(image from http://troyandmartha.blogspot.com/2008/03/wild-flowers-from-coast-and-se-texas.html)
I notice I haven’t posted any article under the category ‘gumpaste project’ for quite a while. Today I was flipping through my favourite book – “Alan Dunn’s best of Floral Sugarcraft”. There is a project on making a “Fragrant Evening Primrose”. The steps look simple and no special cutter is needed, just a heart-shaped cutter. So I decided to try making this flower and would like to share the tutorial with you guys. (Warning in advance – my gumpaste primrose does not turn up like the real ones in the picture above ! Sob sob! )
First and foremost, some Biology lesson on flower parts :
( It has an ovary too ?? I didn’t know that.. Wait till you make an orchid, the parts are even more confusing.. that’s a different story)
For our evening primroses, the material needed are :
28 and 30-gauge wires White Stamens Petal dust/ blossom tint Gumpaste / flower paste (light yellow) White and green floristry tape Heart cutter Veining tool (or a corn husk) Calyx cutter Egg white
Pistil and stamen
Pistil – take the white floristry tape, cut or shred into half-width. Cut a no. 30 wire into 3 sections (use only one). Tape over the wire with the white tape. Leave a flap at the end. Cut the flap into 4 sections and twist each of them.
Stamen – take 8 stamens, cut into half and arrange all around the pistil. Tape with white tape.
Cut a no. 28 wire into 4 parts. Roll out the gumpaste leaving the centre slightly thicker. Cut out the petal using the heart cutter, making sure the thick part is in the middle. Dip the wire into the egg white and insert into the thick part of the petal, at least half the length.
Now vein the petal – you could use a silk veining tool if you have, if not, just press in between 2 corn husk to get the veins.
Frill the edges using a ball tool or a cocktail stick. Leave to dry in a flower-former or a water-colour palette.
Colouring & assembly
When the petals are half-way dry, you can start to dust them. I covered the whole petal, front and back with yellow, then the base with a slightly darker yellow tone and red.
Once almost dried, tape the petal one by one, around the pistil and stamen. Since it is not fully dried, you can reshape the petals so they look more natural. Leave the flower to dry, after which you might want to run it through the steam to give it a glossy look. Just steam them for a few seconds, not too long or the flower will turn soft again.
I actually forgot to do the calyx ! Sorry, was rushing to bake a cake. Anyway, you could use the Mexican hat technique or for simplicity, follow this method.
Here’s my so-called Evening Primrose :
A far-cry from the real thing.. Looking back, I think I should frill the petal less and change the stamen head. The pistil should be longer. In short, more practice !
I hope it does represent some other flower type . Hope you’ll try making this flower when you have the time. Any constructive comments from the flower-experts out there, is really appreciated. Thanks.