March 2017 Update: Alan Dunn has recently filmed two more fabulous home online tutorials. They are offered on his website: Alan Dunn Sugarcraft.
When I first started my gumpasting odyssey my only source of guidance was a few sugarcrafting books as well as TONS of trial and errors. Eventually, I acquired quite a few more books, many written by the renowned sugar artist, Alan Dunn. Needless to say, I was captivated by his incredible talent and skill. I would pore over his books dreaming about being able to sugarcraft like he does. Although I absolutely adore Alan’s books (you should see all the yellow highlighter markings I have made on my books’ pages), on a few occasions his instructions are not crystal clear such as when in some of his books he instructs the reader how to make a “cage”.
In 2014, I decided to try something new in the guidance department, so I purchased a few Craftsy.com classes. After several years of relying solely on my books, it was interesting to actually watch the various instructors performing the skills that I had only read about. The classes were for the most part good, but for me some of them could have been a bit shorter as there was a little too much filler (i.e. material I did not feel was applicable). Then in May of 2014 Craftsy.com offered Alan Dunn’s first online course: Tropical Sugar Flowers. I confess I didn’t enroll in it right away as I did not see myself making tropical flowers in the near future. Okay, the truth is I may not be a total tropical flower devotee perhaps because I live in Southern California and many tropical flowers are not necessarily that unique here. That being said, after watching Alan’s class I was totally blown away by how much I had learned and, after seeing him creating sugarcrafted: Hibiscus, Bauhinia, Gardenia and assorted filler plants, I reversed my earlier decision of not making some of these tropical beauties. This 3-hour plus class was “packed” with information including how to construct the oh-so mysterious cage!
So, when Craftsy.com launched Sugar Flower: Off the Garden Path in March of 2015, I couldn’t enroll fast enough. Not only does Alan show how to make garden flowers (which are my flowers of choice), he also provides tons of invaluable gumpasting instructions without any filler. If you would like to learn how to make some special gumpaste flowers such as: Foxgloves, Nasturtiums & Daisies and assorted leaves and berries this course is a “must” have! Even if you are not going to make these exact flowers (as I thought with the tropical class) he shares so much relevant information in this nearly 3-hour class including: coloring with petal dust, painting, glazing, working with gumpaste, wiring, assembling and displaying, etc., it is a worthwhile endeavor.
I definitely give both classes a 5-star rating of because they are awe inspiring. So, I encourage to you enroll in either and/or both courses if you want a chance to see a distinguished artist at work and/or want to improve your gumpasting skills. I truly believe that wherever you are on your gumpasting journey (from a novice to a seasoned pro) you will come away being enlightened and I am confident you will not be disappointed.
A Final Thought
I really, really hope that Craftsy.com is going to offer many, many more of Alan’s classes. Of course, I will have my fingers (and toes) crossed in anticipation of the great news.