Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quick Tips for More Realistic Sugar Flowers

I am in the middle of another sugar flower making marathon, and it has had me thinking about ways to improve my flowers.  For the most part, learning to make sugar flower has been a trial and error process, but here are a couple of things that I have found that have quickly and consistently improved the realism of my flowers without having to invest in a bunch expensive tools and cutters.

Sugar Rose and Leaves
1.  Before you ever start trying to make of flower out of sugar, try to get a hold of living example to study or at the very least look at pictures online. Study the shading, shapes, and bits and pieces of the flower you are trying to make. Observe how the petals lay and how the flower opens up.  Keep a picture next to you for reference while you trying to make it out of sugar.

2. Roll your gum paste thinner.  Look at the petals of real flowers. Notice how delicate and THIN they are. If you don't get your gum paste rolled thin enough, your flowers are never going to look super realistic. And while the thinness of the petal sometimes depends on the flower, usually the thinner you can get your gum paste the better.

3.  Okay I fibbed a little, for this third one you will need to invest some money, but it is well worth it. Learn how to shade and color your flowers with petal dust.  This is the stage when you truly make your flowers come alive.  Study your pictures from number 1 and then play around and see if you can recreate it on the sugar flower.  Don't forget to give your flowers a quick steam after you finish to help blend and set your dust.

Hydrangea before and after dusting with petal dust.
Obviously, there is no substitute for knowledge of flower-making techniques and/or a good set of quality tools, but these are a few of the things that have helped me improve the quality of my flowers.

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