I have yet to use gum paste, so I have a few questions. I have a cake due tomorrow morning @ 9am.
1. How long does it take to dry?
2. Color before or after sculpting?
3. How Fragile is it? (the piece will be standing on end)
4. Is there anything important I need to know about working with gumpaste?
Thanks for lending your experience!
I always color my fondanat and gumpaste before I work with it. As far as drying it all depends, some people I know wait a day, some people wait a few hours. As far as the piece standing it depends on what it is and how big (height) it is, some people use wire of some sort to give it a lil more support, or if you build it solid enough as long as it is not too tall it can hold, but u have to let it dry. Always keep it covered when you are not using it, if not it will dry out on you and it will be difficult to work with, at least that is from my experience. I am not an expert, but these are the basics that I know. If you are going to "paint" the character or design after sculpting then that is different, but if you mean one color and that is it, then before. Good luck! Sincerely, Veronica
PS These are the things I know there are people who do things totally different.
1. Well, it takes thick pieces longer to dry, maybe two days. Thin ones maybe a few hours.
2. color before. If making eyes, nose, etc., after.
3. depending how thin it's rolled out.
4. I don't think there's anything important about it that I can think of right now.
Veronica is right. You can either paint it with mix of lemon extract and dust colors or you can color it with gel before hand. Use cornstarch if you do because the gel will make it sticky.
On your work surface use crisco. Use a ziploc to store the paste your not working with and piece as you make them. Use gum glue which is a mix of tylose and warm water to glue pieces together.
You can use toothpicks or wire to attach pieces like arms, legs, etc. Drying time will depend on how thick the piece is. Usually a few days for thick pieces, flowers that have thin petals a few hours.
If you work with fondant, you will find gumpaste to be a lot like the Wilton fondant. Its stiffer than a regular fondant and I find its a lot easier to work with.
Add wire to the antenna to keep it from breaking/moving, like Veronica suggested in her reply.
Yah, and you might want to use something to prop up the part that flips until the gumpaste dries. I would use a small snake of gumpaste to join the two pieces and make sure you use plenty of gum glue. Then prop up and let dry. If you still have problems, you can make three L shape wires and insert on either end and one in the middle for added support.