Styles and designs in the cookie world are constantly evolving, and it seems as though there are always new techniques and trends to capture our attention. At the same time, there are the "classics" - ever-present, and reminding us that some styles are timeless. "Stained glass" cookies, with their glossy surfaces and translucent-like qualities, are one of those enduring techniques. And it is this classic cookie style that brings me to our latest Cookie Connection challenge.
But before I mention the details of this challenge, let's talk about our AMAZING PRIZE! One lucky entrant will be chosen at random from among all of the challenge entrants to receive this Cookie Decorators Mount (Model CDM2XMG5, retail value: $124.95) generously donated by Aaron Roth and Arkon® Mounts! (Projector and phone not included; shipping anywhere INCLUDED!)
The "Cookie Decorators Mount" is similar to other Arkon® stands, but this one includes two holders that can accommodate both your phone and your pico projector! This means you can mount your pico projector in the top arm holder and your phone to the pole/post of the stand. You can also move the phone holder from the post up to the top arm assembly to record the video of you using the pico projector. Alternatively, the mount may be used with two phones for videos, tutorials, or live-stream videos. Check out the Arkon® product page for all of the details, and to learn more about this versatile mount!
In addition, you can also get a 20% discount on all Arkon® products without even entering the challenge! Just use coupon code "JuliaMUsher" when you purchase on arkon.com! (Disclaimer: Cookie Connection earns a small referral fee for every purchase made with this code, but all such funds help to keep this site running! So, clearly this deal is win-win for all!)
A huge thank-you to Aaron and Arkon® Mounts for generously donating this prize. I'm sure this stand will come in handy during the upcoming holiday baking season! And now, on to the details of our challenge.
What is Stained Glass?
According to this post by My Modern Met, “Stained glass refers to glass that has been colored by metallic oxides during the manufacturing process. Different additives produce different hues, allowing artisans to strategically produce glass of specific colors. For example, adding copper oxides to molten glass will culminate in green and blue tones. Once the glass has cooled, it can be pieced together to produce works of decorative art. These fragments can be held in place by various materials, including lead, stone, and copper foil."
Additionally, this article by The Stained Glass Association of America offers a comprehensive overview of the history of stained glass, and is worth a read. I would also recommend reading this article, which discusses the different types of stained glass, as well as this article, which explains stained glass terminology. This video also shows some great examples of the different types of glass, and can help when planning your design.
Techniques and Media
There are several techniques and media you can use to create your stained glass design. In this tutorial, @SweetAmbs shows how to make stained glass by painting on royal icing and then using edible adhesive to create shine. (Corn syrup and piping gel may also be used, however, all will remain slightly tacky when dry.) This video by @Hani/Haniela's shows another version of how to create a painted stained glass look. You'll notice that in SweetAmbs' tutorial, the lines are piped first whereas in Haniela's tutorial they are piped last.
There are numerous videos and tutorials that show how to create "glass" using isomalt. In this 3-D retro oven cookie video tutorial by @Julia M. Usher, you can learn how to create texture in your glass using a silicone mat. @Manu's 3-D Cookie Lantern and Fall Cookie Platter tutorials also offer great tips on how to add texture to your stained glass. Additionally, Pastry chef Jürgen David shows how to create stained glass using isomalt and one solid cutout sheet of pastillage in this Marvel Entertainment video.
In this post, our own @iSugarfy (aka swissophie) walks us step-by-step through the process of making an edible working Tiffany-style table lamp (also pictured below), and offers tips and advice along the way. By the way, this lamp was also Sonja's entry for Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #30, which was about using "hard" forms of sugar on cookies.
In this tutorial with accompanying video, Matt Taylor demonstrates how to make edible sugar glass (the "glass" that's used in the film and television industry), while this Sick Science! video shows how color can be added to create interesting effects.
In this video, Shelby Bower shows how to make edible fairy wings using edible lace and gelatin.
And finally, never underestimate the power of a gummy bear. The designers at Mayice Studio have proven in this article how this sweet gelatin creature can be turned into a luminous work of art.
Here are some examples of "stained glass" cookies decorated by fellow Cookie Connection members:
Stained Glass Crosses by Sandra Garvey
Longing for Spring . . . by Alison Friedli
Under the Sea Cookie by Evelindecora
Heart Cookies for Valentine's Day by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.
Mirrograph Cookie 2 by iSugarfy (aka swissophie)
Tiffany-Style Table Lamp by iSugarfy (aka swissophie)
This post should give you enough information and inspiration to get started; however, since stained glass designs, techniques, and styles cover such a broad spectrum, I will leave it up to you to further research your project to determine which techniques and media are best suited for your particular entry.
And finally, as The Stained Glass Association of America observes, "Stained glass possesses an aura of mystery and romance. It is the interplay between light and color that sparks the imagination. It is one of the most unchanged crafts, still taking, as it did centuries ago, time and patience, and an appreciation for color and line design."
With this in mind, the goal for this challenge is to capture the aura and beauty found in stained glass art and bring it to life in cookie form.
PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY. I would hate to disqualify an entry because someone failed to read ALL of the rules.
1. Create a cookie or a set of cookies that resemble(s) stained glass.
2. Your stained glass design MUST BE ORIGINAL, and NOT a copy of any other artist's pattern or design. This means you may NOT use a pattern or design that you found online or elsewhere. The design/pattern of your stained glass entry MUST be of your own creation.
3. As always, we ask that you make a brand new cookie project for this challenge.
4. And because Cookie Connection is all about learning and sharing, I would love for you to share in the comments section under your entry how you created your stained glass masterpiece, where you drew inspiration from, and what you learned throughout the process.
- Please post an image of your cookie OR cookie set to the site under the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set no later than October 25, 2020 at 5 pm central.
- Because these challenges are ongoing, we ask that you put "Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #42" in your photo caption AND in a tag, so that we can tell the challenges apart from month to month. Please use the main title field to uniquely name your cookies as you normally would.
- Please also assign other relevant clip sets and tags to your images, as you normally would (meaning don't just use the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set and leave it at that, or your photos won't easily be found with keyword searches).
- You can enter more than once, but please post only one clip of each distinct entry. Multiple clips of the same entry are not allowed unless added in a comment beneath the one primary clip.
The prize is given entirely at random. This means that everyone who participates in the challenge has an opportunity to be rewarded with our fantastic prize!
After the challenge has closed on October 25, we will announce the winner in the Saturday Spotlight on October 31. The next challenge will be announced about a week after that Spotlight.
And, remember, these challenges are NOT a competition. They are intended to inspire and motivate you to step outside of your comfort zone, to experiment and be creative, and to try something new. The goal is for you to challenge yourself artistically and technically, and to develop your skills so that you may reach your full potential as a cookie artist. And, of course, the goal is for you to have fun along the way.
I can't wait to see what you create. If you have any questions about this challenge, or if you are looking for ideas, technical advice, or creative help - or if you just want to talk cookies - I would love to chat. You can leave me a comment below, or you can send me a private Cookie Connection message.
Christine Dutcher's journey as a cookier began in early 2013 when an online search led her to the amazing world of cookie decorating. After spending countless hours learning all that she could, Christine decorated her first set of cookies in October 2013. In 2016, she decided that she would begin to focus on perfecting her skills, challenging herself each time to create more detailed and progressively complex pieces of cookie art. In 2019, Christine became one of the very first sugar artists from around the world to be named as an "Honourary PME Five Star Sugar Artist" by Knightsbridge PME. You can learn more about Christine's work here on Cookie Connection, and by following her Facebook and Instagram pages.
Photo credit: Christine Dutcher
Note: Practice Bakes Perfect is a bimonthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Christine Dutcher that poses inspiration or challenges to get you to stretch as a cookie artist - for practice, for prizes, and for fun! Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. Catch up on all of Christine's past Cookie Connection posts here.