This may look like a polymer clay rose made with a lovely teardrop blend of yellow to soft pink… but it is actually a first attempt at applying my polymer clay skills to make edible Gumpaste flowers. They were placed on top of a multi-layered cake for Doug’s Mom’s 80th Birthday!
On February 8th, Doug’s mom Harriet, had her 80th Birthday. And such a momentous event, deserves a real celebration! So all the local relatives and a couple friends got together for a party.
Photo Montage Clockwise Starting From Top Left: The cake, Harriet, Tissue Paper Flowers that I made for party decor, Harriet and Cindy.
Since every birthday party needs a cake, I stepped up and volunteered to make one for Harriet’s milestone celebration. Now I do bake from time to time, and really wanted to make this cake extra special. It ended up as an extra tall, mulch-tiered carrot cake with brown butter, cream cheese, and butter-cream frosting … almost like a wedding cake only a little smaller.
Now a cake like that needs some pretty decorating, and since I already had tons of flower cutters from Wilton that were designed for making Gumpaste and fondant flowers, and I had already made several polymer clay flowers using the cutters, I figured clay was clay and set out to make some edible flowers for the cake out of Gumpaste. Gumpaste is an edible clay made mostly of Gum Arabic and confectioners sugar.
Well… although there are many similarities to making flowers out of polymer clay and flowers out of Gumpaste, the two clays are quite different. There was a bit of a learning curve switching from Polymer to Gumpaste.
Gumpaste, like it’s name, is much more gummy. It is very soft and can get quite sticky. You need to use confectioners sugar, to keep it from sticking to your hands, the tools and to you work surface.
It is also an air dry material, and will dry out and crack if you don’t keep your supply all sealed up in a bag, or at least covered. You only have a short window of working time before the gumpaste is no longer pliable.
Because it is air dry, you don’t need to bake it. This makes it fairly easy to deal with in some respects. Once you’ve made the flower, you just need to hang it or lay it in a support mold and let it harden. No burning or scorching issues as we all have experienced at some point with polymer clay.
The other thing to keep in mind is that moisture can cause your finished gumpaste flowers to become all wet and sticky… so you need to store them in a cool dry place until they are ready to be used.
Of course, a lot of what I had learned in making the polymer clay flowers (roses, dogwoods, hydrangeas, daisies, leaves, etc), did in fact translate beautifully to the Gumpaste flowers. I was even able to create the beautiful blends you see in the roses in the photo, by painting gel food color in triangles onto a sheet of white Gumpaste and then blending just like a Skinner Blend until the sheet shifted from a golden yellow to a rose pink.
I also was able to ruffle the petal edges, mold, form and color the flowers and leaves, just like we do with the polymer clay flowers. There are even edible color dusts and gel food colors that can be used just like paint.
Unlike polymer though, the Gumpaste is stiff and brittle when dried, so there were several casualties that didn’t make it to the cake. Because of that, I was glad to have started making the flowers a week ahead of time. Otherwise I may not have had enough for the cake when it came time to decorate.
The learning process was a great experience for me. I was able to use my current skills, but had to adapt to the new materials. This not only taught me new skills, but it also required me to think differently about a process I thought I was familiar with. Makes me want to try making these flowers out of air dry polymer clay to see how different the process would be with that material.
Any way, the party was lovely. Harriet loved the cake, the decor and the festivities. All in all it was a really nice birthday event. And isn’t she a beautiful woman? You’d never know she just had her 80th birthday!
So, in celebration of Harriet’s 80th Birthday, we have decided to use the pretty sugar roses as this upcoming Spring 2015 Color Palette.
The following Vol-082 A-series Sugar Rose Color Palette will be added to the Polymer Clay Members Library at the beginning of March 2015:
- Sugar Rose (Recipe 082-1A)
- Buttercream (Recipe 082-2A)
- Sugar Leaf (Recipe 082-3A)
- Gumpaste Hydrangeas (Recipe 082-4A)
[wp_ad_camp_1] … Sugar Rose is the soft pastel coral color of the delicate petals of the sweet Gumpaste rose. Buttercream is the soft creamy beige of the buttercream frosted cake. Sugar Leaf is the light yellow green found in the sugary rose leaf accenting the cake. And Gumpaste Hydrangeas is the smoky blue shade of the blue hydrangea blossoms behind the roses (hiding under the top title bar in the photo) and falling down the backside of the flower adorned birthday cake.
I have been subscribing to Cindy Lietz Tutor since about October ’08. As a paid member, I love the color pallet recipes. I am confident she has tried out recipes before posting them on her site. I have been following this site long enough to know the blogs, recipes and videos have saved me a lot of frustration, discouragement and money through techniques that save time and materials. The $9.95 for three months is excellent value. ~Anna-S
I love these colour recipes Cindy. And I love being able to think of an idea involving different colours and knowing I’ll most likely find exactly how to make it in the library. Thanks. ~Aims
Love your article on mixing colors. I am brand new in polymer clay (not just mixing but polymer clay in general). I have been totally confused and not sure at all about what I am doing with it. Just reading about this color mixing, to me, has been like finding a treasure chest! How creative and artistic you must be, to be able to figure out these color combinations. I only hope I will have the gift of combining and knowing how to figure out the ‘right recipe’ for this fun stuff! Thanks. ~Karen-O
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