I would greatly appreciate any and all help on this subject! Can anyone give me pointers on making royal icing feathers? Someone else told me they made the center spine of the feather and drug a wet paintbrush through it to achieve the whispy fronds needed to achieve a true feather look! Does anyone know if it is best to do these directly on the cake? Does anyone know if it is better to thin the icing down? HELP!!!
I have been trying to think of the best way to make an icing feather. I came up with an idea that I think could work and my daughter is going to try it. You use some roll-out fondant icing and cut out a feather shape from either a template or a flower petal cutter - a lily petal cutter is good. You put that on some baking parchment which you have put over a wide jar or bottle to give the feather a slight arch when it dries. Then you press some roll-out icing through a wire sieve to give strands. You take these off with a sharp knife and gently take off the strands perhaps with a cocktail stick and lay them down on your cut-out feather first working on one side and then completing the other side and perhaps piping a spine down the middle for that hard bit of a feather. You could glue the strands down with possibly a bit of beaten egg white or even simple water but not too much. You can build up the strands and taper them off at the top. I use this technique to create "hair" or "shrubs" for a garden cake. But thought the strandiness of this could make a good feather effect. You could also use Royal Icing to pipe the lines on - I use this technique for creating run-out swans' wings. But fondant icing might be easier and has a lot of texture. Hard to make a feather out of icing! Any other ideas?
I would think doing brush embroidery would be the best way to do it, provided you don't need ot make the feather stand up.
I don't know about brush embroidery - sounds very nice. Also, as I haven't been doing serious cake work in a few years, I just discovered silicone moulds out there for feathers, and loads more. Spotted a lovely one that gave you 2 feathers and you just press in the sugarpaste and turn it out, wait for it to dry, and then colour it. What my daughter did in the end with the feathers she was trying to make was that she used a lily petal cutter which gave her a long cut-out and she just put thin cuts in and moved them a bit to give some reality to it. For the cake she was doing, this did the trick - they are not amazingly lifelike, but she got there in the end. Feathers, I have to admit, were a challenge on the icing front!!!