Cake by Jo Ann Thweatt shown here. Copyright 2011 Jo Ann Thweatt
Jo Ann's cake is covered in Rolled Buttercream.
Our organization started in 1999, and was then called the West Tennessee Country Decorators. The group was originally organized by Jo Ann Thweatt, a Wilton teacher for more than 40 years, and other Wilton teachers and students. Word of mouth was the best we could do at that time but things have certainly changed! When we started we met in our members' homes, sharing information, customer stories and, of course, our knowledge through various Sugar Arts demonstrations. Since the Fall of 2011, we have begun meeting at a local restaurant, then a new company called SweetWise, and are currently seeking a permanent home, to provide fellowship and continue demonstrations of all facets of the Sugar Arts. (see calendar on the home page) We have not forgotten our original Mission - to help educate Sugar Artists. We continue to share our talents on a monthly basis. See our Calendar of Events on the Home page near the bottom.
Recently, the group was asked to help bring a fellow Sugar Artists' dream to fruition. RiRi MacGruder, a long time volunteer in various local Sugar Arts organizations, including the Delta Fair and 4-H, saw a need, but she knew she needed help to fill it. Her dream was to bring a Sugar Arts Show and Competition to the Memphis area. Our group felt it was a great opportunity to encourage the Sugar Arts, as well as bring something really cool to Memphis. We agreed to help. It was at this meeting our new name was voted on to reflect changes within our industry. These changes better qualify our members to the general public. It was also at this meeting we began using Robert's Rules of Order, and elected officers.
Our first show was Sept. 4, 2012. It was held at the Agricenter International located between Germantown Parkway and Walnut Grove Road. We were graciously given the entire Wing A of the Agricenter, for the display of the Sugar Arts entries. This will be an annual charity event to assist a local charity each year! Entries in the show are open to every level of Sugar Artist.
Our guest Judge/Instructor this year was Jay Qualls and Leigh Sipe, co-ICES show Director for the upcoming 2013 ICES Convention in Lexington, KY, with Geraldine Kidwell. Leigh demonstrated how to make a Poured Sugar Beer Bottle, and Jay did a demo on what you would learn in his class, which he taught on Wednesday, Sept. 5th. He taught Billowing and Royal Icing Stringwork. Thanks to them both for their support and time. In 2013, the Second Annual Sugar Arts Show and Competition was held on Sept. 5th, 6th, and 7th. The actual competition was Sept. 5th. Check out the other pages of the website for more information. Our Third Show, combined with the year of 2014, was held Jan. 31, 2015, in conjunction with the Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee, as they put on their fundraiser called "Chocolate Fantasy", was a huge success! Over 17 competitors from our group and the Pulaski Technical College led by Instructor/Chef Cathy Kincaid, drove several hours to compete in various skill level categories. Chef Phillip Ashley Rix, of Phillip Ashley Chocolates, Chocolatier, and Chef Karen Brown of Brown Baguette Bakery, along with Jay Qualls, Celebrity Wedding Cake Designer were our judges. Jay also did demonstrations throughout the day. Photos of our competitors work are on our FB page. Our big winner took home over $700.00 worth of cake related products. The General Public voted on People's Choice and she won that as well. Donation to the Kidney Foundation followed by our group. As well as a donation to Icing Smiles. We love them both!
So many great Sugar Artists, Cake Decorators of all levels and interested parties came to look and some, (even touch,) the competitors displays. Many Thanks and Cudo's to the Kidney Foundation of W. Tennessee for the help with our participation in their event. Our Fourth Annual show is in the planning stages now, so stay tuned for more info in the following months.
The West Tennessee Sugar Artists Mission:
The mission of the West Tennessee Sugar Artists is to promote all facets of the Sugar Arts. We do this by sharing our knowledge and resources with other sugar artists, building friendships, providing contributions to charitable organizations in our community and educating the general public about this sweet art form. We will promote our annual Sugar Arts Show and organization to that end. We will continue to promote the International Cake Exploration Societe, ICES, (ices.org) by encouraging membership in that organization, for more in-depth knowledge and participation in the Sugar Arts.
We hope you will enroll on our email list to be included in the information for the upcoming 2016 Sugar Arts Show as well as Monthly meeting and event notifications. Contact Us Thanks for stopping by today!
Membership after two attended meetings is $25.00. Demo handouts, newsletter, and our logo use on your business cards included.
Online only membership is $10.00 and includes the newsletter sent to personal email.
West Tennessee Sugar Artists
℅ DeeDee Sigee 4189 Autumn Sun Rd. Millington, TN. 38053