BeTeamRed is a collaboration of 200 sugar artists from around the world focusing on World AIDS Day. The collaboration launches on December 1st, i.e. World AIDS Day. As part of the countdown to the launch, for the next few days I’m going to be interviewing sugar artists who are new to collaborations. Here is my interview with Tina Tsourtsoulas of Sugar Wishes – Sugar Wishes Facebook page.
1.Tell me about yourself. How long have you been decorating? Do you decorate professionally?
Born, raised, and educated in the United States before making a permanent move to Kastoria, Greece with my husband Dimitrios, I have always loved crafts and baking of one sort or another. Though I operated a bridal-baptismal store in Greece for more than 20 years, I decorated my first cookie only as recently as Christmas 2012 – and immediately fell in love! I have traveled to Hungary and Italy to pick up techniques but I would consider myself primarily self-taught. I attributes my cookie decorating development to blogs, YouTube tutorials, and, most importantly, the openness and support of the many wonderful people in the sugar world. But in end there is no greater teacher than practice. I do cookies as a hobby but have begun teaching.
2.Tell me about your piece. What was your inspiration? What is your piece made from and how did you make it?
My piece is a chocolate fudge cookie. It was inspired by a drawing I saw when I searched Google. It is made with Royal icing and has a hand-made fondant flower on it. I used a Royal Icing transfer technique for the image and the lace is hand pipped. Being a cookier in a collaboration of this size with this amount of talent is overwhelming and humbling.
3.Tell me about being part of a collaboration for the first time. What are some of the challenges that you faced? What did you enjoy most about being in this collaboration?
The biggest challenge was to overcome my own insecurity about being good enough to be among such talent. But everyone has been so marvelous and supportive throughout the entire journey. When I showed my rather simple piece it was acknowledge and accepted and all the encouraging words nearly brought me to tears. And the collaboration is only as good as its leader. Zawadi was awesome the entire time.
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