Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gum Paste Ivy from Wilton Course 4

Ivy leaves are a good thing to master; they look wonderful in almost every gum paste arrangement, and because they're small, you'll probably need to use a lot of them. They're pretty easy, but a lot of steps are involved. Here's what you'll need: florist's tape, Crisco (to work into the gum paste if it's feeling at all dried out), a sealed container of gum glue adhesive (a pinch of gum paste dissolved in a tablespoon of water), a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch, a wave flower former, an ivy leaf cutter (part of the Advanced Gum Paste Flowers Student Kit), green gum paste, a gum paste storage board (use the underside of it as your work surface), 26-gauge green florist wire, a 9" fondant roller (without rings), a piece of thin pink shaping foam (which somehow didn't make it into this photo; don't worry, you'll see it soon enough), Color Dust in Lime Green and Spruce Green, a small angled brush, and an impression mat (click here to read my take on which mat to use). 
 You'll notice this groove on the underside of the impression mat:
 Give the groove and the surrounding area a dusting:
 Pinch off a penny-sized ball of gum paste…
 …and roll it into a log. Position this log on top of the groove, leaving some of the groove visible on either side.
 Use your fondant roller to roll the log out very thin; thinner than 1/16":
 When you peel it up, it should look like this, with a ridge running down the middle for about 3/4 of the length of what used to be your log:
Use your dusting pouch on the backside of the storage board:
 Place the gum paste on it ridge side up, and place the cutter over it. Leave about 3/8" between the end of the ridge and the top tip of the leaf; you don't want the ridge to run the entire way up:
 Press down on the cutter and remove the slack; return it to the sealed baggie or plastic wrap with the rest of your gum paste.
 Dip a half-inch or so of a piece of the florist wire into the gum glue adhesive…
 …lay the wire against one side of the ridge…
 …and fold the ridge over the wire. Gently tamp it down into place:
 Lightly dust the top portion of the leaf pattern on the impression mat:
 Place the wired ivy leaf onto it, wire side up, and shake some cornstarch and powdered sugar onto it as well:
 Line the leaf up on the center line (the "midrib", as I've heard it called) on the impression mat; you don't want the angle of your impression to be off-center:
 Press down on the leaf with the shaping foam:
 When you remove the leaf from your mat, this impression will remain:
 Place the leaf on the wave former. I think it's important for the leaves to not look like they've been popped out of a mold, so you might want to mix up which direction you place them on the former (convex or concave):
When the leaf has dried, you'll want to wrap the stem with florist's tape. Cut off about 6 inches for a 4" wire stem.
 Activate the stickiness of the tape by giving it a gentle stretch. The color of the tape lightens slightly when the glue has been activated:
 Start about half an inch from the top. Wrap the tape tightly around the wire and stick it to itself; getting this step started can be tricky, but gets much easier with practice. Wrap the tape around a few times…
 …and then slide it up to the base of the leaf.
 Continue to wrap the stem to the end, and snip away any excess. Tap or squeeze down any little remaining tail of tape at the end.
You might want to brush on some color dust; this will enhance the impressions even more, as well as the color. You'll want to do both sides of each leaf.

 I started by dusting the whole leaf with Lime Green…
 …then brushed on some Spruce Green lowlights:
 I'll try to post something soon that features lots of ivy leaves! Imagine the possibilities…I'd love to make some in black for Halloween (SO far down the road from now!).

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