Gehya Batchelor

Fantastical Cake Creations

East Sussex

Member Since:

November 2019 - Founder Member

Catchment Area: 

Peace Haven, Brighton, Eastborne and surrounding area

My relationship with cake decorating started back in the1980's at an evening class run by a local college. I discovered I enjoyed this craft and was lucky enough to go on to be trained by Eddie Spence and Alan Dunn in royal icing and sugar flowers as well as other top names in the sugarcraft world.  I continued my education and went on to gain the City and Guilds qualification in sugarcraft which I went on to teach.

I took a short break, returning after the birth of my youngest son, albeit on a much smaller scale, that was until I made my eldest son's 4 tier wedding cake with cascading flowers. This re-ignited my passion for sugarcraft and propelled me forward to rebrand and relaunch my cake business, update my skills and increase my repertoire

 

I love the creativity and the accomplishment of completing a commission and get more reward from seeing the customer's reaction on first seeing their cake. No day or cake is the same and I am always learning which is great.

 

During the earlier days I was on the committee for Brighton based Southdowns Sugarcraft Guild and helped with the organisation and setting up of the bi-yearly cake decorating shows that were held at Hove town hall.  I taught cake decorating in a local village hall and at adult education establishments up to city and guilds level, and students have always kept in touch over the years.   I have helped at a children’s summer play scheme, baked, decorated and presented Christmas cakes at my local church for those on their own on Christmas day. I also worked with a dear friend of mine Valerie, and created a 3 tier cake to celebrate the Queens Anniversary for the residents that lived in the same building. A big BBQ event was organised with the cake being a centre showpiece. A photo of which was sent to Buckingham palace and we received a letter in response. This year I have teamed up with Aspen's charity who support children with Autism, to raise money by creating a three tier Christmas cake.

 

 I remember making one of Alan Dunn's cakes and the flowers were so realistic, that at a wedding fair I had to put a sign up advising the public not to touch as they were made of sugar. I am also very proficient in royal icing which I became passionate about in the early days as this is our English heritage and I wanted to keep this skill alive by teaching it and passing down knowledge as it has  became more and more part of a dying art. I have also been in a number of local publications over the years for my cakes and sugarcrafting. One of proudest moments was winning gold for sugar flowers the 1st time of entering a sugarcraft competition run by The British Sugarcraft Guild. As my dearly departed dad sent me a card which meant the world to me. Saying "congratulations on your gold award, I am pleased that you have received the recognition you so richly deserve." Making him proud of me was my greatest achievement. 

 

Being involved in sugarcrafting has given me camaraderie, I love the sharing of knowledge, seeing students bloom and achieve, grow in skill and develop as a person. Being able to lose myself totally in the manufacture of a flower or model helps me escape the worry of day to day challenges that are needed to be overcome.   

Whilst I love being at home, working from home as well can be quite isolating at times providing little or no interaction with the outside world. So when I saw the opportunity to be an accredited Cake Minds teacher I decided to join so that I could have a chance to help other people grow, not just in their skills but also, hopefully, as a person, become more confident, believe in themselves and form friendships with each other. And for me it is also great to be part of a group that is supportive and helpful from the setting up to delivery of lessons and to be part of a recognised organisation within the sugarcraft world, support its growth and expansion in whatever way possible.

 

Apart from my love of sugarcrafting I have had numerous hobbies and interests including being a non practising complementary therapist, knitting and dressmaking 

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Rhu is passionate about her teachers supporting and enabling them to build their own network of students, many new to the industry, introducing them to sugarcraft and cheering them on their own journeys in this exciting and diverse industry in mindful environments, forming firm lifelong friendships that involved more than just the regular meetings.

Cake Minds aims to build a global network of teachers that offer and bring together the sugarcraft community from a virtual platform to a local supportive community near you. 

In a mindful and creative space to sugarcraft on a regular basis in small friendly and informal group settings.

rhu.strand@hotmail.co.uk   All Rights Reserved

Established in 2009