Hi all! Love everything CAKE, but I work three jobs and rarely get to practice my hobby. I want to try to make some gum paste flowers, but I'm confused because it seems like there are like 50 starter sets. Can anyone advise? Ateco has this that looks like Wilton starter kit. Preference? Do both have what you would call the essential starter tools? I like Ateco better but don't want to miss out on any essential starter items. I know I'll need one to start.
Wilton 10 piece - http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-1907-1107-Gum-Paste-Modeling-Storage/dp/B00175RMF8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1363235412&sr=8-2&keywords=gum+paste+kit
Ateco 9 pice http://www.amazon.com/Ateco-9-Piece-Shape-Sculpting-Tool/dp/B001BNRJD6/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1363235412&sr=8-16&keywords=gum+paste+kit
Then, there are even more flower starter sets, which is where it gets confusing for someone who knows NOTHING about it! I don't want overlap, obviously, but wow the choices. Any insight???
I see this Wilton flower set http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=gum+paste+flower+kit&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Agum+paste+flower+kit
And this one, apparently for 4th class, which I won't be taking http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-2116-115-Paste-Flowers-Decorating/dp/B006UKNWQS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1363235621&sr=8-3&keywords=gum+paste+flower+kit
AND this one, for 3rd class that looks pretty similar to the one above it??? http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Gum-Paste-Fondant-Student/dp/B003LN9WF2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1363235621&sr=8-2&keywords=gum+paste+flower+kit
Any experienced cakers want to help this newbie out? I read the wilton discuss threads about it, and it seems THEIR general consensus is that the 4th class set has some overlap, but they all already own a lot of this, so that doesn't help me choose! Any insight is so apprciated! TIA!
Kits are more expensive and often have items you may never use. In the kits I didn't see a smooth roller or smooth board to roll out the gum paste in order to use cutters. A cardboard cake circle will not work for rolling out gum paste. I started out years ago by taking a Wilton basic flower class on a couple of Saturdays that included an instruction book. That was okay. However, I would suggest Google for a cake supply shop in your area. Often they have classes and you can buy better quality tools individually and buy just what you need for less.
Basics: smooth acrylic rolling pen about 7 inches long (Check Michael's or Hobby Lobby in their clay sculpting dept. It costs about $8. A hard smooth board to roll the paste on. Could try a smooth vinyl placemat that can be wiped off. Just put a piece of gripper under it to keep it from sliding. Next, a metal ball tool rather than a plastic one because the plastic one has a seam that can show on the gumpaste. I prefer the metal ball also because it is a little bit heavier and glides easy on the edges of the paste. Finally, pick out cutters for flowers you can learn quickly such as the daisy, rose, carnation, calla lily. These basic supplies will be less than any starter kit. Be sure to watch Edna de la Cruz on You Tube she is a wonderful cake decorate and shows how to make various flowers. Since you are working having to work 3 jobs, I would hate for you to waste any money. Making gumpaste flowers can quickly add up to be a very expensive hobby.Ask me how I know! Good Luck!
AThank you so much for taking time to reply! Great detailed response and tips about where to start for easier flowers. I really appreciate your time! They just sell the kits and it looks like you really only need a few items in it based on what you're saying.
AAnyone else have additional suggestions?
Here is a thread on the Wilton forum with a lot of links to free online resources. With these resources you can get a full education on gum paste flowers and figures. I suggest you watch at least 10 of the videos BEFORE purchasing anything. Make notes as you watch and see what THEY use in the videos. After about 10 videos, you will begin to see the same tools used over and over and over.
No kit is ever going to be "complete". When I was learning all of this, I had access to the Wilton Course 4 and found it to be very good. I've also taken courses from famous teachers. But, guess what? I didn't "learn it all" from one course or one teacher or one book. Gum paste flower skills come with practice and trying various techniques. Since I was new, I over-bought a LOT of tools and paid a LOT of money that I NOW know I didn't really need. Oops....
Here is the link to the thread with many tutorials. The information is broken down into 3 skill levels: Basic, Medium, and Advanced.
How-To tutorials/videos for Cake Decorators
I'd recommend the following materials if you have zero tools now. If possible, purchase with 40%-50% off coupons at craft stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.
Wilton 1907-1107 Set of 10 Gum-Paste Modeling Tools with Storage Case
Gum Paste Flower Cutter Set
Wilton Flower Impression Set
Fondant Shaping Foam Set
9 in. Fondant Roller
Ready-To-Use Gum Paste
Floral wire, Green, in 24 gauge
Floral tape: Green
Color Stamen Set
Use a clean nylon knee sock as your powdered sugar/cornstarch "poof"
Use clean, cardboard, apple box inserts for shapers
Use any number of things to hang your flowers as they dry.
Holy cow. I just realized my long reply I posted never actually went through. I have no idea. But thank you both SO very much!!! Your responses were a huge help to me! I saved 40% off coupons and got the essentials, and I can't wait to try some flowers this weekend or next. From someone who knows NOTHING about the flowers, these were both SUCH helpful answers. THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH for taking the time to post links, comment, etc. I realllllllllly appreciate it!!
You are very welcome. We look forward to seeing some pictures of those flowers!