Gumpaste Flower Questions.

Decorating By howboutbake Updated 14 Feb 2014 , 1:14pm by mintbelly

howboutbake Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 12:44am
post #1 of 16

AI really want to get into making lifelike gumpaste flowers, but I don't quite know where to start!

I am most interested in making the big beauties, like cabbage roses, magnolias, peonies, gardenias, poppy etc. etc., but also a few smaller ones like hydrangea.

1) What would you consider to be your most versatile specialty cutters for these types?

2) Should I purchase a veiner? If so, which ones have you found to be the most effective and versatile?

3) Is a groove board necessary? If not, do they save you time and frustration?

4) Formers- what types do you use?

5) Are all gumpastes created equal? Can I get away with using wilton gum text or should I make the effort to order some tylose?

I should add that I do own the wilton gumpaste kit with the tools and all those green cutters, but they seem to make the flowers look dated. I also have a modelling tool kit and amazing mold putty :)

I live in Atlantic Canada, and I do not have access to good cake supply shops, only Michaels. When I go to shop online, I have had a hard time finding a place to buy specialty cutters that aren't exorbitantly priced when you add shipping and duty to them!

Any comments and opinions are greatly appreciated!

Heather

15 replies
thecakewitch Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 1:12am
post #2 of 16

1. The teardrop or rose cutter. 

2. Not necessary for some flowers.

3. Yes, for the wires. Or you can opt for no wire like I did several years a go.

4. Egg carton, fruit trays, cupcake pans are alternatives.

5. I make my own. I can't roll Wilton's thin enough for me.

 

Since you already have the Wilton green cutters, use it. Make do with what you have, unless you have money to spend. There are a lot of tutorials on You Tube or buy some Craftsy classes.

MBalaska Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 1:32am
post #3 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by thecakewitch 
 

There are a lot of tutorials on You Tube or buy some Craftsy classes.

 

Thecakewitch is right on target. a forum answer will only point you in the right directions to get the tutorials that you need.

 

Heather the shipping high cost issue is the same in Alaska USA, but some things are worth it.

sweettooth101 Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 2:12am
post #4 of 16

thecake witch is right you will find a lot of things around the house to use as formers. I use a lot of tin foil it holds well.I like to use tylose when I make my gumpaste, I have found that the flowers hold better in humidity.

I had posted a tutorial on how to make inexpensive cutters, hth.

 

http://cakecentral.com/a/inexpensive-cutters-roses-peony-calla-lily

Sassyzan Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 2:14am
post #5 of 16

AGet yourself some petal dusts. That adds real dimension and a professional look that you just can't get any other way. You can get away with. It buying much if you're willing to get creative and improvise. Take note of anything textured you find in your kitchen. You can do a LOT with a sharp blade and a toothpick.

Look up Elaine macgregor on YouTube. She does a lot with very simple tools. Her videos are from an old tv show, but her techniques are excellent.

Eta: I like Wilton's remade gumpaste. It works fine for me. I have made it from a mix and it seems a bit too wet for me. I have not made it from scratch yet with egg whites and tylose.

howboutbake Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 3:00am
post #6 of 16

Thanks for the replies thecakewitch, MBalaska, sweettooth101, and sassyzan!! 

 

Excellent information! I feel better about not having *all* of the tools right now.  I'm one of those people who takes forever setting everything up just right before I begin anything and I must have the 'proper' equipment yadayadayada

 

I think the medical profession calls it OCD! 8O:lol: 

 

Here's to trying out gumpaste and conquering strange idiosyncrasies! hehe 

howboutbake Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 3:02am
post #7 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sassyzan 

Get yourself some petal dusts. That adds real dimension and a professional look that you just can't get any other way. You can get away with. 

 

Is non-toxic chalk another option? I remember seeing somewhere that chalks were used for dust.  I'm not selling or anything 

Sassyzan Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 3:05am
post #8 of 16

AYes, artist's chalk pastels supposedly work. I have not used them myself. Considering the petal dusts are not edible anyway, I don't think chalk is any worse! Some say it's actually the same stuff. You can grate the chalk through a metal mesh sieve or a tea strainer.

costumeczar Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 3:14am
post #9 of 16

I wouldn't use a groove board if you paid me...Well, maybe if you paid me. I wire petals this way, ti's faster: http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/03/wiring-gumpaste-quick-way.html

 

A poppy veiner is a good all-purpose veiner for most flower petals. Some petals don't really need any veining, the effort that it takes really isn't worth the result. A rose petal veiner is good to have, and a parrot tulip veiner is good for peonies and other large ruffly petals.

FlourPots Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 3:28am
post #10 of 16

Here's an old thread about chalks...

 

Excellent info and even a photo of the brand to buy: http://cakecentral.com/t/684448/how-do-i-find-the-right-color

sugarflorist Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 5:23am
post #11 of 16

i make lots of flowers. if you are just starting out then i recommend books by Alan Dunn

(ultimate collection of cake decorating) and (sugar flower skills) 

 

the sugar flower skills is best as the other book assumes prior knowledge

 

i do not use gum paste it is not fine enough for realistic flowers - you really need flower paste or petal paste. if you can not find it where you are both of the books i have suggested have good recipes in. I am not keen on tylose based paste for flowers as i find it is not elastic enough and has a shorter working time than flower paste made with gumtrag. 

 

the tool kit is also listed in the book.

 

you can spend 100's on cutters and veiners but card templates work just as well until you build up you collection. it is worth buying a tool set of good quality as the cheaper sets tend to have seams that mess up your work.

 

I tend to make all my flowers in white and use dusting powders to colour them. the brand i use is called edable art. 

 

i buy good paint brushes too with stainless steel bristle holders (so no rusting when you clean them). they are also  guaranteed not to shed. they are squirrel hair - really soft and do not get static so lay down the colour really evenly. 

 

I agree with what others have said about on line tutorials. when i started my first flower was a rose. Being a technique based craft it is easy to get good results quite quickly. i think that the real skill is the colouring and the wiring into arrangements. the most frustrating bit of the craft is having to allow drying time between stages. 

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alan-Dunn-**********/397985860626?fref=ts this is alan dunns face book page it has some great photos.

howboutbake Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 10:51am
post #12 of 16

WOW! Thanks to everyone who posted! So much good information :)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

I wouldn't use a groove board if you paid me...Well, maybe if you paid me. I wire petals this way, ti's faster: http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/03/wiring-gumpaste-quick-way.html

 

A poppy veiner is a good all-purpose veiner for most flower petals. Some petals don't really need any veining, the effort that it takes really isn't worth the result. A rose petal veiner is good to have, and a parrot tulip veiner is good for peonies and other large ruffly petals.

LOVE your wiring technique! One less thing to buy! Great veiner advice. :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlourPots 
 

Here's an old thread about chalks...

 

Excellent info and even a photo of the brand to buy: http://cakecentral.com/t/684448/how-do-i-find-the-right-color

 

 

AWESOME! Thanks

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarflorist 
 

i do not use gum paste it is not fine enough for realistic flowers - you really need flower paste or petal paste. if you can not find it where you are both of the books i have suggested have good recipes in. I am not keen on tylose based paste for flowers as i find it is not elastic enough and has a shorter working time than flower paste made with gumtrag. 

 

 

you can spend 100's on cutters and veiners but card templates work just as well until you build up you collection. it is worth buying a tool set of good quality as the cheaper sets tend to have seams that mess up your work.

 

 

i buy good paint brushes too with stainless steel bristle holders (so no rusting when you clean them). they are also  guaranteed not to shed. they are squirrel hair - really soft and do not get static so lay down the colour really evenly. 

 

I'll definitely check Alan Dunn out! 

 

Now...where to find gum tragacanth...I have xanthan gum, guar gum, but no gum trag! 

 

All I can think of is James calling us squirrels... "made from the hair of the finest cake central decorators" :lol: 

LizzieAylett Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 12:13pm
post #13 of 16

Sorry if this seems like I'm hijacking this thread, but I'd like to ask a related question.  Can anyone recommend a good source for tutorials on how to arrange gumpaste flowers in a spray/display?  As in, what kinds of flowers go well, how long the wires should be, how to wire them together, where in a display the flowers would sit?  I had thought that perhaps looking up real flower arranging tutorials would be useful, but does anyone else have any suggestions?

costumeczar Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 12:44pm
post #14 of 16

A

Original message sent by LizzieAylett

Sorry if this seems like I'm hijacking this thread, but I'd like to ask a related question.  Can anyone recommend a good source for tutorials on how to arrange gumpaste flowers in a spray/display?  As in, what kinds of flowers go well, how long the wires should be, how to wire them together, where in a display the flowers would sit?  I had thought that perhaps looking up real flower arranging tutorials would be useful, but does anyone else have any suggestions?

I think you'd be well-served if you look up how to arrange real flowers, so you're on the right track with that. But when i do the flowers on cakes i don't do wired arrangements, I put them on the cake individually, starting with the larger ones and adding the smaller ones in around the main flowers. If you wire them together first you'll most likely end up with something that looks wrong for the scale of the cake.

sugarflorist Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 1:09pm
post #15 of 16

AI agree with costumezar on the flower arranging with individual stems. But you still need to be able to put a stem together with its leaves. If you wanted to learn more about how to wire stems and arrangements I suggest a book called decorative touches by tombi peck.

mintbelly Posted 14 Feb 2014 , 1:14pm
post #16 of 16

I started making sugarpaste flowers some 20 years ago, i relied on Faye Gardner's book "Cake Decorating". 95% of her tutorials does not require any cutters, just a pair of scissors, a toothpick and my hands. The book is such a good investment, to this day I still consult it when I run into problems with regards to making sugar flower. As for cutters, round cutters, in any size from plain tip icing tips to a 9 piece round cutter sets. Round cutters for me are the most versatile of all cutters, you can make them into all sorts of petals. Just cut your gumpaste with a round cutter, pull a "tail" at the bottom of the cut gumpaste to shape it like a teardrop and voila! You got a rose petal. Rule of thumb, if you can use a cutter in multiple ways, then buy it.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%