Sunday, 8 August 2010

"An interview with..............Cheryl Morrison"

MM: What names do you go by?
CM: Cheryl Morrison or Chez on the BSG forum

MM: And your business name?
CM: Too Nice To Slice, at present I work from home. Like most cake decorators we don't make enough money to warrant paying rent etc on shop premises. I do find it difficult when I am working on a cake and it is taking forever, then the family come home and I have to stop what I am doing and make some space so I can prepare tea. Cakes take over the house as there is so much equipment and then there are the dummy cakes scattered around the house, taking up every available shelf space.

MM: What’s your location?
CM: Lytham St Annes, Lancashire

MM: Where did we first meet?
CM: I found MM on the BSG forum, we haven't met yet, but I hope we will meet at some point. I think her work is amazing, very inspirational!
MM: I’m sure we will, my OH and I met in Lytham St Annes. Be nice to take the kids there one day to show them the lights and visit the nice Patisserie they’ve got there ;o)

MM: What areas of sugarcraft interests you the most, do you specialise in any?
CM: I enjoy creating all types of cakes but my passion is wedding cakes I love the elegance of them. I think sugarcraft is a very under rated and under valued skill. I don't think many clients appreciate the hours and skills that go into creating a bespoke design.

MM: Where can we see examples of your work?
CM:; I also have a Too Nice To Slice face book page

MM: How long have you been involved with sugarcraft and what got you started?
CM: I first learnt about sugarcraft when I attended catering college back in '82.

MM: Where did you learn?
CM: I attended W.R. Tuson college in Preston from 1982-1984 and sugarcraft classes were a part of the 2 year course. Over the years I dipped in and out, attended a couple more courses but never really had a passion for it. Then in 2006 I moved to Cyprus and was in need of something to do to fill my time & earn some money. I soon realised there was a huge wedding market and no bespoke cake designers. This is when I really became excited about sugarcraft. I ran the business in Paphos for 3 years before returning to the UK in 2009.

MM: Is there anyone that has been your inspiration?
CM: I admire so many peoples work, mostly people I have come to know from the BSG forum, who aren't necessarily in the media. Mystical Mischief of course for the amazing rock cake and, The-Dinosaur (her knowledge knows no limits), Aine-2 (models), Peapod Lucy's outstanding Koy carp wedding cake just blows me away every time I look at it. Alan Dunn and all the people that produce amazing flowers. There are too many to mention and if I go on I am bound to upset someone by leaving them out. Obviously unless your a member of the BSG message forum you wouldn't know who these people are but they are legends to us in the sugarcraft world lol!

MM: Where do you feel your love of the craft will lead you, have you any aspirations?
CM: I have recently taken the plunge and I am about to open a small patisserie. By doing this I will be able to have all my cakes on display and I hope to get a lot more wedding cake orders which is what I love the most. I will be running some workshops from the shop though nothing too indepth, more for fun and as an introduction into the craft. I still feel I have so much to learn and I am constantly updating my own skills. I would like to enter competitions but I don't know where to find the time. I have an idea for a cake I would like to do for the NEC this year, maybe I will manage it?

MM: What’s your favourite and least favourite part of sugarcraft, do you have any pet hates?
CM: I love the sense of satisfaction when a project is complete and it always becomes my new favourite! I hate rolling out marzipan, it hurts my wrists.

MM: Have you ever entered your work into any competitions, & if so how did you get on?
CM: Not yet, watch this space!
MM: I’ll hold you to that, lol

MM: Have you a signature cake/style and were do you get your design ideas from?
CM: I don't think I have a design style, though I would love to create one. I find inspiration everywhere, other cake designers, magazines, internet etc, and my 10 year old daughter very often comes up with fabulous designs. I have lots of ideas running around my head unfortunately clients budgets very rarely allow me to make them a reality.
MM: That’s the point of competitions, they’re a great opportunity to express your ideas and stretch your skills, all you have to do is fit them into a certain criteria, which ussually arn’t too limiting (size and materials mainly). I’ll expect to see you at the NEC then this year??????

MM: What are your experiences of other countries sugarcraft cultures?
CM: As I mentioned earlier I ran a wedding cake business in Paphos for 3 years. I have lots of stories, too many to tell here, Maybe I should write a book! One thing that I learnt is that high altitude affects a cake mix. For the last year I was there we lived at the top of a high mountain (not great for transporting cakes either) My first order in this house was for a 3 tier chocolate cake. I put the 6" & 8" into the ovens and I couldn't believe how they were overflowing out of the tins. It was like a volcanic eruption. When i took the cakes out of the oven they then collapsed. For various reasons the lower air pressure affects the cake mix. It took me a few more goes before I realised I needed to reduce the raising agent slightly and add a little more liquid.

MM: Have you any tips or advice that you think may come in handy to anyone who’s just starting to explore sugarcraft?
CM: Join the British Sugarcraft Guild, the information and support available is invaluable.

MM: Do you have any stories about sugarcraft that have stuck with you?
CM: I have quite a few from my days in Cyprus which invariably involve mountainous roads full of pot holes and incredibly hot weather. I think I willl save them for the book though :-)
MM: Oh can’t wait, put me down for a copy :o)

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