I have tried both the ready made gumpaste, Wilton gum-tex mixture, gumpaste recipes and nothing has worked. Each of the results were the same, the mix looked good and the texture felt right but when I try shaping into flowers the results look terrible, too dry, it cracks, etc..
Why do so many use gumpaste vs fondant to make flowers/cutouts? etc.
Thank you for your input...
Sorry to hear about your troubles with gumpaste. Have you considered doing a 50/50 mix of gumpaste and fondant? To do this you can just add some Tylose powder to your fondant and this will help it become more like gumpaste.
People use gumpaste for flowers, etc because not only does it harden much better than fondant, it also is more pliable and stretchable.
Hope that helps
You have to work quickly with gumpaste as it dries out faster then fondant. Always keep your gumpaste sealed up tight in a plastic bag with all the air squeezed out or wrapped in plastic and then stored in a plastic baggie. Also you don't want to use to much cornstarch when rolling out as this will dry the gumpaste out faster. Keep any gumpaste you are not working with at the moment covered too. If you cut out several pieces at a time, keep them under a piece of plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.
How are you working with the gum paste? I had trouble at first, too when I was working with it in the wrong way. I realized gum paste works best with a very light shortening rub on your work surface and rolling pin and only using confectioner's sugar/corn starch when absolutely necessary. Gum paste dries out very quickly and becomes difficult to work with unless it is kept moist and pliable. That is obtained by use of the shortening. I even add a tiny bit of shortening often in each small bit of gum paste I am about to use. Oh, and another thing, don't have more than a golf ball size amount out to work with at a time and make sure to lightly grease any left over amounts kneading it quickly back into a ball and tightly wrapping it up in plastic wrap while you work with what you have cut out. HTH
You use gumpaste for flowers because you can roll gumpaste much much thinner than you can fondant. It's elasticity let's it remain workable when it's only paper thin. Fondant would just not remain workable. And when making thin flower petals, you need them to dry and set up very quickly so that they will hold their shape instead of just flopping over, as fondant will do.
I think you should try different recipes. Nicholas Loge's recipe is one of the ones with a good reputation. It stays moist and pliable long enough to work with and I never get dry cracked edges like I've gotten with other recipes and brands.
How many flowers/petals are you cutting out at one time? What are you doing with the cut out flowers until you shaping them?
As has been stated you do have to work fast with gumpaste and you have to keep it stored inbetween uses. When learning I would cut out only a few petals/flowers at a time, and make sure you cover them, either with plastic wrap or under the flap of a practice board. This will help keep them softer while you are working on the other flowers.