One of the amazing things about our Practice Bakes Perfect stained glass challenge is that we got to see many different techniques and media used to create the timeless beauty of "stained glass" cookie art. Thanks to our members for sharing their insight and experience. We learned what methods work well and what methods do not always go as planned. We also learned that seeing things through to the end can yield unexpectedly beautiful results. In addition, the entries were wonderfully diverse, ranging from traditional designs to some very outside-the-box creations. Equally diverse were my fellow contributors' picks, which made choosing just ten entries to spotlight a challenge of its own. There were just so many incredible entries. You ALL did an impressive job!
Before we get to our spotlighted entries, I would like to remind you of the AMAZING prize for this challenge. One lucky winner, who was chosen entirely at random from among all entrants, will 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 a video of you using the pico projector. Alternatively, the mount may be used with two phones for videos, tutorials, or livestreams. Check out the Arkon® product page for all of the details, and to learn more about this versatile mount!
And, without further ado, the randomly drawn winner of Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #42 is . . . @Yazz Ross! CONGRATULATIONS, Yazz! I am sure your new Arkon® Mount will come in handy during the upcoming holiday baking season!
This wonderful floral and hummingbird cookie gives a nod to traditional stained glass art, and is one of three entries submitted by Yazz for this challenge.
And now, here are our spotlighted artists for Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #42. In no particular order . . .
Stained Glass Mermaid by Nazia
There is so much visual interest in this entry by Nazia. As one judge commented, "I'm so impressed that this [entry] was her first time using isomalt. In my experience, it is NOT an easy medium, but Nazia handled it beautifully. The isomalt is clear, the colors are vibrant, and the waves perfectly frame the scene." Another judge added, "The whole scene goes perfectly with the stained glass. What I like about Nazia's 'glass' is that it looks so pure, almost like [it's] wet! Even the small snail shells on the frame of the mermaid are designed [to be] glassy." I would also add that the color variations and luminescence of the "glass" are what make this a standout entry.
My Autumn - Pumpkin on Isomalt by Edyta KołodziejThe first thing that struck me about this entry by Edyta was how realistic it is. And my fellow judges agreed. "Beautiful! Looks like real stained glass in a frame. The shape and color of the pumpkin are perfectly beautiful," noted one judge. Another commented, "This is the more classic approach to the challenge, and she surely nailed it. Also that pumpkin has a 3-D look . . . so well designed." The color variations are also a nice touch and add to the realism. In addition, Edyta created a lovely autumn frame that perfectly complements the central stained glass element.
Spring, Summer, Autumn then Winter by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.Despite many trials, tribulations, and setbacks, Ryoko presented a cookie that resembles a stunning piece of stained glass art with soft, delicate colors that perfectly mimic the look of opal glass. As one judge so aptly put it, "Ryoko could have said nothing of her trials and tribulations, and I would have selected her entry because it's gorgeous and tells a beautiful story. It sounds, though, like Ryoko really challenged herself and learned so much from this process. In sharing her experiments, successes, and failures, she makes all of us better artists. And that's really what it's all about."
Stained Glass Lantern by Zeena
This stained glass lantern is one of two entries submitted by Zeena. For this entry, Zeena used painted royal icing cookies with edible glue for the base and top of the lantern, and gumpaste cutouts filled with isomalt for the sides. I love how both techniques work so well together and how the designs created with each technique complement each other perfectly. Equally impressive is the fact that, even though this was Zeena's first time using isomalt, she conquered it and managed to create a stunning multicolored mosaic masterpiece.
Zander Fish by Gwen Safriet
Painting royal icing to look like stained glass is not an easy thing to do, but Gwen managed to make it look effortless, and my fellow judges agreed. One judge observed, "This is such a simple cookie, but realized so flawlessly. From the fine black outline to the use of the airbrush colors that are so beautifully painted, she captured the stained glass feeling. I also like how she made this project 3-D and how she staged it." Another judge added, "I love the composition of this piece; mounting everything vertically really enhances the stained glass effect. The colors pop, and Gwen really nailed the painting."
Hada Mágica by Yazz Ross
The focal point of this entry by Yazz is the fairy with her fragile, glass-like wings. Made with gelatin, these wings have a wonderful transparent quality and are brought to life by the use of color. I love how Yazz used clear "glass" as the background to frame her design. What also stands out with this entry is how Yazz's choices of color, media, and technique are perfectly suited to her theme and how they help to give her design a magical quality.
An Ugly Duckling Becomes a Peacock by LisaF
What started off as chaos and an almost-scrapped cookie ended up as a wonderful classic-style stained glass work of art. If you read Lisa's comments and look at her photos, you will see that she somehow managed to pipe a beautifully balanced design over a completely different pattern than what was originally drawn on her cookie, essentially "winging it" to create the perfect design - impressive, indeed. I love how Lisa's choice of colors highlights the symmetry of her design. And I admire the fact that Lisa didn't give up, but instead continued on and, as she points out in her entry title, managed to take an "ugly duckling" cookie and turn it into a beautiful stained glass "swan" (or peacock, as it were ).
Spice Oils by PUDING FARM
Two elements distinguish this entry: color and texture. If you look closely at these tiny stained glass oil bottles, which are made of rice paper and involve several steps that Timea outlines in detail for us, you can see the unique texture of each glass bottle, similar to the many textures found in stained glass art. I also like how Timea used color to create a visual impact by juxtaposing the red glass and the more subdued colors of the other bottles. Likewise, Timea cleverly uses a bold, dark outline to both contrast and highlight the translucent interiors of her stained glass bottles.
Stained Glass Angel by iSugarfy (aka swissophie)
Sonja submitted two entries for this challenge, including this incredible skull cookie, which highlights her mastery of isomalt, and is definitely worth a look. However, it is this striking stained glass angel (shown at different angles) that really captures the beauty and delicacy that we see in stained glass art. There are many wonderful elements worth noting, including Sonja's use of both translucent and opaque glass, the soft yellow and rose hues complemented by gold piping, the beading in the angel's robe that is mirrored in the base, and the detail work that went into creating this three dimensional angel, all of which make this entry divine.
Girl and the Sea by Petra Florean
Petra submitted four very creative entries for this challenge, but it was this captivating seaside scene that really stood out. Petra used both translucent and opaque glass as well as various media, such as isomalt, rice paper, and fondant, to create a sense of depth and dimension. Of particular note is the "seawater" spilling out beyond the frame. This entry has been composed in such a masterful way that we feel almost as if we are there with the girl walking along the seashore.
And that concludes another Practice Bakes Perfect challenge! Make sure you check out the whole clip set to see all of the amazing stained glass cookies and to learn more about how they were created. Thank you to everyone who participated, liked, and commented on the entries. Make sure to look for our next challenge, which will post on or about November 8, 2020.
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.