Wonderful Melissa, you will learn so much and be so happy you took the class.
Shirley, thank you for the list of tools. I have ordered mine and will have them in time for class two this weekend. Can't wait to use them!
Your welcome. Show us pictures of what you create with your new toys.
Thank you shirleyW for the head up.
I am starting the Fondant class this week and will have to just use my Wilton tools that I purchased.
Shirley.. if i had to buy two or three tools.. which ones should I buy first???
Thanks for your help.
1. Non stick ridged cel board
2. Non stick cel pin for rolling
3. Foam Cel pad
4. Metal balll tool
These would be what I would consider the most needed tools, although the others are important these would be the first things I would buy.
I have most of the tools necessary to make flowers and leaves, (to include the metal ball tool for thining and ruffling). But, having not taken a class (visual is so much better) on gumpaste flowers, I find that no matter how hard I try, I don't believe that I am thinning correctly and absolutely cannot get the hang of ruffling. So many pretty flowers need ruffling and I just cannot figure it out. Can someone help by explaining exactly what to do with the metal ball tool. Thank you so, so much.
Cassie the trick is to lay the petal on a foam cel pad, hold the ball tool upright or at just a slight angle, lay the ball halfway on the edge of the petal and halfway on the foam pad. To thin the petal you just go around slowly with a slight pressure. To ruffle do the same thing but this time apply more pressure and move the ball tool as though you were erasing a pencil mark. The faster you move the tool back and forth the tighter the ruffle will be. If you don't have that ball halfway on the petal and move it too far in, all it does is cup the petal, it doesn't thin and it doesn't ruffle.
Hope this will help you.
If you ever see a VHS tape on eBAY that you can afford look for Rosemary Watsons tape from her old company called Sugar Bouquets. The tape is called "A Bakers Dozen" with 13 different gumpaste flowers. The sad thing is she has closed her business and you can no longer buy her cutters and veiners. But Global Sugar Art is now carrying similar ones made by Sunflower. I would also recommend Nicholas Lodge's book "A Potpourri of flowers" and any of his tapes or DVDs on flower making.
If you ever see a VHS tape on eBAY that you can afford look for Rosemary Watsons tape from her old company called Sugar Bouquets. The tape is called "A Bakers Dozen" with 13 different gumpaste flowers. The sad thing is she has closed her business and you can no longer buy her cutters and veiners. But Global Sugar Art is now carrying similar ones made by Sunflower.
I have Rosemary's videos. I have transfered it to DVD. I have some of her stuff and her Rose kit. I bought Sunflower cutters and veiners. I can't wait to try making all these flowers.
Thank you for your quick response. Your answer has given me something to work with and I appreciate it. I'm going to follow your directions and give it a try today. I'll also be on the lookout for your recommendations for "viewing".
This board is wonderful, I'm learning so much just by reading. Cassie
Your welcome Cassie. Good luck with the flower making and have fun.
Thanks to you, I was able to ruffle a petal. I was not holding the ball tool at the proper angle, nor at the right spot on the gumpaste and foam. I so much appreciate your sharing your expertise. Cassie
Yay! I am so glad it worked for you Cassie. You are on your way now, I expect to see more and more photos of new flower creations.
I would also add the following to a kit.
celcakes flower formers
Hadn't really thought of that because I use them so seldom. My flowers are all wired and usually hang upside down to dry. I think the only thing I have ever used a former for was a orchid.
Thanks so much for this info. I was stuck about buying the metal ball tools was Sugarcraft and I dare not do that . So yeah I get my tools now thanks !!!
You are welcome Moni. Once you get those tools you will really enjoy working with gumpaste. I think the metal ball tool makes a huge difference.
Okay.. I finally got my toys in the mail and I am stoked to start. What should the gumpaste feel like? I know that's an odd question, but it seems so flimsy and if I roll it really thin it won't cup or hold its shape very well. Am I rolling it too thin? I am rolling it to 1/16th of an inch and then further thinning with the ball tool. I was able to ruffle the edge and I was happy.. even if it looked a bit messy. Also.. when working it on the celpad should I use powdered sugar to make sure it doesn't stick or something else? I will have to grab a book.. I have to make some daisies for my sister's baby shower cake and while I can get them to look nice while flat.. getting them to cup up is proving difficult. ANY advice would be most appreciated.
My first suggestion is to try Nicholas Lodge's gumpaste recipe. I don't use any cornstarch or powdered sugar, I do lightly grease my cel board with Crisco and then wipe with a paper towel. I knead my gumpaste on the board and then roll small amounts, just enough to make all the petals I will need. Keep the remainder covered with plastic wrap and put it into a zip lock storage bag. I keep mine in the fridge and just bring it out to warm to room temperature before using it. The only way I can describe how the gumpaste should feel is you should be able to pinch the full amount of gumpaste with your thumb and fingers and not have the paste stick to you. If it sticks to your fingers it is too soft and you need to knead in a bit more powdered sugar. If it feels hard and not pliable you can knead it a small amount of Cricso, just a dab or two, knead until it feels pliable. I would also suggest you invest in Nic's book "A Potpourri of flowers" it has 15 flowers with color photos, instructions and some patterns. Different flowers need to be rolled thinner, some thicker. For instance a Tulip or Magnolia has thicker petals than say a Sweetpea or Freesia. Thinning on the foam pad with a metal ball tool is really only meant to thin the edges or ruffle them.
Thanks Shirley.. I think my GP needs more PS. When you thin or "soften the edges.. how close to the edge do you go? I found that when I thinned the edges you could see a line all around. Perhaps I an thinning it too much.. I'll get the hang of it. I am more concerned with my daisies since I need them for next week. Thanks again for all of your help.
Shirley, do you recommend this over his other books?
How thin? Well, I can't watch you doing them so can only guess you may be applying too much pressure. On a longer pointed petal like a daisy, try holding the metal ball like a pencil, with the ball half on the edge of the petal and half on the foam cel pad. start at the top right side and go all the way down to the pointed tip, stop and go back up to the top left side and do the same thing, stop at the point of the petal. If you are rolling the paste thin enough before cutting your daisy you may not even need to thin the edges. I use the plunger type cutter which veins the flower as it cuts it. If you don't have that type use either a Dresden tool or the dull edge of a butter knife and make a line from the top to the bottom of each petal directly through the center. You want an indentation but don't press too hard or you will cut through the petal.
As for the petals not cupping up, if you don't have a flower former here is what you can do. Use a drinking glass, take a square of foil wrap just large enough to fit over the mouth of the glass and about halfway down the sides. Mold the center of the foil wrap over a rounded object, something like a tennis ball or an orange. Lay the foil over the glass with the cup shape fitting inside the glass, smooth the foil down tightly around the sides. While your flower is still fairly fresh, stick the wire directly into the center of the foil and let the flower settle in, rearrange any petals that may fold or twist out of shape. Let the flower dry in this shape for at least a few hours, overnight is even better. The next day loosen the foil from the sides of the glass and carefully lift it up from both sides until it is free of the glass. Turn the flower over into the palm of your hand and slide it away by pulling the foil off from the flowers wired stem. Carefully lay the flower petal side down on a piece of paper towel to air dry on the back. When it is completely dry it is ready to dust with petal dust and steam to set the color. If you want your petal more closed as in a bud, make a large hook in the end of the wire, stick it into the edge of a block of styrofoam, move the foam to the edge of your table or countertop, weight the center of the foam with a can of soup or something heavy enough to keep it from tipping over. Suspend your flower so it is hanging free in midair and not touching the table top.
I recommend the Potpourri book over his other books only because it has nothing but gumpaste flowers. If you want to learn other techniques of decorating his other books are very good as well.
I think you are right.. I think I was pressing too hard. Thank you SO much for all of your help.. I will definitely have to order that book.
I don't think it is sad at all Jeanne, very cute for a first try. You might want to roll the paste a bit thinner and if you want the petals to cup up as you mentioned, try that foil wrap in the drinking glass, it works well if the flower is still soft. And if you want to separate the two layers of petals so the top petals stand up a bit more than the bottom. Cut little tiny squares of a soft foam like they use it packing cases. While the paste is still soft, lift each petal of the top flower one at a time and slip a little square of foam under each petal, leave it until the flower is completely dry and then carefully pull out each piece of foam with a pair of tweezers.
The other thing I noticed is you can see the shiny glue or water you used to attach the center. If you were going to dust the flower with petal dust that spot would not accept the color. You have to be careful and just use as little glue as possible for that reason.
Yeah.. this was just a practice one and the water wasn't even dry yet.. LOL I just put it on with my finger.. not the best method, but I was impatient.. .
Not HORRIBLE for a first try.. but I am not satisfied. I'll keep at it though. Now if I could just get ruffling down.. grrrrrr. It's been elusive. my GP just doesn't want to ruffle. I think it might be that it's too thick.. that and my GP consistency isn't exactly right. I think I am going to grab some of the wilton ready made stuff just to see what it feels like. I think the stuff I made (CK products mix) is too sticky.. I have been playing with it.. but I have no idea what it's supposed to feel like. I did find a cake store near me and they have an advanced decorating class that does GP flowers.. I think I'll enroll..
Thanks again Shirley for all of your help.. I will be spending many sleepless nights getting this right.. and them making 12 or so nicer ones for my cake.
You're welcome Jeanne. It could very well be your gumpaste, I have never used pre-made gumpaste. I use Nic Lodge's Tylose recipe and it works very well for me.
Love those daisies Janine!! And thank you Shirley for sharing your expertise with us!! What would we do without you???
Thanks again Shirley. I'll run out to the cake store tomorrow and see if they have tylose. Is there anything you can use in place of it if they don't have it? I want to think I saw some there, but I am not 100%.