Oh my goodness I’m so excited about this week’s post! Let me tell you, gum paste and fondant flowers are so much fun! And actually relatively easy once you get some practice in. Okay, not easy. They take patience, a little skill, and a lot of concentration, but nonetheless, practice makes perfect and practice I shall!
What you’ll need: (don’t worry I’ll have pictures of the tools!)
- Ready to use gum paste
- 9 inch Fondant roller with purple guide rings
- Roll and cut mat
- Medium round cut out fondant cutter
- Thick pointed modeling tool
- Small veining tool
- Filled dusting pouch (a small mess like pouch with 1 tbsp corn starch, 1 tbsp icing sugar – but honestly, if you just lightly dust it with your hands it’s the same difference)
- Thin shaping foam
So, the first thing you’re going to do is make your carnation base. These need to be completely dried before completing the carnation. Meaning, the base should probably sit for a good few hours. I let mine sit for 24 before I did my carnations. So, try to prepare ahead of time and do the bases a day or so before you plan on making the flowers. It doesn’t take long I promise. Here is a step by step:
1. Lightly dust your roll and cut mat. Use fondant roller with guide rings to roll out gum paste 1/8 inch thick.
2. Cut the gum paste with the medium size round cut-out. Roll it into a ball.
3. Roll one side of the ball between your fingers to form a gold tee like shape, with a stem of approximately 3/4 inch long.
*Note – once you have this bowling pin like shape, slowly need the thicker end with your thumbs and the knuckles of your two index fingers, that will give you the golf tee shape like the one below.
4. Use the thick pointed modeling tool (shown below in the next 3 pictures) to roll the flat portion very thin. Roll from the center to the edges.
5. Center medium round cut out over tee shape and cut.
6. Move the base to a thin foam that has been dusted. Use the small end of a veining tool to texture the base as shown below. Hold the tool like a pencil (at about a 30 degree angle) and press the heel of the tool down on the outer edge of the circle and pull out. You can go in relatively close to the stem for this layer if you need to. Continue working all the way around the edge, virtually overlapping the impressions. (This will seriously thin and possibly tear the edges, which is okay because often real carnations look torn)
This completes your carnation base! It will take you some time to get the hang of things. Make sure its at about a 30 degree angle though that’s the key, and on a thin foam board as doing it on a hard surface will tear it apart. Set your base (or bases) aside until COMPLETELY dry.
Okay, so for the flower itself, you will pretty well need all the tools you used to make the flower base, except on your 9″ roller you will use the pink guide rings instead of the purple ones. Dust the roll and cut mat. Roll out a small piece of gum paste less than 1/16 inch. So. This means that you are going to use the pink guide rings, which are 1/16 inch, then, you are going to remove the guide rings and continue to roll until it is as thin as you can possibly get it. You should almost be able to read your roll and cut mat through the gum paste.
Cut six circles for each carnation using the medium round cut out. Place one circle on the thin dusted foam and the others under a practice board flap or under plastic wrap.
Now, just like the base, you are going to use the veining tool to texture the petal. Hold the tool like a pencil at a 30 degree angle, and press the heel down at the edge of the circle and pull out to form a ruffle. Try to stay relatively close to the edge. You should have a tiny area in the center of the petal where there is no texturizing. Continue all the way around the circle, overlapping impressions to create a torn, ruffled look. Repeat for 2 more circles.
Brush the center of the carnation base with gum glue (remember: gum paste pieces and water), and gently press one ruffled circle on top of the base to attach. You need to press the middle of the ruffled circle relatively firm in order for it to turn out correctly. Repeat this with the next two circles you made, and then make the last three (if you do it in this order the flower turns out better because the gum paste petals has a chance to harden slightly.
To help place the last petal, fold it around the end of a veining tool before inserting in the center.