Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ICES Convention 2011 - Charlotte, NC

It wasn't too long ago that my friend Zoraya introduced me to ICES, the International Cake Exploration Society.  I kinda giggled at the "exploration" part... is there a large cake somewhere that needs to be discovered?  Anyway, I joined and shortly after attended my first local cake show in VA.  As I got more involved with cake decorating, I learned a little bit more about the organization and found out that there is an annual convention every year where all the big names in cake decorating come together and teach classes, provide demonstrations, and introduce new techniques and products.  To me this sounded like heaven, but traveling to San Diego, CA, where last year's convention was held, seemed a bit out of my price range, plus the baby was only a few months old.  Disheartened, I found out that the following year's convention would be in Charlotte, NC... and that was within driving distance!!  So I started making plans to attend.

Fast forward several months and cakes later, and I was ready to have the experience of my cake decorating life.  Zoraya and I got down there around 12:30pm on Wednesday, unloaded, and headed over to the convention center to register, attend a "first-timers" orientation, and register our cake displays.

Thursday was the first full day of activities, and the only day I was taking hands-on classes.  I decided against taking several hands-on classes because a) they were more expensive than the demos, b) they take more time, and c) I wanted to make sure I had enough time to do everything else, most importantly, SHOPPING.  My first class was with Paul Caswell and Peter Gibson of The Sweet Guys in Orlando, FL.  They do a lot of chocolate work, so we made a sleigh and truffles.  Unfortunately we ran out of time, so I didn't get to assemble it... yet... but it actually turned out to be a good thing because I was able to carry it around with me in the molds in my bag.  Below is a picture of what the sleigh will look like.

The next class I took was Bas Relief and simple painting with Kelly Lance.  We painted a scene on a piece of gumpaste and then sculpted a fish on top of the scene.

Then came some demos... from stenciling to isomalt to making cake stands... I came home with a ton of new techniques, tricks, and ideas.... and a ton of new stuff.  Here is a pic of my "stash" after my first hour or so in the vendor hall...

I didn't take a pic of my entire stash, but needless to say I brought home A LOT!  Now I need some time to re-organize, unpack everything, and hope my credit card statement comes later than normal.  I actually bought so much I needed to empty some rolling carts filled with scrapbooking supplies that I never use, so I have more storage for my cake things.  How do you store your cake stuff?

Tomorrow I will show some of the displays I thought were neat... and then... close encounters of the cake celebrity kind...


  1. It was great to meet you at the convention! I may not have if you had not moved to our table during the Shop Owner's Breakfast. Maybe I'll see you in Reno next year??

  2. It was nice to meet you too! I am definitely hoping to go to Reno next year... I think hubby and I may try to combine Vegas and Reno.


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