I'm absolutely thrilled to be sharing with you an amazing new flower paste/gum paste. Created by my friend and fellow sugar flower artist, Arati Mirji of Sweet Symphony, this sugar flower paste was gifted to me to try and I think it's absolutely fabulous. It's incredibly easy to work with, rolls out very thin and allows ample work time before drying. This paste doesn't dry right away and will stay flexible, much like a bean paste, for a short amount of time. Compared to other name brand pastes, Flower Paste by Arati Mirji is considerably softer than what I was used to, but I found that it wasn't at all sticky, it stretches beautifully and holds veining exceedingly well. It took me no time to get used to it. It also holds color, gel and petal dust, better than any commercial paste I have used in the past. Even dry, the thin petals seemed strong and light, and I even dropped one when assembling with no damage. This paste is perfect for both beginner flower makers and advanced, and has quickly become my favorite.
For a recent sugar flower collaboration, Still Life Sugar Flowers, hosted by yours truly, I created an autumn, moody inspired arrangement filled with poppies, ranunculus, David Austin roses, nasturtium, forget me nots, cosmos, dahlias, leaves, vines and blackberries. I love making gum paste blackberries as I think they look amazing in sugar arrangements. Today, I'm sharing with you a tutorial on how to make my gum paste blackberries, blossoms and leaves using Flower Paste by Arati Mirji.
Gum Paste/Flower Paste (I used gel food color to tint the paste.): dark purple, moss green, magenta, dark green, pale yellow and white, Floral Wire: 22, 26, 28 gauge (green or white), Moss green ¼ width floral tape, Small rose petal cutter (½- ¾" size), Rose leaf cutter, All purpose leaf veiner, Firm foam pad, Groove board, Rolling pin, Jem veining tool, Small craft scissors, Small seed head stamen, Petal dusts: moss green, blush pink, plum, mocha, golden yellow, rose leaf green, aubergine, Paint brushes, Clear alcohol - such as Everclear, Confectioner's glaze, Ball tool, Craft pliers, Sugar glue, Piping gel
To make the green, pink and dark purple gum paste blackberries:
1. Form a piece of paste the size of a small gumball into a cone shape.
2. Bend the end of a piece of 22-gauge wire into a hook with craft pliers.
3. Dip the hook into sugar glue, wiping of the excess. Insert the wire into the thick end of the cone shaped paste.
4. Twist the paste onto the wire, removing any excess paste. Set aside to dry for a hour or so.
5. Roll a bunch of small balls, (4-5mm) to create the detail of the blackberry.
6. Working with one blackberry at a time, brush a liberal about of piping gel onto the cone shape. Working from the base of the cone at the wire, place the gum paste balls working around the cone and up towards the top.
7. Once the cone is completely covered with the balls, carefully and lightly squeeze the blackberry so that the balls flatten slightly and fill in any small gaps on the cone. Take care to keep the blackberry shape while flattening. Set aside to dry completely.
To make the gum paste blackberry leaves:
1. Roll out a piece of dark green paste over the groove on a groove board. Remove the paste and lay the paste groove side up on the board.
2. Center the rose leaf cutter over the center of the groove and cut out. Remove an stray pieces of paste by running your finger along the edge of the cutter.
3. Dip a piece of 26 gauge floral wire into sugar glue, wiping off any excess. Insert the wire into the groove of the leaf.
4. Place the leaf into the double sided veiner and press firmly to vein. Set aside to dry on bumpy foam.
To make the gum paste blackberry blossoms:
1. Fold 9 double sided seed head stamen in half and secure with floral tape.
2. Make a hook at the end of a piece of 26 gauge floral wire. Using the pale yellow paste, roll a small piece into a cone shape. Dip the hooked wire into sugar glue, wiping off excess. Insert the wire into the tapered end of the cone shape. Work the paste onto the wire so that it's firmly adhered.
3. Make small cuts all over the cone using small craft scissors. Set aside to dry completely.
4. Once the center is dry, fan out the taped stamens into a circle shape. Insert the wired center through the stamens and tape with floral tape down the wire.
5. To make the petals, roll out a small piece of white paste over the groove of a groove board. Remove the paste and lay groove side up on the board.
6. Center the cutter of the top of the groove on the paste and cut out the petal with the small rose petal cutter. Remove an stray pieces of paste by running your finger along the edge of the cutter.
7. Dip a piece of 28 gauge floral wire into sugar glue, wiping off any excess. Insert the wire into the groove of the petal.
8. Thin and widen the petal using the ball tool. Vein the petal using the veining tool, giving the edge a slight ruffle for movement. Set aside to dry completely.
9. Repeat the steps to create (5) petals total for each blossom.
Dust the blackberries:
1. For the unripened green blackberries, dust the berries liberally with the moss green petal dust.
2. To add some variation and to resemble a ripening blackberry, dust some areas, like the tip of the berry, with the plum petal dust.
3. For the ripening pink blackberries, dust the berries liberally with the plum petal dust.
4. To add some variation and to resemble a ripening blackberry, dust some areas with the aubergine petal dust.
5. For the deep purple/black ripe blackberries, mix a bit of the aubergine dust with a few drops of clear alcohol to create a paint. Paint the blackberries for a dark, saturated blackberry.
6. Dip the blackberries in confectioners glaze to give them a glossy, realistic appearance. Dry completely.
Dust the leaves:
1. Liberally dust the leaves with the rose green petal dust, concentrating on the edges and center of the leaves.
2. Tape the wires of the leaves with floral tape.
3. Steam the leaves to set the color. Set aside to dry completely before assembling.
Dust and assemble the blossoms:
1. Dust the stamen and the center of the blossoms with golden yellow petal dust.
2. Dust the top of the center with a little bit of moss green dust.
3. Make an edible paint with the mocha petal dust and clear alcohol. Brush the tips of the stamen to add a little bit of color. Set aside to dry.
4. Dust the base of the petals with the blush petal dust.
5. Place the petals one at a time, spacing them evenly around the center, and taping with floral tape all the way down the wire.
6. Steam the assembled blossom to set the colors and let dry.
Assemble the arrangement by taping the components with floral tape.
I hope you guys try this paste and love it as much as I do. For any questions regarding the tutorial or additional products used, let me know in the comments. Also, check out my Essential Tools for Making Sugar Flowers post for more information on supplies.
If you make gum paste blackberries, leaves and blossoms using my tutorial, let me know! Leave a comment in the comment area below and be sure to snap a photo and tag it #littlevintagebaking on Instagram. I love seeing your Little Vintage Baking creations!
For more sugar flower tutorials: