Sunday, February 26, 2012

Making a Good Impression in Wilton Course 4

I love-love-LOVE the new Wilton Course 4, Advanced Gum Paste Flowers; I need to state that first and foremost to make sure you know I'm not trying to find fault with it. So much time and effort (and materials and money) go into a single gum paste flower, I really think the final result needs to be as beautiful and lifelike as can be. This isn't possible if there's a weak link, and after two classes, I think I've identified it: the purple impression mat that comes with the student kit is, to put it gently, the suck. The impressions are so shallow, the darn thing simply doesn't work! The good news, however, is Wilton does make a green mat with far superior impressions. It'll set you back $14.99, but if you use one of those coupons they're constantly handing out at Michael's it'll probably only cost half that.  PLUS it comes with a second mat with several other impressions! Let me show you some comparison shots so you'll know what I'm talking about. The leaf veining impression from the student kit is on the left, the one on the right is the one you can buy elsewhere:
Here's a close-up shot of it:
The veins are barely visible in the one on the left! Here are some ivy leaves made with both…
You get a gold star if you guessed the leaf on the right was made with the impression mat that came with the student kit. The fail level isn't quite as dramatic with the petal veining mat, but I think it's significant enough to warrant replacing it:
If you do use it, the one quadrant closest to the "medium blossom" impression does appear to have slightly more defined "veins":
Here are two lily leaves I made using the different mats:
The difference is subtle (and not helped by the flash), but you can probably see that the leaf on the right was made with the student kit mat. Perhaps I'll toss this mat to my daughter to class up her Play-Doh tools.

I'll post a tutorial soon about how to make (and what to do with) gum paste leaves. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I teach Wilton and tell my students to get the seperate mat as well. It really comes in handy to have two, one for the stem flap and one to shape the veins. Not such a waste, but still a shame that the one in the kit is disappointing so many. A little tip for you, a white knee high ( 39 cents ) a pair at Walmart makes a great duster. Cut the band off and fill the bottom about 3 tbsp. full and tie off. I keep mine in a plastic Eeaster egg with the hinge.