced this way.
3. Follow Chef Nicholas on facebook here.
4. Our class schedule can ALWAYS be found on our website here. Go ahead and add it to your bookmarked pages!
I want everyone to know when our classes are so that you can sign up well in advance for them. It just breaks my heart when people see a class photo online and regret not knowing about it until after the fact! Believe me, I want you in that class as much as you do! So, if you saw all the photos on facebook or instagram this week, and kicked yourself for not signing up for Joshua's class this year- this is your chance! Get connected to Chef Nicholas Lodge and ISAC now, that way when we announce our 2015 class schedule you will be among the first to know!