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Monday, February 27, 2012

Gum Paste Stephanotis from Wilton Course 4

As much as I prefer gum paste flowers that look real over gum paste flowers that look fake, there's just something so darn charming about a flower with a pearl in the middle. The stephanotis is one of the flowers taught in the third session of Wilton Course 4: Advanced Gum Paste Flowers. You've seen the stephanotis pressed into service in many different capacities at weddings: in table arrangements, napkin rings, bouquets, hairpieces, etc. In fact, oftentimes the real deal has a pearl glued in its center, which makes the gum paste version actually appear pretty realistic! Here's the setup:
It includes white gum paste, green gum paste, gum glue adhesive (a pinch of gum paste dissolved in a tablespoon of water), a small brush, pearl stamens, a fondant roller with purple rings, needle-nose pliers (the kind used in jewelry-making), scissors, a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch, 22-gauge wire, a few tools from the Wilton 10-piece Gum Paste Tool Set (the orange knife tool and the large and small modeling sticks), and three cutters from the Course 4 Student Kit: the rose petal cutter, the small blossom cutter, and the small calyx cutter.
Start by shaking the dusting pouch over your work surface:
 Bend the end of the wire into a hook, using the needle-nose pliers.
 Roll out a small amount of white gum paste, and cut out a piece with the rose petal cutter:
 Roll this piece into a ball…
 …then taper one side of it into a sort of gourd shape:
 Flatten the end on your working surface. Looks like a little mushroom!
 Turn it upside down, and flatten the bulbous end between your thumb and fingertips:
 Set it on the working surface and roll out the edges from the center in all directions, using the large modeling stick as a tiny rolling pin.

 Place the small calyx cutter over the piece in the center and push down.
 Here's what you'll have after you've removed the scrap:
 Trim away the long, tapered points with any cutting tool:
 Pinch and refine the trimmed points with your fingertips:
 Dust the pointed end of the narrow modeling stick and insert it into the center of the flower about 1/8":
 You'll want to rock the stick back and forth at the base of each petal while keeping the tip of the stick in the hole. This will form tapered divots partway up each petal:
To finish the petals, draw the tip of the stick from the hole to the tip of each petal, using your finger as a curved mold for the petal as you go. You can see the petal is curved over my index finger:
 This is how much curve each petal should have:
 Dip the hooked end of the wire in your gum glue adhesive…
 …and stick the straight end of the wire into the center of the flower. Pull it through until the hook disappears into the throat of the flower:
 Snip off one of the pearl stamens; the entire length should be about 1/2":
 Dip it in the gum glue adhesive and insert it into the flower's throat. Bend the other end of the stem wire into a hook and hang the flower somewhere to dry while you do the next couple of steps.
 Roll out a small amount of gum glue very thin; don't use rings on the roller. Cut out a piece using the small blossom cutter:
 Dab some gum glue adhesive on the base of the flower:
 Insert the end of the wire stem into the center of the green piece (called the calyx) and slide it up to the base of the flower:
 Press the calyx snugly against the flower and hang it up to dry.
 Now make many, many more! These really do look beautiful in groups. If only gum paste smelled like stephanotis…

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much. This is great.

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  2. These are beautiful! I've been trying to find a flower to use for cupcakes that I'm doing for a wedding in August, these will be perfect! Thanks for sharing!
    Kim from Cups by Kim

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  3. I'm so glad I could be of help! Bear in mind, you can get to work on them now and they'll keep until then (they'll basically keep indefinitely). Make extras for breakage; those delicate pointy tips are especially vulnerable, unfortunately. You can sand the tips back to a point with an emery board if you get in a jam. Good luck and thanks for the comment!

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