Gp Flowers...how Hard Can It Be?

Decorating By whisperingmadcow Updated 23 Aug 2009 , 2:48pm by mmdiez10

whisperingmadcow Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 10:54pm
post #1 of 16

There is only one cake shop in town that offers special classes (other then michaels that only offers wilton classes). Its about an hour from my house. I noticed that they were going to be teaching a 3 part class on gumpaste flowers, set up like the wilton classes in that there are four classes in a course. Each class is $65 plus supplies. So when I went in today to sign up, I asked to see the supply list first. I would have to have spent $50-75 on just supplies which would have made the class something like $120 dollars. Thats alot of money for me!

So I guess my question is would it be worth it? Are gum paste flowers something I can teach myself without needed to pay someone to show me or would it just have been better to take the dang class? At this point I would have to wait until next year to take the class.

I am sort of kicking myself for not signing up, but on the same hand thats alot of money!

15 replies
pattycakesnj Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 11:09pm
post #2 of 16

If you buy the wilton gumpaste flower kit, they have easy to follow instructions. Also, I have a lot of cutters from Scott Clark Woolley and his book, and many of the flowers are easy enough to do. That said, I took the Wilton gumpaste flower class and it wasn't great but sort of helpful (plus it was only $15), depends on the teacher. At least it wasn't a lot of money so it was worth the $15. HTH

icer101 Posted 22 Aug 2009 , 11:21pm
post #3 of 16

i teach the wilton gumpaste class at times at michaels. it is 45 dollars for 4 lesssons. plus supplies. the book is little out of date. so i bring any flower up to date that i teach them. like no wires showing, etc... mexican hat,etc.. and dusting them.. and i tell things that i have learned going to outside classes for 13 years. they really like that.. they go away after 4 lessons.. knowing a lot of info.. hth... so... if a teacher knows alot.... she will share it. if she is new at it.. then that is different..

Jeff_Arnett Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:28am
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperingmadcow

There is only one cake shop in town that offers special classes (other then michaels that only offers wilton classes). Its about an hour from my house. I noticed that they were going to be teaching a 3 part class on gumpaste flowers, set up like the wilton classes in that there are four classes in a course. Each class is $65 plus supplies. So when I went in today to sign up, I asked to see the supply list first. I would have to have spent $50-75 on just supplies which would have made the class something like $120 dollars. Thats alot of money for me!

So I guess my question is would it be worth it? Are gum paste flowers something I can teach myself without needed to pay someone to show me or would it just have been better to take the dang class? At this point I would have to wait until next year to take the class.

I am sort of kicking myself for not signing up, but on the same hand thats alot of money!




I've never had a lesson in my life....self taught from books....but I think I've done pretty good. You can see some of my flowers at www.webshots.com by searching "jsarnett".

The tools do run into money depending on how many flowers you want to learn and what quality cutters you want to invest in.

If I were a beginner....I would get the Wilton kit....plastic cutters but not really expensive. I would also invest in a set of all in one rose cutters [the kind that has five petals in a circle]...beside roses, you can make several other flowers with these.

If your interest and, of course, a market in your area, grows, you can buy a few more items along when you can....that's how I built an extensive collection over the years.

For instance, I'd be lost without my pasta machine to roll the paste out thin....but I worked just fine without one, rolling by hand instead, for a couple years when I first started learning.

As to the paste itself...everyone has a preference as to brand [pre-made] or recipe. I don't like the Wilton mix at all....to me it is not white and never dries hard.

I like the recipe Nicholas Lodge uses.....though those little containers of tylose are expensive. Tylose is a brand name for CMC [carboxymethyl cellulose], a man-made gum.

If you go on eBay and search for carboxymethyl cellulose, you can generally get a pound or so for around $20....and that will make LOTS of paste!

You can also find good deals on eBay on cutters and vieners and so on...though there are many flowers that you don't even need cutters for....you just have to be creative!

Good luck....I think you will find the gum paste world very addicting!

If you go to www.youtube.com and search for things such as "gum paste roses" you will find a number of great tutorials/demonstration that can be very helpful....and they won't cost you a dime!

Lisaa1996 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:46am
post #5 of 16

I am completely self-taught too! I bought the flower kit from Wilton along with the book that came with it. It was very easy to follow and learn the basics. There are also alot of free tutorials online. I would love to someday take a class from one of the "Greats" but as far as a Wilton course, you can probably save the money and teach yourself.

Musings9 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:59am
post #6 of 16

There are so many free alternatives to the Wilton courses, I'd check those out first. YouTube is a great place to start.

playingwithsugar Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 3:16am
post #7 of 16

My opinion - it depends on the kind of learner you are. If you are the type who can follow written directions, then by all means, go for it.

I am a visual-kinetic learner, which means it's easiest for me to do the task while the instructor is actually demonstrating the technique. Therefore, it's best for me to take a class or use a video that I can backtrack on if I need to review the step before doing it.

Either way, it takes a lot of patience at first. What disturbs me most when I'm in class is the type of person who whines because they didn't get it the first time. Heck, isn't that what you're in class for, so the teacher can help you if you don't get the idea right away? If you can accept that things may not go smoothly at first, and that it will take practice, then you can teach yourself anything.

Good luck, and keep us posted as to your progress.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

paula19 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 11:42am
post #8 of 16

what gumpaste flowers do they teach you to do in the wilton classes?

Uniqueask Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 12:45pm
post #9 of 16

Go to youtube and search tonedna she has great gumpaste tutorials

whisperingmadcow Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 1:18pm
post #10 of 16

Thanks for the advise. I am a visual learner, but most times I can pick something up if I have detailed pictures to go by. I feel a little better about skipping the class now and I will try to go it on my own first.

Anyone have any books they can recommend?

Narie Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 1:28pm
post #11 of 16

At present teach your self. Next year ask what flowers are being taught and ask if you can see examples of the instructors work. You will quickly know if she has something to teach that you want to learn.

MORSELSBYMARK Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 1:36pm
post #12 of 16

Pretty much self taught - youtube and the web are a big help. I have alot of Alan Dunn's books and took one class with him, but other than that - online, books, and the Nicholas Lodge DVDs are my best friends!

peg818 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:21pm
post #13 of 16

I think most of us are pretty much self taught. Although after learning the basics i have taken classes to help build on what i have already learned. Personally i would skip the wilton kit, if this is something you want to pursue invest in some quality equipment, it will help to cut down on your frustrations. The wilton book is so dated and the flowers look so fake, that you are better off looking up some of the tutorials online and working with those.

For basic equipment, you really don't need to take a second mortgage out on your house. I would start with the following.

A good ball tool (i prefer metal) about $10-$15
a smooth plastic place mat to roll your fondant on ($store)
a firm foam mat to smooth your petals on ($store, get a garden kneeling mat, or check for some of the fun foam stuff sometimes you can get a thick piece of that)
wire, I do spend for this but you can start with the cheap stuff at wall marts.
Then a good set of cutters/ veiners for the flower you want to make. $20 plus depending on brand and type.
gumpaste
paintbrushes and dusts.

By investing in the good cutters and veiners you won't have to reinvest later, so in the long run you will save some money.

First thing is to determine what flower you want to make, then look up the directions online and watch/read as much as you can. Then get the tools to play with.

raya_raya Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:22pm
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperingmadcow

Thanks for the advise. I am a visual learner, but most times I can pick something up if I have detailed pictures to go by. I feel a little better about skipping the class now and I will try to go it on my own first.

Anyone have any books they can recommend?



Alan Dunn: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1847731228/?tag=cakecentral-20
Scott Clark Woolley : http://www.cakesbydesign.cc/scott_clark_woolley.html
Those two books are really good . I made these flower following their instructions . http://raya1979.multiply.com/photos/album/12/12
http://raya1979.multiply.com/photos/album/10/10

PinkLisa Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:33pm
post #15 of 16

I found it helpful to take a few classes first just to get the technique down and then it's easy to teach yourself other flowers through books.

mmdiez10 Posted 23 Aug 2009 , 2:48pm
post #16 of 16

Don't beat yourself up about the class. You did the right thing. Try youtube to start getting familiar with techniques. Nicholas Lodge has excellent DVDs. I never took a class; just learned everything online. The three basic flowers you will make time and time again are: roses, calla lilies and stephanotis. If you only ever do these, you will still be able to make masterpiece cakes. Good luck.

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