To practice this, I would recommend that you procure a walnut board, about twelve inches square, perfectly smooth. This being dark and the sugar white you can easily see the work; and if every thing is clean the sugar need not be wasted, as it can be scraped off and used for some purpose or other.
The board being ready and a cone filled with sugar, take the cone in the left hand, and place the thumb of the right hand on the folded part or top; use the thumb to press on the cone to force out the sugar at the point, in just the same manner you would use a syringe. Now force out the sugar with a regular and even pressure, and draw a number of fine lines, as even and straight as possible, by dropping the point of the cone in the left hand corner of the board, and with an onward motion, in accordance with the flow of sugar (which will be little or much, in proportion to the pressure you give the tube); run it straight on to the right hand corner (see No. 4). Notice that you can make this line larger by pressing harder on the cone. Next repeat this, giving the cone a zigzag motion (No. 5); then commence light, gradually increasing the pressure, so as to produce a line small at one end and large at the other (No. 6); then reverse it by beginning heavy and finishing light (No. 7). When you wish to disconnect the cone from the sugar, do so by taking off the pressure from the cone, and giving a quick, sudden, upward jerk. Now do some cross stringing (No. 8), then No. 9 to 17; then with the same cone, held perpendicular (and the sugar pushed out until the drop is the required size, then suddenly detached in the same manner as above mentioned), drop different sized drops or dots (No. 18 to 20); then with the same cone, by commencing at the large end first and gradually drawing it to a fine thread do No. 21. Now take the star cut cone (No. 22), and drop some star dots, the same as in Nos. 18, 19, and 20; then with a circular or rotary motion, make roses (No. 23); then repeat with this star cone all that you have done with the plain round cone. Next take the leaf cone (No. 24), and by beginning at the large end of the leaf first, and gradually drawing it to a point, make the
leaf as long as desired (No. 25); by giving the cone a wavy motion you form the veins in the leaf. Then put two together (No. 26), and with the star cone add a rose (No. 27); then three leaves and a rose (No. 28); then four, as in No. 29; then five, with a simple plain dot in the center (No. 30;, Now, with the plain round cone, make No. 31, adding to it, for top finish, No. 21; next, with the same cone, make the stems of Nos. 32 and 33, and with the leaf cone add the leaves. Do the same in No. 34, adding a ring of dots, also a rose, with the star cone; next, with the same plain round cone, do No. 35, by giving the cone a wavy motion; also No. 36, by giving the cone a sudden jerk, first to the left, then to the right, then straight down the middle, as shown in No. 37.
This appears a good deal on paper, but is really nothing when you come to do it, as it can all be done on the board at one lesson, and two or three lessons should suffice to give you a good insight, and each one you do will be better than its predecessor, and you will surprise yourself at the ease with which you can produce and •execute a design, if you only master these diagrams first.
Having gone this far, you may now form a design for yourself by making whatever combination fancy dictates, from the scrolls, lines, curves, etc., shown in the diagrams; it may be somewhat crude at first, but practice will perfect. As an example, which will explain the whole, I will instruct you how to make a simple combination, and thereby produce a bunch of grapes. First, with the leaf cone make four leaves (No. 38), and with the plain round cone add the stem; also, with the same kind of cone, only cut a little larger, to make a larger drop, add grapes by making a succession of dots, gradually making them higher in the middle (No. 39); then as a finish, with the plain small cone, add the scroll as shown running over the grapes. I will also give one other illustration. To mike a large leaf, in imitation of those used on bride's cake, first mark the outline of the leaf (No. 40), then with the plain round cone run the cross lines, as shown in No. 8, also in No. 41; then with the plain round cone add the edge in dots, as shown in Nos. 20 and 42. To illustrate this farther, I furnish a full sketch for the top of a wedding or other cake (page 353) made up of the grapes and leaves I have described. I must now leave you to the study and
Jelly Cake Top.
practice of the diagrams, assuring you that you will find it much more simple than it here appears, and that the results attained at each trial will be such as to stimulate you to further efforts and success. I will here remark that you can do heavy and light work with the same cone by adding pressure; for instance, if you are using a cone with a fine point, by drawing that with a regular motion and even pressure, you produce a line of sugar the same size as the hole through which it comes; but if you draw the cone along slower than the sugar comes out, you will readily see that you produce a heavier line; also, if you wish to make a very fine line with the same cone, use the even pressure, but draw the cone along very fast; you have only to bear in mind that there is a limit to the size, and when you reach that to press harder simply means to burst the cone; when the limit is reached, if you want a larger flow, you must have another cone with a larger opening at the point. This applies to all shapes, whether round, star, or leaf. The cone may be used in the same manner you would a pen, pressing heavy and light; for example, if you are making a scroll, like No. 11, with a fine round cone, when you come to the bend of the scroll, by giving the cone a little more pressure you cause more sugar to flow, thus producing the fullness in the curve (see No. 11); when you have done that withdraw the pressure and continue as before.