For all your gumpaste flower professionals. I am interested in learning the art of making gumpaste flowers. I have signed up for the wilton fondant and gumpaste course. I am a little impatient so I want to get my hands into it to become a little more familiar with it before the class begins next week. What type of flower is the best to begin with? Does anyone know what is taught in the course? Also what is the best basic materials to have other than what is included in the kit, ie coloring petal colors, cutters? Thanks in advance.
In MHO It's hard to 'get started' when you don't have any basis to go on. I guess that's because nothing made any sense to me until I went to class.
What Wilton teaches and recommends is totally different from what others on this site will tell you. That's because (most likely) the instructor will not know anything BUT Wilton. Once you have that info under your belt then what others suggest will be understandable and helpful. JMHO
others may disagree, but I think if you are serious about gumpaste work I wouldn't even waste my time or money on wilton supplies. I think they are horrible. I think you're bertter off using videos put out by nic Lodge than taking wilton classes. even better if y can go to his school in Atlanta occasionally. Just my 2 cents.
I am new to gumpaste flowers also, in fact I just took Wilton 4 in June. The flowers they teach are the daisy (my favorite flower from the course it is so easy), the carnation and the fantasy flower. If I were you I would wait until after the course just so you have some experience first (there are a lot of little tips you will learn in class that are very basic but still very useful). Here are the flower I would suggest after you take the class:
The first flower I made after my class was a calla lily I used tonedna1's tutorial which was very easy and I already had all the essential tools. Here are the links to her tutorial and my first calla lily photo:
There is more fondant than gumpaste in the course you are talking about. You will learn the gumpaste daisy and carnation. And a silly thing called a "fantasy flower". I agree with another poster....get a Nick Lodge video....they are great.
I still use my Wilton gum paste stuff I bought a generation ago. Those green little cutters are pretty user friendly with the rounded tops so you don't cut your fingers off like some of the fancy schmancy gum paste cutters & stuff.
I mean figure cutting a jillion blossoms of something--you wanna use a steel cutter with the same clean edges on both sides or the ones with the rounded edge?? Plus those Wilton ones have a beveled cutter edge so it cuts cleaner too.
I mean a ton of Wilton stuff is below par and if you continue in gum paste flowers you will buy other products form Nick and lots of people and places but Wilton makes a great starter set. Now my Wilton roller ball had a ragged seam down the middle but other than that!!
Now you can certainly spend tidy fortunes on acquiring allll the cutters and veiners and this and that but don't discount the Wilton stuff for a beginner. I think it's invaluable.
I agree with jmt1714. Wilton's gumpaste stinks, its not pliable at all and your never going to achieve an effect that you want to.
Even if you cant go to Atlanta, there are videos and books out there that can teach you a hell of a lot better than Wilton. And she's right that the teacher will probably not know anything but Wilton. Just for an example, my friend Nancy just took a course with Wilton for fondant. The teacher told the students that you put the dowl in the center of the cake and whatever was sticking out from the top, you cover it up with a flower! So Nancy told her that it made more sense to measure first and if it was still too long to take it out and cut it to size. Now that is something simple that every decorator should know and she didnt. There was some other examples also where the teacher didnt know her you know what from her elbow. Now Im not saying every teacher is like that though.
But to learn how to do a simple rose you can go to wildflowersbylori.com and the video on there shows you how to make a simple rose (it was an episode of Sugar Rush). I also suggest her classes. Well worth the money.
But I think you'll be wasting your money with Wilton.
For clarity's sake I meant the Wilton tools are good for the most part.
I agree with k8memphis, it's better to try out the Wilton stuff first. Make sure it's what you really want to learn and not just something that seems really cool to start but you lose interest in after a couple months. If you find you really like it and want to know more, then move on to different things and more high end equipment.
I do agree with others about the course not being super useful. The first week of class was pretty useless, and I probably won't use many of the techniques other than the daisy, swag/drape, and a few other things, but I still think it is a great place to start and learn basic skills. I know my teacher was really helpful to me, she was totally open to different ideas and often taught things slightly different from the book.
Gumpaste flowers can be an expensive venture. Taking the Wilton course will be an inexpensive beginning to learn some basics and then decide if you want to persue it further. Wilton instructors may or may not be personally well versed in gumpaste, but are there to teach you the course materials as Wilton wrote them. Some Wilton instructors are extremely talented as decorators.. Tonedna is certainly among them..
Don't forget the articles section right here on CC. I think there's at least 5 articles with pictures on how to make certain gumpaste flowers.
i personally think the wilton tools are horrible too. no where near the quality I get elsewhere.
I got the Nicholas Lodge DVD's and they are great. The Wilton set is crappy but real gumpaste tools are expensive so plan to invest some money.
When it comes to gumpaste tools, I have tried the Wilton and Ateco, and was not happy with either brand. Both have seams where the plastic was press-molded, and those seams always leave creases or scratches in the paste.
If you are looking for a great set of tools, go with PME or FMM. They are imported from UK, and more expensive, but the quality is so much better.
I agree that the cutters can get expensive but you might as well get something worth buying. You dont achieve the results you need to with Wilton cutters and frankly, that discouraged me in the beginning. I thought they were too impossible to make!
So I started watching FN and seen that it really can be easy if you buy the right set of equipment.
With the Wilton cutters you might as well just go to the toy section and buy the Playdoh kids sets. Their the same thing!
I don't think it's because the instructor only knows Wilton, but more that he/she is a Wilton instructor and that is the job....to show you the Wilton way with Wilton products.
I, too, believe that Wilton products and instructions are an excellent starting point. They give you a foundation to build on using other techniques and products aaaaaaaaaaaand for the beginner are priced adequately.
If you invest in one tool.. get yourself a metal ball tool. They are not expensive, and they work TONS better than the plastic ones Everything else you can get in time.
I'm tempted to say forget the Wilton class too.. but it can be a good place to start. I am not one to wait for a class so I just bought some stuff and jumped right in and skipped classes (though if I could get to Atlanta for a class with Nic Lodge or to New York for a class with Scott Clark Woolley or overseas to jsut touch Alan Dunn's hands.. LOL.. I would in a heartbeat). It's not complicated.. it just takes patience and a willingness to flubb up and not get frustrated. If you are a moticated self learner you could pick up books and figire it out on your own.. but sometimes it's easier to watch someone and do it in a class setting and the Wilton classes do teach some fundamentals.
Hey, here's your first lesson.
When you use glue or egg white on your wire (cloth/paper covered florist wire) you only want to moisten the wire.
So I use egg white and I dip the wire in and wipe it off to remove the excess and leave the wire moistened--makes a world of difference in drying time and your stuff doesn't slip off the wire.
Learned that the very very hard and slippery way.
Here's another one--you can make almost any size flower with the same cutter by rolling a thicker piece of paste, cut it then you can re-roll the flower and viola a larger size.
And I really like to re-cycle slightly used flowers by dipping them in colored alcohol (liquid) making a different color out of them----only do this on very totally dry flowers. Have your hair dryer handy to blow them dry.
Get plungers for the little blossoms. Those are fun to do.
You can also use the same cutters for many different things. Rose petal cutters are infinitely useful for making leaves, hibiscus (just elongate the point with your ball tool), poppies, making barely opened buds of many many flowers.. just to name a few.
Thank you all for your imput. I am going to do some research on the Nic Lodge videos, I live oversees and I am not sure if they will send the videos here. By the way where is Alan Dunn located?
Scott doesn't teach anymore. You can buy his videos via his website
Alan Dunn lives in England.
Y'know what? My business Manager's name is Alan Dunn!!!
(He does not make flowers : )
But I just now realized the sameness of the names-ess.
(little bit of Seusness there no extra charge : )