Gary Chapman’s Fabulous Fabric-Inspired Flowers


Gary Chapman’s NEW Book!

Back in the late 1980s/early 1990s Chef Nicholas’ books were being published by Merehurst Publishing. The Marketing Director was Gary Chapman, and he was responsible for introducing the company, and its list of cake decorating books, to the USA. Gary and Chef Nicholas attended their first American cake show, an ICES convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma, together. The next show was in Atlanta, and they had a proper booth with reception and demos by Chef Nicholas and others. The rest, as they say, is history! Well, for Chef Nicholas it was history! Gary the Marketing Director discovered his own interest in cake decorating, and thus began his own career as a cake artist!

After his discovery and immersion into cake decorating, Gary set up Iced Delights in the early 1990s and began to design and create cakes inspired by fabric. By 1993 Gary had published his first book, Fabric Effects in Sugar, and he was giving classes and demonstrations throughout the USA and the UK. Writing and teaching were not enough, Gary also launched and edited a cake decorating magazine, and became one of the top wedding cake makers in London! Oh, and Gary has his own Craftsy class- Rolled Fondant Flowers, which is a wonderful companion to his book. Not to shabby Gary! :)

Rolled Flowers

Today I am excited to share that Chef Nicholas and Scott’s dear friend Gary has just released his newest book: Classic Fabric Flowers in Sugar. I got my copy last week- lucky me!! There are 13 flowers (the simple rolled rose, large rolled rose, pleated rose, hybrid rose, simple cabachon rose or bud (two variations), large cabachon rose, simple blossom, patterned blossom, double sided and textured blossoms, concave flower, simple and exotic rosette flower, pointed petalled fantasy flower, poinsettia, mistletoe, and the Christmas rose) and ten types of leaves. Wowza! As the name implies, the inspiration for the flowers in Gary’s book comes from fabric flowers. Gary has a love for the Jazz Age in the 1920s, and in that period ribbon flowers had become hugely popular. Ribbon flowers could be found everywhere in fashion- on couture clothing, hats, and all manner of accessories. Gary studied all the different techniques for creating fabric flowers and carefully modified those techniques to be used with gumpaste or rolled fondant. He has kindly shared one of his Pinterest boards to inspire you.

Large rolled rose

Large Rolled Rose by Gary Chapman

I asked Gary if he had a favorite flower amongst all his fabric flowers in this book. He told me that his favorite is the large rolled rose: “I loved big flowers in the days when little and dainty were the norm; this was my statement that big could be beautiful. The pasta machine made this flower much easier to make and you only need a few to decorate a wedding cake and make it sumptuous!”  I can’t argue with Gary, I myself am a fan of the rolled rose- I had rolled roses on my bridal shower cake! I also found Gary’s exotic rosette flower to be really fun and cute, definitely a close runner up to the rolled rose. 

Exotic Rosette Flower

Exotic Rosette by Gary Chapman

Perhaps even better than the flowers themselves is the simplicity of the book. The directions are clear and concise, and the step by step photographs perfectly compliment the text. Only a few tools are needed to create the flowers; I’d be willing to bet that many of you have everything you need to make every flower in the book already! It’s important to remember, these flowers are not botanically accurate like the ones created by Chef Nicholas. No, these flowers are designed to look like flowers made from fabric and ribbon. Depending on which flowers are used and what color palette is chosen, cakes that showcase these fabric inspired flowers can have a sophisticated vintage look or a sleek and modern style! A lot of versatility can be achieved with the lessons Gary shares in this wonderful book; Chef Nicholas, Scott, and I all think this is a really fabulousl book. It would be a welcomel addition to everyone’s cake decorating library. If you are used to making only botanically correct gumpaste flowers, in the style of Chef Nicholas, give Gary’s book a try. You may find that adding some fabric inspired flowers to your repertoire brightens your day! These adorable flowers sure put a smile on my face! 

If you would like to snag a copy of Gary Chapman’s Classic Fabric Flowers in Sugar, or enroll in hs Craftsy class, Rolled Fondant Flowers,  just click on the titles! I have both, and I am glad I do! There are many more flowers in the book, but see Gary in action in his Craftsy class really brings the entire process together for me. I say it’s a treat yourself weekend and you should splurge and get both the book and the class! Hooray!

One last bit of holiday housekeeping! Here in the States, it is Fourth of July Weekend, that means that our store will be closed July 3-5, 2015, normal business hours will resume on Monday July 6, 2015. Any orders placed through our online shop during that time will be shipped out on Monday July 6th.

Sweetly yours,


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