She’s known as “The Shoe Lady” because Iris Rezoagli is the undisputed queen of sugar shoes. Now an international teacher, Iris shares her top tips for creating fabulous edible-footwear in our ‘Cake Artist of the Month’ special feature.
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ACD: Hi Iris, thanks so much for talking with us. You’re the undisputed queen of sugar shoes, what is your favorite type of shoe to make?
Iris: The first time I saw sugar shoes was in Kerry Vincent’s book ‘Romantic wedding cakes’.
I fell in love with the sugar shoes. I like all types of shoes but especially high heels.
ACD: How do you create each design? Do you use a pre-made cutter, or do you make templates; drawing each shoe out?
Iris: Yes before I start to create a new shoe I sketch the design of the shoe by hand and I make the templates from the drawing.
ACD: What is the best medium to use when making shoes?
Iris: When I make my sugar shoes I use gum paste, but pastillage would also work too. You want something that will dry hard. The shoe needs strength or it won’t hold its form.
ACD: Are you inspired by fashion and art?
Iris: Oh yes, I love shoes inspired by the Victorian Era and times. Because I love the colors from the Victorian Era and I find the designs to be very elegant and romantic.
ACD: How do you support the tall and unusual shaped shoes that you make?
Iris: When I create tall shoes I use a lot of techniques. I use support sticks, dowels, of course, these provide strength and a lot of patience.
ACD: What is it about sugar-shoes that you love so much, why did you choose this niche?
Iris: I simply love shoes. When I started to make the shoes I found there was a lot of room for creativity. When I have finished the sugar shoes I always think ” I want to wear these shoe “
ACD: What is your favorite thing about teaching? And what seems to be the most difficult thing for a student to do.
Iris: My favorite thing about teaching is seeing students creating their own sugar shoes. I teach a lot of techniques. The most difficult thing I find is teaching the students to roll the correct thickness of the gum paste. The humidity in the environment can also be a challenge.
I was born in Honduras and I now reside in the USA. My artistic side comes from my grandmother, Mercedes. I started making crafts with her when I was very young. From that point on I was hooked.
My work has been featured in many notable publications including American Cake Decorating.
My DVD Beautiful Sugar Shoes was published in 2013.
I studied to be a Pastry Chef at the Star Career Academy Culinary School in New York.
I also have competed in many different competitions and I also judge cake shows and events.
My passion is creating sugar shoes and also teaching.