Not sure about Nicolas Lodge gum paste in particular, but usually you can just warm it slightly in the microwave, just for 10 or 15 seconds, then knead in extra Crisco. Knead a lot until it softens back up. I just did that this weekend with some gum paste that was hard and crumbly on the outside edges. I really didn't expect it to come back together but it got very moist and smooth. Give that a try.
A tip here on CC, try a little glycine to moisten up your gumpaste. It can be found in craft stores or cake supply stores. Some pharmacies sell it as well. It works rather well. Search the forum for this info. I hope this helps.[/u]
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Do NOT warm it in the micro. It will ruin your paste.
You should only need a dab of shortening. If it's brittle and it won't soften back up, then it's a gonner. If you haven't been keeping it in the fridge it's a gonner. Once it dries past a point you can't do much to save it.
Homemade gumpaste dries a lot faster then commercial paste. You have to work very quickly or keep your paste covered. You do not have the same working time as premade.
if I find that I have added too much sugar in the mixing process and it is a little dry and crumble , I mix up some fresh eggwhite with just a little icing sugar in it and dip in my paste in the mix and work it through.I have found this works better than the eggwhite alone.
Rae said.......Nick teaches in his classes to add NOTHING but a bit of fresh egg white, a little at a time, to moisten his gum paste recipe. Adding other ingredients may change the composition completely......