I am starting the planning and practicing phase of a wedding cake and I need some help with making flowers. She is using several flowers that she wants on the cake - hydrangeas, blue delphinium, pink lisanthus, and yellow ranaculus. I think for the hydrangea I will do apple blossom clusters, but I am not sure about making the others. Any ideas? Would it be okay to do the flowers using different mediums? I was thinking hydrangeas, blue delphinium in royal icing but not sure if I could do the pink and yellow flowers in royal icing? Can't wait to get some experts opinions and advice!!
I am by far...NOT an expert, but I will answer you... If it were me...I would go with gumpaste flowers. I don't know how much experience you have, but I have found them to be harder than they look. I would definitely be looking online and searching down a really good book, dvd, or teacher... Sugarflowers here on CC has a dvd that I have heard is really good...
Best of luck,
I agree with plbennet about going with gumpaste. Mixing the two mediums will probably not get you the results that you would want. Gumpaste is more delicate while royal is much heavier and has a grainy look.
I don't know what cutters you have, but you could probably make all of the flowers with some basic cutters.
For the lisianthus and the delphinium you could use cutters for orchids. For the lisianthus, once the petal is cut, use a small ball tool to pull the point out on the petal. Do the same with the hydrangea to get the point. These flowers are going to have to be made with fine wire so that you can assemble them and adjust them to give them more life.
The ranunculus is much a like a rose but with many, many more petals. The petals also do not flare out like roses. They either cup inward or are fairly straight up. The flower is much like a bloomin' onion appetizer in shape. They are also more ruffled at the edge than roses.
When you getting your gumpaste ready, I find it works better to make a very light base color and brush the color onto the petals after they have been veined (textured). I like to brush on the color while the petals are still soft. This is a personal choice. However, for me, dusting small flowers after they have dried works better.
Those are some beautiful flowers. I can't wait to see yours. Be sure to post your photos. I don't always get on the computer, so please PM me when you do.
I have a little advice for you too, although I am not a flower-expert either LOL. I do make quite a few gumpaste flowers. Some of them are in my photos. Most of them weren't good enough to warrant a photo, but I am practicing.
I just wanted to say that the flowers she chose are gorgeous, however, if you are not used to working in gumpaste, they might be rather difficult! I would check out books and resources from the following:
Scott Woolley Clark
Alan Dunn has worked on three excellent gumpaste books (maybe more?) that I own. One is exotic flowers, one is dedicated to different types of roses, and one is just ordinary flowers. I believe Scott Woolley Clark has done some tutorials on hydrangeas, some of which may be free downloads at his website, so google him for sure.
If you do attempt to do these flowers, make sure you charge accordingly, expect to put quite a bit of time and effort into getting them right, since some of them have a lot of petals and each one is formed, veined, thinned individually, and also make sure you plan to do the flowers well in advance. Give yourself a month or two, unless you are a stay-at-home baker or fulltime baker and can devote a solid block of time to each flower.
I also suggest working on each type of flower at one time, in a step by step order. Do all the petals, then do all the stamens, then tape them all at the same time, etc... I find this has helped me a lot.
Heat up a tea kettle and get a fine steam going on high.
Make sure you steam each petal or flower for 1-2 seconds in steam to help set the dust onto each petal. It makes a BIG difference and you do not need confectioner's glaze for flowers if you do this. Plus confectioner's glaze is very shiny and isn't as "natural" looking on most petals. Only some leaves are very wazy looking like ivy. For most petals and flowers, and leaves all you need is a little bit of steam.
Color and shopping lists:
My last bit of advice is plan very well in terms of colors. Buy your petal dusts in the right colors, make planning sheets or shopping lists and buy them all at once so you can streamline your flower assembly process.
I wish you the best of luck an I am sure your flowers will be beautiful!
Wow!! I think these posts are going to help me greatly!! I appreciate all y'alls help. I will be sure to post photos once I get the cake done. I think I am going to go get one of those gumpase flower kits - do y'all think that would be my best bet for getting cutters? I haven't ever worked with gumpaste so I see a lot of practice in my future. I do flowers out of buttercream or royal icing pretty well (compared to other things) so hopefully I can get this right. I am doing the wedding cake at cost for a friend I work with since I am fairly new so I hope I can give them a cake they can be proud of. I will go on hunt for books that may help ASAP!!