Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fruit Carving Video Review - Watermelon Flowers

I usually allot myself time each week to work on new fruit carving ideas or to practice advanced techniques but since breaking my arm I decided to use this time instead to flip through old fruit and vegetable garnishing books. Well, that lasted about a week, I mean I had already poured through all 8 of them several times in the past and if I were going to give the old noodle something interesting to look at, than it would have to be new! I chose a DVD by a woman who has been doing fruit carving for over 30 years. She studied Kae-Sa-Luk in Thailand under a teacher trained at the Royal Palace and she is considered a master of this ancient art.

I actually bought and watched several DVDs but now that my arm is healing, I plan to practice them and review them for my blog one at a time. So the first DVD I am reviewing is “The Art of Watermelon Carving”. Out of all the DVDs I purchased it is probably the most advanced, so what is the reason this one is reviewed first? Well, to be honest it is the one I was most excited to practice!

“The Art of Watermelon Carving” by Pam Maneeratana has 3 separate lessons all concentrating on different flower patterns; Chrysanthemum (or Mums), Rose Bud and Blooming Rose. Overall I enjoyed all three videos a lot! She shows you step by step how to complete each watermelon flower design. She shows each kind of cut slowly so you understand it and gradually starts do the cuts faster making sure to repeat each technique a couple of times. I have watched each lesson a couple times, the first time watching the entire lesson all the way through just sitting on my couch trying to pay attention to the tips she is giving and the way she holds her bird’s beak carving knife. Then, I would watch it again while carving, pausing and rewinding as I needed …. Ahhh, fruit carving videos are so much easier to learn from than their book counterparts!!

I really enjoyed this DVD and I am happy I purchased it but there are two things that you should keep in mind if you are considering buying this watermelon carving video. First, Pam really knows what she talking about but English is not her first language and there are one or two parts where she struggles to find the right words or when her accent makes it hard to understand her . Also, the Thai background music becomes a little much during a couple of parts (after the first viewing I just turned the sound down). But overall these two issues are not enough to make me enjoy the lessons any less!

Here is a picture of my first attempt at one of the lessons, "Blooming Rose". The lesson actually shows you how to make several of these on one watermelon but my melon was small and I already know how to make the rose bud but really wanted to practice the petals. Lots more pictures to come soon!