Our featured artist this month is Mark Lie of Piece of Cake - Custom Cakes by Mark, located out of Oswego, IL near Chicago. Mark has made a name for himself by creating detailed party cakes and spectacular competition cakes on various Food Network shows like Cake Challenge, Sugar Dome and Halloween Wars. Mark also has worked with skilled artisans as a member of The Food Artist Group, a group that creates elaborate food showpieces for Corporate events and clients across the nation.
Mark talks with us about why he loves using Innovative Sugarworks’ Sugar Shapers in his work.
When I first started decorating in 2007, there wasn’t a whole lot of variety and options when it came to cake decorating tools. I used cheap plastic tools that either broke, had a seam line or were too slippery to hold if my fingers were messy or had shortening on them. I also tried using wooden and metal sculpting tools made for clay- but those probably weren’t the safest food tools to use and the tips weren’t really unique in shapes.
Innovative Sugarworks have done their research and created a great set of unique,
ergonomic, durable food-safe sculpting tools. Sugar Shapers come in 4 different sets- Standard and Mini sized, both in Firm or Soft Tips. Each set contains 6 different tipped tools, color coded to identify each double-sided shaper: Red- Trip-Tip Chisel, Orange- Bone Chisel, Green- Round Tip Chisel, Yellow- Square Tip Chisel, Dark Blue- Lip Chisel, and Light Blue- Pointed Chisel. The first thing I noticed when I held them was the comfort using them with gloved hands. The tips are very forgiving and flow with ease through buttercream, fondant, gum paste, and modeling chocolate without tearing through the medium.
I love making sculpted cakes and I always hated it when my tools just seemed to scrape at the fondant. When I use the Sugar Shapers they are more responsive to hand pressure and in turn lets you be more precise with your lines and details. Each tip has its purpose and the versatility of switching between firm and soft tips definitely gives you more artistic control.
If you were to ask me what are some of my favorite caking tools. Duh! Sugar Shapers! They have changed the way I decorate and sculpt and I couldn’t imagine going back to my “other” tools. They are a MUST HAVE if you want to take your sculpting to the next level. They are now an essential part of my decorating kit and I never leave home without them!
Mark regularly showcases quick basic decorating tips and technique tutorials and videos on social media. You can follow him on Facebook at Piece of Cake- Custom Cakes by Mark and on Instagram at Custom Cakes by Mark.