Friday, September 5, 2014

Sugar Artist Spotlight: Sachiko Windbiel

Sugar Artist Spotlight: Sachiko Windbiel

I have been a longtime fan of this talented lady's work! Her adorable fondant figures have such a unique style and distinct personality! Sachiko has magic in her watch her mold a lump of fondant into a little person is nothing short of awe inspiring. I had the pleasure of taking Sachiko's figure modeling class at her studio in New York City late last year and it was one of the most fun and memorable days of my caking journey. A full day of playing with fondant, talking about cake, learning a new skill and having a lot of laughs with the one and only Sachiko!!!  

Name: Sachiko Windbiel
Business Name: mimicafe Union
Location: Manhattan New York

Facebook name/URL: mimicafe Union @New York

Blog: (Japanese)
Blog:!blog/c2481  (Tutorial etc.)
Other: (video)

***Who is Sachiko Windbiel?***
I was working at Restaurant Service for long years in Japan. And I also researching for my life work. When my first trip of U.S.A. I think 2004. It was my first seeing when I discovered the pastry work in U.S.A. I have never known Fondant at that time. Sugar work was very inspiring to me, so much so that I could feel my heart expand when I looked at their creations and I felt that pastry work was a destiny calling. However, I did not know how to proceed with pursuing this dream and I continued to work at restaurants in Ishikawa, Japan. I just put the passion into a box and rocked in my heart. After more investigation and soul searching, I was finally able to begin my new path in 2008 by relocating to New York City to attend culinary school.

I relocated to New York City in 2008 to attend a culinary school that specialized in a vegetarian and healthful food preparation techniques. (I'm not a vegetarian but I was interested in healthy food, and that's why I went cooking school call Natural Gourmet Institute. ) After graduating, thanks to the help of one of my instructors, I was able to land an internship and eventually a position at a custom made cake company call "How Sweet It Is" The work there was very inspiring to me, and I felt my box contained my passion of Sugar art was explosion that pastry work was a destiny calling. Obviously, the pasty industry uses a lot of Sugar, Butter, Oil, etc.; ingredients that are quite opposed to those espoused by my teachers at my healthful cooking school. I was torn as to what I should do, but alas the charm and artistry of the pastry world won out. And besides, I believed that pastry is a great way to make people smile and have fun and that's something that's very important to me.
Unfortunately, the company I was working at closed, and I was unsure where to turn next. Then, the next chapter made it self clear… to start a small business- something that I had always dreamed about. I was considering Cupcakes, but as you know, everybody seems to be making cupcakes nowadays, and cupcakes seem to be available on every other corner. Then I had a fun idea; How about Cupcake & Cake Toppers?-- kind of like Cake Accessories.... And thus I began mimicafe Union, a source for all kinds of Artistic and Fun Cupcake & Cake Toppers.
It's great work and I really love creating custom made, unique toppers for special events, toppers which customers often choose to save as sweet memory keepsakes of their special occasions. Actually this is my philosophy of life; Live a Happy Life and Cherish your Sweet Memories, they're always good to keep nearby. If I can help my customers with these happy moments and memories, I feel I have fulfilled my mission in life.

***When did you start decorating?***
Ever since I was child, I've always liked to make easy cakes and cookies . But, my real start was when I came to New York in 2008.

***Where did you learn cake decorating?*** 
After graduating from cooking school, when I began interning at the pastry shop - and was lucky enough to be hired on at.

***Do you have any formal training?***
I am self taught and I am always trying to better develop my skills by taking on bigger and more diverse challenges. My parents gave me a lot of exposure to great illustrations with the following books/artists: Osamu Tezuka (Cartoonist, Comic Artist) (I think I first got to see his work when I was only 3 years old.), the Peter Rabbit stories of Beatrix Potter (especially "The Tale of Ginger and Pickles"), the Brambly Hedge Series (All of my tiny inspirations are from these books) And also, my parents encouraged me to draw a lot of pictures when I was child. And I was also very interested in the Animation, or Anime, industry of Japan. So that give me a lot of images and details.

***Do you have a signature style?***
I'm so happy that I have been getting feedback via the social media and many people seem to now be able to recognize my work as soon as they see it, it's very exciting!!

***What is your favorite decorating tool?***
I find that my best tools are the ones I didn't have to go to the store to get; my fingers --my CLEAN fingers, that is, ha ha.... And also another item, although it is not for decorating, is Canned Air, I love using it! It's an easy way to make sure the Topper's surface is dust free!! I especially use it before I begin a topper photo shoot.

***What is your best tip or trick?***
It's always fun to discover new ways to get the job done !! I have some of tips already for everybody to check out in the blog section of my website.!blog/c2481  

I want to always try to share more tips as I figure them out, however, I often forget to post, lazy me!!!

***Who is your “Cake Crush”? ***
The first time in my life I saw Fondant and Fondant on a Cake was when visited the United States, I believe it was in 2004. I was in Chicago and one day I was just taking a walk around the neighborhood where I was staying when I happened upon this small shop called "Cake Girls". It was Halloween and in the shop was a Halloween theme cake and it really knocked me out. I had never seen such a cake... I had never seen fondant either! After I returned to Japan, I stayed in contact with the owners and made plans to visit them again soon after... it was a crazy, great travel experience!! 

***What is your best advice for a beginner?***
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 mind set, on balance you'll appreciate that pastry work is a pretty sweet gig!!  Here are three more things to keep in mind:
No.1 "Have Emotion" Making Cake or toppers is your special gift to people as guests or clients. I always focus on the idea that if I can surprise myself, then I have a pretty good chance to surprise the client and their guests, so just focus and concentrate on you work and put your heart into it!
No.2 "Be Unique" It's always special if you can give your clients or guests a one of a kind experience.
No.3 "Make Lasting Memories" When the event day arrives, your work has it's moment in the spotlight...If you've done the job right your toppers or cakes will give a sweet memory for all party guest to take home with them.

***What is your favorite cake/filling flavors?***
Actually, I mostly like the edge of the cake where if might be burned or damaged, LOL!

***What is the decorating tool that is on your wish list?**
I need another couple pairs of hands - fingers are best tool ever!!

***What is new or upcoming for Sachiko?***
My new tutorial online video by CakeMade is coming in September!!!

P.S. my English is second language, so it was a very big challenge!!! But I am confident anybody can get a lot of new ideas and inspirations from these tutorials!!!

Thank you Sachiko!  Wishing you all the best and continued success!  Can't wait to take another class with you... See you in NYC! :)

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