Gumpaste Figures--Am I Taking Too Long?

Decorating By traci_doodle Updated 7 Mar 2012 , 7:17pm by traci_doodle

traci_doodle Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 1:34pm
post #1 of 9

I recently made some 2D figures for a Brown Bear, Brown Bear cake, but it took me 8 hours to make 3 figures! They were pretty detailed, with 4-7 different colors per figure and involved marbling colors, then cutting out several pieces with an exacto knife and putting them together. My question is, am I taking too long? I'd like to figure out how to price stuff like this for when I (someday) go into business, but it seems like I'd have to charge $30 apiece to make a decent profit, and that seems high. What do you think? Is that too long for the figures, or is $30 reasonable for an intricate 2D gumpaste figure?

The cake with figures is in my gallery:
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2283938/brown-bear-brown-bear-cakel

8 replies
helloheather Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 2:13pm
post #2 of 9

HI, I am not sure how long it is "suppose" to take but if it makes you feel better it took me 3.5 hours to make ONE 3D princess!!! You are at least not alone!

traci_doodle Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 2:49pm
post #3 of 9

Thanks, that actually does make me feel better. I always feel like I take so long; I'm glad I'm not the only one!

KoryAK Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 6:04pm
post #4 of 9

The quick answer is yes, that is too long.

If you were an employee somewhere, you could never spend that long. They key to speeding up though is easy: practice. If you had to replicate those figures today I'd bet you money you could do it in 2/3 the time just because you already have your brain wrapped around it. The more you do the faster you will get, don't worry icon_smile.gif

KoryAK Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 6:06pm
post #5 of 9

And here's a trick for doing figures like that (which look great, BTW): copy (or trace on parchment) the photo out of the book, lay it over your fondant, trace over it with a pen or pointy tool to imprint it on the fondant, remove the paper, cut the shape. Waaay faster than eyeballing it icon_smile.gif

cakelady2266 Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 6:48pm
post #6 of 9

Here is how I cut out a lot of stuff. I use a printer or copy machine and make a couple copies (don't cut them out) then I lay the entire piece of paper of my fondant and cut them out with a sharp xacto knife. If you want to add dimension use food markers for shading. For something like the figures you did 2D, cut out another fondant leg/wing/head using one of the copies you printed out and lay on top of the solid piece. You can adhere cut pieces together with a tiny bit of water before drying or with melted white or colored chocolate after they have dried.

You can have things cut out in no time. Give it a try.

traci_doodle Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 6:56pm
post #7 of 9

I actually did cut them out using a paper template! Part of what took so long, though, was having to knead so many different colors and then marbling them together. And I was trying to figure out how to manipulate the fondant to look the way I wanted. There was some trial and error. I guess I just need to practice more. I'd love to get faster!

cakelady2266 Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 7:08pm
post #8 of 9

You will get faster don't worry. Marbling does take time, but invest in some food safe markers they are great to do shading and effects. If you don't have one a $30 pasta machine is great tool for getting fondant thin and even, saves your back, neck and arms.

traci_doodle Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 7:17pm
post #9 of 9

I do have a pasta roller, but I don't have food safe markers. That's a great idea! I'll have to get those for next time; it sounds so much faster than what I did! Although I must say, I love how the horse's mane came out. I don't think you can do that with marker.

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