just try all the beautiful techniques artists are using now with painting, textures and buttercream. Creating cakes on a weekly deadline can really push you to expand your decorating repertoire quickly, which is something I miss! way that can then be easily recreated. From a teaching perspective it can be difficult for students to be successful if a process is vague or requires “just having a good eye” for what looks pretty. So, I think roses will continue to be a work in progress! What tools could you not live without? Pasta machine for rolling paste, metal ball tools, Dresden tool, small embroidery scissors, foam pad, and a groove board for making wired petals and leaves. You’re now a published author, Craftsy instructor and globe-trotting teacher. What’s next for Petalsweet? I’m excited to share I’ve just finished my second book, Modern Sugar Flowers Volume 2, which will be coming out this fall! It’s filled with a lot of new flowers and some fun new cake projects and designs. I have been a total hermit, holed up at home working What is your favourite flower to make? My obsession with the ranunculus flower continues! While not the most impressive or showy, there is something about the shape and multitude of delicate layers in a ranunculus that keep me coming back for more. My own version has evolved SO much since I began making them in 2010, and it’s the flower I like to work on the most when I have time to play. We have beautiful ranunculus flower fields here in San Diego and they are incredible inspiration each Spring. I’m also focusing on more roses since they continue to be so popular for cake makers and their clients. on it all summer and just finished the final photoshoot in January. It was a huge, exhausting project but a great opportunity for me to grow creatively. Is there a flower that you don’t enjoy I’ll be sharing details about the launch making? as they come together, and I hope This is the perfect question to follow up followers will be excited to see it! I’m on my previous answer! I mentioned also continuing to travel and teach this focusing more on creating roses, but year, although I’m scaling back a bit to I don’t enjoy making them yet. I’m spend more time at home working on fascinated by and completely in awe other projects. There are a lot of folks of the beautiful shape and movement who can’t travel to classes so we’re of rose petals and how they all fit looking into creating our own online together, but I think these aspects courses and tutorials. also make recreating roses in sugar a challenge. It can be difficult to make layers of gumpaste look delicate and Do you enjoy using a variety of airy and natural and organic. I love mediums or is gumpaste always your experimenting with techniques on my go-to? own time to get closer to that goal. But Currently it’s all gumpaste just about for work I’m frequently thinking in terms all the time, but I am experimenting of the exact steps it takes to make a with other pastes and wafer paper too. flower from start to finish, and roses And I’ve taken some cookie decorating can be more difficult to interpret in a classes to break up the monotony a bit and practice my piping skills. Painting and textures are also on the list when I have some time. Are there other artists in the industry that inspire you? I try not to pay too close attention to what other sugar flower artists are doing because I don’t want to be influenced too much by someone else’s style or technique. With so much visual inspiration on social media, I work hard to stay true to my own aesthetic as much as possible. Having said that, I really like to support my colleagues and their work in the industry, so I do check in to see what they are up to! I’m also continually inspired by my former teachers and the long-standing greats like Alan Dunn, Ron Ben Israel, Scott Woolley, Nicholas Lodge, Giovanna Smith and Greg Cleary. What floral trends do you see being popular over the next year? I think sugar flowers artists are increasingly inspired by the many incredible florists and flower-growers sharing their beautiful work online. This year, lots of greenery, shades of ivory, brown, yellow, orange and coral, and new colors of familiar flowers will be popular. Also, looser arrangements with a moody, organic feel with flowers that look more realistic, as well as flowers that are past their prime (imagine brown edges and petals about to fall off), and darker cake surfaces as backgrounds. Admittedly some of these floral trends are challenging for me as my eye is drawn to pure soft colors and fresh looking, tight flower arrangements. But I’m loving the greenery trend and am using new color combinations outside of my usual pastels, so I’m taking it one step at a time!