Ideally, we shouldn’t be starting off with how fit she looks for her age, and profession. But, in certain cases, you just can’t help yourself. Swati Jain, 42, mother to a 13-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son impresses you in the first few minutes of your soiree.
The lady, who claims to be one of the Indian pioneers in sugar craft-fondant cakes, goes on to amaze you in more ways than one.
She can recreate just about anything you can imagine. Well, just about. Currently based in Amritsar, Swati conducts workshops under her label, Sugar Craft India, to impart hands-on training in baking customised cakes. Swati is visiting Chandigarh for the same, to conduct a workshop on December 14 and 15. But, don’t bother — the batch, she says, is already full.
Talking about her work, she says, “So far, I have conducted about 150 workshops across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Calcutta, and have trained over 1,500 people. From different themes to children cakes with animals, cakes with exotic flowers to wedding cakes with pretty laces, hand-painted cakes, vintage cakes, multi-tiered sculptures to tiered wedding cakes standing tall on crystal pillars — the list is never-ending.”
Besides these, Swati has had some interesting requests. “You’ll be surprised to see the kind of designer bags I’ve made out of sugar; you’d want to pick one up for yourself! Then there are those ‘naughty’ cakes for bachelor parties. Basically, sugar craft allows your imagination to go wild.”
But, what comes as a true surprise is that Swati is self-taught. She shares, “I’m married to a doctor who serves in the Indian Army. In 2003, we were in Botswana, Africa, where I saw this magnificent cake at a friend’s birthday party. Noticing my inclination, my husband introduced me to someone in Africa who excelled in this art.
I just met that person for a day, got a few details and ended up making these beautiful cakes for my children. In 2006, when we were posted to Uttrakhand, a friend suggested that I start teaching the art; here I am today. My first workshop took place at Indian Habitat Centre, Delhi, in 2007.”
According to Swati, since 2007, she has evolved with each passing workshops. “I keep myself up-to-date with international standards and try to introduce new things in my work regularly. I was a fine arts student and love all forms of creativity; sugar craft is a beautiful way of expressing the same. It brings out the best in me and satisfies the artist within me.”
Amidst everything, the real joy for Swati lies in the satisfaction that comes from teaching.
“I love taking up challenges now. Seeing 10 girls learn, simultaneously create something and leave my workshop with a smile gives me a satisfaction that remains unparalleled,” concludes Swati.