Hi. Hoping someone can help with a few questions I have regarding gum paste roses.
I have seen tutorials that use toothpicks or flower wire in the roses. Is it necessary to use those or not really if the roses are going to just be on top of the cake (as in the attached picture). I haven't used them previously.
Also are there any cutters that people would recommend (for the sort of size roses in the picture)? I have been to a couple of classes that just taught me to roll out balls of gum paste and then flatten them into circles but it looks like people tend to use the cutters with five petals on them? Are they good and do they take quite a bit of getting used to?
One class also taught me to cut the bottom off the rose at the end but a lot of tutorials I have seen online don't seem to do this. I made some roses and cut the bottoms off them but then the whole flower fell apart. Is there a reason for this and would you recommend cutting the bottoms off?
Picture of the type of cake I want to do
No you don't need to use wires or toothpicks for the kind of roses pictured. They're more for when you want to secure the roses to the sides of the cake or sticking out, or anything that requires support. Or for flowers which don't have a definite centre for the petals to attach to. Like lillies.
Using cutters allows you to roll your gum paste much thinner and get more delicate petals. Flattening a circle by hand will never make it as thin.
I use single petal cutters, but 5 petal cutters are just faster. However, larger roses require more than 5 petals on the outer layers, so back to single petal cutters. You don't even have to use petal shaped cutters. Edna de la Cruz has an amazing tutorial on YouTube on how to make roses with simple circle cutters. Really great for extra large roses.
I don' think cutters take much getting used to. The hard part of making a rose is arranging the petals and you'll be doing that regardless of how you make the petals.
You cut off the base of the flower when you roll circular petals together by hand and then you have an extra cylindrical bit at the bottom that you need to remove. If you cut it too close to the point where all the petals are attached to each other, the flower will fall apart. Make sure to pinch and roll the base of your flower really well before cutting the excess off below it.
Usually with roses, you make a conical centre bud for the flower and wrap the petals around it. The pointy ends of the petals wrap underneath it and once you're done, it looks just like a real flower would. You don't need to cut anything off.
Hope I've shed some light!
I've never made a rose without a wire. I always secure my center cone, whether it is gum paste or styrofoam, onto a wire, which I use as a handle while building the rose. You can look at my gallery and see that I make roses quite often and I have used five petal cutters, individual petal cutters, round cutters and the ball, freehand method. I don't really have a preference, but when I do not use cutters, I roll my little balls of gum paste just as thinly (with a rolling pin and a ball tool) as I do with a cutter.
If you prefer to just set your blooms on the cake, as shown above, you can easily cut off the wire "stem", but it really does make it easier to hold on to while adding your petals. I've also never had to cut off the bottom of my bloom.
Thanks for your help. Have ordered some cutters and will give the roses a go when they arrive!