Ringing in my ears are the words of Ann Pickard when I went on her animal modelling course, I remember her saying that you can't make a pig if you haven't made a duck and I am hoping that the same theory applies to sugar flowers.
With this in mind, I have started with the most simple form of sugar flower, the blossom and have set myself a mini challenge of seeing how many different types of blossom I can make with one blossom cutter and a ball tool. Actually, I have used a set of three cutters, but, only one at a time and another tool or two may have snuck in when inspiration struck.
This blossom (5 petal) cutter is one of a set of four from Orchard Products. All the blossoms below are made from white sugar floristry paste.
The Ball Tooled Edge Blossom
Just about every sugar flower you ever make starts with ball tooling the edge and so this is how I am going to start too. This technique took me a while to grasp, I read about it and watched Youtube videos about it until one day, the phrase I heard, that made the penny drop, was quite simply half-on / half-off. Meaning that your ball tool must be half-on / half-off your petal edge for the thinning to work. The other absolutely key thing is you must have cornflower / corn starch underneath.
I roll my petal paste quite thickly, as this is supposed to be easier for beginners. It is amazing how much the flower grows from its cut size.
The centres are piped with a little pipping gel mixed with superwhite, as I couldn't be bothered to make a whole batch of royal icing.
The petals are cupped by using a ball tool, in a circular motion in the centre of the petal. This technique is a little trickier than it looks. It needs a larger ball tool that you would imagine and a serious amount of cornflour / corn starch underneath. If the flower is moving around your ball tool in a circular motion, then you are probably doing this right.
The Triple Blossom
Three of the smallest sized blossoms, ball tooled lightly and arranged on top of each other and then the petals carefully raised around the tiny end of the ball tool to form the flower
The Delicately Veined Blossom
This is the smallest size of blossom again, lightly ball tooled around the edge and lightly veined with a frilling stick.
The Whirygig Blossom
This whirligig blossom was really fiddly to make and I am not sure I like it, though I thought Iwould show you anyway. It is made by cupping the petals, then cutting off the individual petals, pinching them to shape and them joining them back together again.
My favourite. This uses the largest size of cutter and the veining is created with a First Impressions Floramat veiner, you can get a similar result by pressing a shell tool on the petal. A little piping gel is used to pipe the centre and then tiny artificial stamens are added. I bought the stamens at my local sugar craft store. They are not edible, but they look sweet.
The largest size of blossom, ball tooled and embossed with a lace mat. The lace mat had a bit of a blossom pattern to these are quite lovely just as they are, I added some gold pears thought for a bit of a vintage look
For the sake of clarity, the tools I have referred to are below, from top to bottom are shell tool, ball tool, frilling tool