Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Submitting Cake Entry to Cake International: Judges Feedback

Today Cakeshows have re-posted my cake entry to Cake international, which was awfully sweet of them, and it reminded me that I wanted to do a write up of their 'entry feedback' in case someone finds it useful, because I know, I would have.

The first criticism of this cake was, that it was 'miss-aligned', if I wanted the birds  to be the focus,  ( I did ).  When the feedback lady said it, it kind of made sense.   If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have spent ages finding the good angle for my cake to photograph, would I.  So how did my mind trick me into NOT noticing it, I wonder? Sometimes it just happens when you stare at your own work all the time.  Perhaps it’s good to ask someone to 'cast a fresh eye'!

So, ‘AGREE’ from me on this one.  

Next. I was told that one bit at the bottom tier's icing was a bit wonky.  And it was, ever so slightly.  I was pleased with my very modern, in my view, cake border, so I was kind of hoping it would make up for it, if noticed at all. Wrong.  If you hear small voice inside your head timidly telling you something, perhaps listen to it.

So, AGREE on this count, too. 

The lady told me that my gold ‘band’ in the middle wasn’t delicate enough. I didn't want it to be delicate. My entire cake wasn't meant to be particularly delicate, that was the look I was going for.  Maybe she and others would have been more inclined to see my point, if I tried harder with other small details.

On this one, it's a 'DISAGREE'  from me, I'm afraid.

I used the self-made mold to decorate the middle tier. The feedback was that that even though I made my own mold, anyone coudn’t have used it with the same effect. I pointed out that no one did, or could have done, if I didn't design it. Still, I was told, it wasn't a 'delicate skill'. So here we have novel ( or, at least I see it as such)  idea and delicate cake skill battling each other. You take your pick!

The jury is OPEN on this one ( pardon the punt) ...

The feedback lady said that mold or no mold they like to see different tricky techniques on cakes that work together and aren’t one big mismatched mess. Not a lot to ask, hey. For what it's worth, my fave gold winner done this so incredibly elegantly in her cake, imo, so can be done.  ( Though my sister in law didn’t like that particular  cake and said that every genre was jubled up in it so, go figure!)

Anyhow, this one is an 'AGREE'.

The next thing. My middle topper, I was told that the birds should not be more narrow for transportation purposes ( which is not a given,  because not everyone would transport the topper already in the cake).  If I did what she was suggesting I should do my cake would have looked havy bottomed and not attractive. I know because I’d done something like that before.


She  wondered why I left the back of the cake, boring and white, nothing on it. I told her that I run out of time and was hoping they won’t look.  She said they always do.

AGREE, lol.

She told me that my seams , where I filled out the joiners between tiers with Royal Icing weren’t tidy enough,  I honestly thought the were, but here you have it.  Reluctlantly, I had to

AGREE there, too.

Tired of waiting and believing that there’s no harm in it, I  asked her if she liked anything, and she promptly said yes, but hasn't found much to say, not that it hurt my feelings any more than they were already hurt.

I got a Merit, whatever that means, they event sent me the certificates in the post.

The judges were approachable and friendly, a tad old fashioned for my liking, perhaps, as arty judges go.

Here’s my ADVICE based on submitting CAKES.

  • Perfect skill and meticulous attention to detail RULES  in the CI Den.

  • All those dimply cakes you’d seen on CI’s old  galleries?  CI moved on, so beware, their latest counterparts are pretty fresh faced, ( I suspect it partially, at least, to do with artists from outside of cake world catching on to the chance to showcase their work).

  • Modern  designs are neither here nor there, they are, basically good to go,  as long as they are not offered INSTEAD of the above. ( In CI’s defence how do you judge, quantify  things like ‘modern’ or  ‘talent’ or ‘classic’? Probably not impossible, but far from easy.  Esp if there are about 30 judges, as I heard).

  • Getting too original with your entry might be a bit of a gamble, you definitely need to know how to walk before you can run.   

  • The idea is that if you use harder skills, you get better marks, right?  Based on what I’d seen marked, I’m not convinced it’s always rolls that way.

  • If you can’t cover your cakes properly and want to pass it off as shabby chic, who are you kidding ( though in fairness I'd not seem many cakes like this there).


So here you go.  My take on lovely CI.  Be more Jessica Harris than Maggies Austin, have thick skin, though, equally, there are plently of awards going if they think your work is of right stndard. Be prepared to be addicted to entering in the future, and, above all, have fun, it's a fantastic event.

Though my blog doesn't seem to get any comments, I can see from stats that people pop in to check out the page. If any of you have read this far and has any flowers' specific entry advice, please drop me a line, as I've no clue as to that one. Christina


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