"An interview with............Sarah Plumridge"
MM: What names do you go by?
SP: Sarah Plumridge aka Twinplums on the BSG forum
MM: And your business name?
SP: I don’t have a business as just do it as a hobby
MM: What’s your location?
SP: Carterton, OXON UK
MM: Where did you first find me?
SP: I found you on the bsg forum after viewing the gold winning creation from the NEC in Nov 09. After viewing the cake, I clicked on the link for her website where I found the list of workshops that she runs. After a big nudge, my husband purchased me the workshops as a christmas present.
MM: What areas of sugarcraft interests you the most, do you specialise in any?
SP: I prefer doing novelty cakes at the moment. Whilst I love watching flowers being made, I just do not have the time to create such fabulous flowers as I would like to.
MM: Where can we see examples of your work?SP: I have a blog where I post all of my work http://twinplums-cakesbysarah.blogspot.com/
MM: How long have you been involved with sugarcraft and what got you started?
SP: I started with sugarcraft after being increasing frustrated in trying to get somebody to make a birthday cake for my twin boys. As their birthday is 3rd Jan, each year I struggled to find somebody to do it for me. Jan 09 I decided to decorate one myself. I got a plain iced cake from ASDA and decorated for the boys 10 pin bowling party and it was very successful. As I had got a kenwood chef for Christmas, I decided that I wouldn’t buy a ready made cake again and started to bake my own cakes in Feb 09.
MM: Where do you learn?
SP: I have been to a few classes at a shop in Swindon as a few in my home town. A attend a local sugarcraft club where they have monthly demos to watch and of course the workshops that my husband got me for Christmas. I also pick up a lot of tips from the BSG forum.
MM: Is there anyone that has been your inspiration?
SP: Too many people to mention but I found them all on the BSG forum.
MM: Where do you feel your love of the craft will lead you, have you any aspirations?
SP: I would love to make a business out of cakes but I think that the profit margin is too little for the work involved. When I retire and receive my pension, perhaps it will be more feasible as a top up rather than a full on wage for me. If time permits, I would love to enter NEC 2010, but it may have to wait until 2011
MM: What’s your favourite and least favourite part of sugarcraft, do you have any pet hates?
SP: What’s your favourite and least favourite part of sugarcraft, do you have any pet hates?: My favourite part is putting the finishing touches to a cake and my least favourite is tidying up the kitchen after.
MM: Have you ever entered your work into any competitions, & if so how did you get on?
SP: I entered into the Cheltenham & Gloucester exhibition in Oct 09. The category was mini cakes so I decided to make a tea tray with a cup of tea, coffee, sugar bowl & milk jug. I got a bronze which I was quite chuffed with at a first attempt but more importantly picked up some valuable feedback from the judges. The worst criticism was that the marzipan & icing were too thick so you would get very little cake per bite.
MM: Have you a signature cake/style and were do you get your design ideas from?
SP: I do not have a signature style and I get all of my inspiration from the web.
MM: Have you ever experience different cake cultures outside of the UK?
SP: I took a fruit cake to Gran Canaria for my dad’s 70th birthday. The staff in the hotel were amazed at the sugarpaste as they had never seen it before. In fact the chef came out to try a piece of cake and to look at the cake covering. They were very impressed with my cake but felt the the heat of the canaries would make working with suarpaste a nightmare.
MM: Have you any tips or advice that you think may come in handy to anyone who’s just starting to explore sugarcraft?
SP: Register at the BSG forum as it is a wealth of inspiration and helpful tips.
MM: Do you have any stories about sugarcraft that have stuck with you that you’d like to share? SP: The biggest stressful cake that I have done so far was a replica side drum from the queens regiment. If I did it today, I would still find it tricky but do things differently as I had only been sugarcrafting for 6 months when I was asked to do it. The lady had been let down by somebody else so I was her last resort. I gave it my best shot and was really pleased with it – other than spelling her husbands name wrong on the cake board. Even more stressful than making the cake was delivering it. It was very close to divorce as my husband seemed to find every pothole on the 19 mile journey. On arrival, the model fell over and his arms dropped off. With a quick repair in the lady’s kitchen using cocktails sticks, he was ready for the party.