An Interview With Karen Davies
If you have been sugarcrafting for a while, or have just started looking in to this fascinating hobby, you have more than likely come across Karen Davies.
She is probably best known for her people molds and any cake made with them is distinctive enough to be easily recognizable! Many people find that modelling faces and bodies is one of the hardest aspects of cake decorating, and the molds that Karen has produced makes it so easy to get fabulous looking results. For example, have a look at how easy it is to create a gorgeous textured teddy bear in this video! Karen Davies Teddy Bear Mold.
I have seen Karen work and demonstrate some of her products at a couple of Sugarcraft shows in Dublin, and these are some of the pictures that I took of her work and products:
So would you like to know a bit more about Karen Davies and how she got started? Read on for my interview with Karen!
How did you first get interested in Cake Decorating?
I became interested in cake decorating 25 years ago. I had left work to have my eldest daughter Amy, and so at that time was trying to think of what I could work on at home. A few months after Amy was born, it was my Mum’s 50th birthday. I ordered her a cake in the shape of the number 50. When it arrived, the bright pink and cream creation shocked me when I took the lid off the box! I knew that I could have made a better attempt not even ever having had a cake decorating lesson!
After that initial idea, how did you go about getting some training?
That September I enrolled on a course for 1 year. My tutor Wyn Reynolds soon had me addicted to this wonderful craft. When the course ended, I booked on to another which is where I met Marion Frost. Marion encouraged me to take the city & guilds 121 course where I gained a distinction, and then to take a teacher training course. Over the next few years as well as completing many cake orders, I taught private cake decorating lessons. Marion Frost’s business ‘Patchwork Cutters’ was going from strength to strength so she offered me a job. I worked with Marion and her husband Gerry for 7 years.
Would you say that Marion Frost is your biggest inspiration within the cake decorating world?
Marion was then and still is today the cake decorator / business woman I most admire. Although being most well known for her Patchwork Cutters, she can turn her hand expertly to any part of sugarcraft.
You have written a good few books, which one was your first?
During the last year or so with Marion, I had written my first book ‘A Cake for Christmas’ and it was starting to be offered in cake decorating classes at local colleges. I had to leave Patchwork cutters as the classes grew and I was writing a book each year.
You are best know for your fabulous molds – what got you into this aspect of the business?
When I took the books out to exhibitions people started to ask me if I had used molds to make the figures on my cakes. My husband Barry started to make molds of my modeled figures. My molds where different to any others I knew. Because I made the figures by hand, the cakes decorated using the molds, looked handmade. More experienced cake decorators could make the figures themselves without using the molds, or beginners could copy the figures to learn how to model. We find though that most of our customers buy the molds to make life easier and quicker!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I feel very fortunate to have a job that I really enjoy. We now travel the world and meet so many interesting and lovely cake decorators.
Which area of sugarcrafting would you like to learn more about?
I enjoy stepping away from my molds and ‘attempting’ to make flowers. I love royal icing and would like to take a class with ‘the master’ Eddie Spence. I think that the UK has the best cake decorators in the world – Debbie Brown, Alan Dunn, to name but a few, we have thousands!
Do you have any tips or advice for anyone just starting out?
When I started 25 years ago, we had no internet. Everything was learned from classes and books. Youtube is a fantastic classroom, but do be careful – not everyone on there will teach you well.
Where can people go to learn more about what you do, and about your products?
Please come and see us at one of the cake decorating exhibitions. If you can’t make it, our website is www.karendaviescakes.co.uk Here you will find all our products and videos showing you how to use our molds.
Thanks for your time, Karen! We enjoyed getting to know some more about how you got started. You are an inspiration to other people who are just getting bitten by the sugarcraft bug!
We hope you enjoyed reading this interview! Watch our for some more interviews with well known sugarcrafters over the coming weeks!!