Because I still have a love for all things sugar, I came across this young lady on Facebook, through an old intern’s feed. To say Sachiko is talented is an understatement. She is self-taught and it’s some of the best detail work I have ever seen, and you all know who my previous employer was. She agreed to answer a few questions for me and share some photos. (I will also be doing a follow up story visiting her in her studio for a workshop.) Enjoy!
1. When did you start your business? What did you did you do before being a sugar artist? What has been your greatest challenge?
Mimicafe Union official opened for business on 10/10/10 (Seemed like the perfect day!)
I was working in Restaurant Service for many years in Japan. I needed a change, so I came to the states in 2008. I was interested in healthy food, and went to a cooking school called the Natural Gourmet Institute. Then I was working at a wedding and specialty cake company called “How Sweet It Is” on the Lower East Side. We did a lot of cakes for events connected to some pretty big celebrities and we all worked well together.
My biggest challenge? I guess I would have to say it was getting everything organized to start my own business. But once you decide to do it, you just take a deep breath and ‘Go For It!’
2. What is your favorite sculpting technique? Since just about everything I am doing is figures, my technique is almost always free-hand. I like the challenge of trying to figure out the best way to translate a photo or an idea into fondant figures. There are times when it doesn’t quite work and I have to go back and begin again, but hopefully I’ve learned something in the process.
3. Who are your inspirations in the cake and pastry world? I am not sure if I could give you a handful of names of people as I feel like I am coming from a different place then most pastry artists (I graduated from a Vegetarian Cooking School!). Having said that, I am always being inspired by other cake makers around the world via the internet as well as the people I am meeting at Cake Show.
4. What are your favorite characters to make? Believe it or not, I love all the characters I make! I really get engrossed in my work and usually I get kind of swept away by the characters (Have you seen some of the stop action videos I’ve made starring my fondant characters?)
5. What tool do you use the most when sculpting? Which one is your favorite? My technique is just about always free hand. So I love working with my hands and fingers!!
6. Did you go to school to learn your craft? Or was this something you figured out? I am self-taught and I am always trying to better develop my skills by taking on bigger and more diverse challenges.
7. Do you use fondant for your sculptures? Do you make it yourself or have a product you like to work with? 98% of the time I use fondant on all my figures and sculptures. Occasionally I use gum paste for some small parts. The fondant I use is product, but I create all the colors and shades using food coloring.
8. Any tips or advice you would like to give my readers? I would just like to say that the best way to approach your work is to have fun with it and to try to appreciate any obstacles as opportunities to challenge yourself as well as opportunities to learn new skills and approaches. Of course some days will be better than others, but if you are able to try to maintain this mindset, on balance you’ll appreciate that pastry work is a pretty sweet gig!!