Laurie Clarke, Owner and Primary Instructor of SweetCelebrations.US lives in Gilroy, California with her husband and their two kids (who are very sweet, even though they are in their teens!) She has been decorating since 1997 and teaching since 2004. She enjoys, more than anything, the creative aspect of decorating - using household items as decorating tools and re-purposing hardware. Her specialty is creating edible art that can be mistaken for the real thing. Laurie's goal is to teach aspiring decorators everywhere that "not everything is as difficult as it looks. A few things are, but it's as important to find the courage to try them as it is to succeed."
She is Founder and President of the Sweet Things of Silicon Valley Cake Club, a Past President of the Fremont Frosters Cake Club and long time member of the California Cake Club. She has demonstrated decorating techniques many times, participated in live competitions, and has judged cake shows statewide. Her decorating expertise comes from more than 15 years of trial and error, living and learning, and attending countless demonstrations and project classes. Laurie has learned from instructors far and wide, many well-known from their competitions on Food Network, TLC and WE TV or published works.
Laurie was a contestant on a Food Network show! In THE SUGAR DOME three teams were created by the producers and consisted of a Cake Artist, a Sugar Artist, and another "surprise" Artist of any technique or medium. In Episode 1: "A Dragon's Tale" Laurie was paired with Cake Artist Giovanna Smith of Sugar Art Studio and Animatronics Expert Bob Newton of CreatureFX Inc. Due to some confusion Laurie needed to serve as the Sugar Artist for "Team Vicious and Delicious".
She has this to say about the entire adventure:
"It still seems totally surreal to me. From the time I got the first 'Can you audition for us?' phonecall to the time of the competition was only four weeks. Everything happened in the blink of an eye. Would I do it again....? That depends. Can I be the Cake Artist this time? Can I lead the team? Can I choose my Sugar Artist? Will I have to compete against Bronwen Freakin' Weber again??! For an "arch nemesis" she's really sweet, but she's been in more than 25 televised cake competitions! Honestly, it would be kindof nice to show what I really can do as a Cake Artist, and having learned the ins-and-outs of the way shows like these are produced I'd have a better chance of preparing well, getting more than 1 hour of sleep before "game time" and planning our tasks - even if our third teammate was still a complete surprise. Someday I fully intend to learn enough about mechanics and programming to make a 'living dragon' cake/display of my own. Glowing eyes, moving neck, folding and stretching wings: the works! I'm about halfway there - I can do lighting, wiring, modeling/sculpting cake and chocolate and I can make edible, posable wings. Automated fire eludes me for now, but I can do dry ice 'breath' and lights with manual activation. Wish me luck!"
The Sugar Dome: Episode I, "A Dragon's Tale" can be seen on Laurie's YouTube Channel but for copyright reasons you can only view it if you're in one of her Google+ circles. She will happily add you, just visit Laurie's Google+ Profile and add her!