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Entering a Sugar Art Competition and Winning an Award

Last month the first ever Sugar Splash Virtual Sugar Art Competition was held for sugar artists of all types. The minimum requirement was to use something from Simi Cakes and something from Icing Images in the wide open competition.

It was my first Sugar Art Competition I’ve entered and I won an Award, the Cookie Specialty Award! This post outlines a brief description of the virtual sugar art competition and more about my piece and how it was made, if you’re curious.

The Sugar Art Competition Categories

This competition had a grand prize (Best in Show for $500!) and 7 specialty awards as follows:

  • Simi Isomalt Award
  • Icing Images Award
  • Airbrushing Award
  • Cake Award
  • Cookie Award
  • FlowerPro Award
  • Beginners Award

Each category had their own prize pack and the judges were an esteemed bunch from the sugar art world!

By entering, I qualified for Best in Show and additionally I elected to be considered for the Simi Isomalt, Icing Images, Cookie, and FlowerPro Awards. To learn even more about the competition check out the details on Simi Cakes website.

About the Piece I Submitted to the Sugar Art Competition

My piece was made almost entirely of sculpted gingerbread cookie, with sugar paste flowers and a focal piece of isomalt and with edible paper. The dinosaur/dragon/reptile eye was inspired by my eldest son’s love of reptiles and the way the surface texture of the gingerbread looked after baking – perfect for rough and bumpy reptile skin.

To keep the eye socket open I actually baked a placeholder gingerbread eye in the silicone mold then took it out of the mold and used it under the eye socket area to bake the rest of the cookie. Once that part was baked, I popped the gingerbread eye placeholder out so that the isomalt eye would fit pretty perfectly.

The competition was in March and the Sakura /cherry blossom trees in Japan where we live were almost in bloom. I used a new to me FlowerPro mold and instructions from Chef Nicholas Lodge to try my hand at cherry blossoms from homemade sugar gum paste (made with Wilton’s Tylose/CMC powder).

The striking focal point eye used Liz Marek’s small eye mold from Simi Cakes, clear and white pre-cooked Simi Isomalt tiles and Icing Image’s edible paper with preprinted small eyes to fit the mold. At first it was hard to decide if I should use the contrasting blue eye or more subtle choice of the green eye, which would you have picked?

To color the project I mainly painted or dusted The Sugar Art elite dusts and sterling pearl dusts. Either painted by mixing the dusts with everclear (a quick to evaporate high proof alcohol) or a brushed on (in the case of the flowers and buds) with a dry brush over a paper towel.

Other tools that I used included PME clear edible glaze spray, small candy sprinkles, edible glue and piping gel. The PME glaze was used on the isomalt to prevent moisture from fogging the iris and pupil. The candy sprinkles were broken up to give the effect of stamen. The piping gel and edible glue were used to just help assemble the whole thing, especially when I broke one of the flowers. To get the PME clear edible glaze spray I provided a link above to Amazon, but you can also buy it from Simi CakesSimi Cakes which may be a better price if you’re also getting into isomalt!

Proof it’s a cookie!

Would I do an Art Competition Again?

I would definitely recommend entering a virtual competition like this in the future to any level of sugar artist. This competition had no fee to enter, a grand prize and 7 specialty categories to be considered for. Seeing all the entries to the competition was so wonderful – and being a part of the Simi Torch Team facebook group is such a nice experience: so much to learn, live tutorials, supportive group members and a wide amazing range of talent!

My Take Aways from the Sugar Art Competition

The best part to me was having an excuse and reason to creatively push myself. I got to test techniques I haven’t done before and make a design that hasn’t been requested by clients yet.

Maybe next time I would make more time to do the project, but it’s important for me to remember not to pressure myself or interfere with my home life and responsibilities too much. I’m prone to obsessing, so I’m just grateful I got it done on time and pressed submit.

Now as part of my prize pack I get to purchase some more from Icing Images (sooo excited!) and I have a membership to the learning community The Cookiers on Facebook (which I’ll update you all on later as I get to use it but if you want to check it out for yourself here is my affiliate link – it’s monthly tutorials and business advice!)

Did I miss anything that you’d like to know more about? Let me know and I’ll be happy to get back to you about my experience entering a virtual sugar art competition.

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