Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stargazer Lily Pistil and Stamens

One of the most valuable things you'll learn from the book "How to Make Beautiful Gum Paste Flowers" that comes with Wilton's Gum Paste Flower Cutter Set is how to make your own pistil and stamens for the stargazer lily (adjust the colors and you can use them for the tiger lily, Easter lily, and probably many other similar flowers). Compare the prefab pistil and stamens in the photo below to the photo above if you need further motivation to learn this neat trick:
To start, all you'll need is some white gum paste, a container of gum glue adhesive (a pinch of gum paste dissolved in a tablespoon of water), the knife tool from Wilton's 10-piece Fondant and Gum Paste Tool Set, a gum paste storage board to use as a work surface, a 6" piece of 20-gauge green florist's wire for the pistil, six pieces of 4" 26-gauge white florist's wire for the stamens, and a Styrofoam block to dry them in. 
 Form a half-inch ball of gum paste.
Shape it into a 2.5" long log with a slight ball-shape on one end. You might want to roll it on the back side of the gum paste storage board, then work one end between your thumb and forefinger to form the ball.

 Paint 2" of one end of the 20-gauge wire…
 …and insert it into the narrow end of the gum paste shape, stopping before the point where the ball end starts.
 Flatten the ball end slightly. Using the knife tool, press a trio of indentations into it, essentially in an equilateral "Y" formation. Stick the wire into the Styrofoam block.
To make a stamen, roll a ball of gum paste 1/8".
 Dip the end of a piece of white florist's wire into the gum glue…
 …and insert it into the ball. Form the ball into an oval, and stick the wire in the Styrofoam. Repeat for a total of six stamens.
 Allow them to dry, and then you can begin coloring them.
 To color the stamens and pistil, you'll need vanilla extract, a mise en place bowl, small brushes, and Color Dust in Lime Green, Deep Pink, and Brown.
 Place a small amount of the brown dust in the bowl (I like to use the small palette knife from the 10-piece tool set to remove it from the vial) and a few drops of the vanilla extract. Mix it around with a brush…
 …and then paint the oval tip of each stamen generously; you might need to do two coats.

 Dust the lower third of the pistil with the lime green dust…
 …and lightly dust the upper third with the deep pink dust. Be very light-handed; you can always add more.

Here are all the parts of the stargazer lily; 3 large petals, 3 small petals, 3 leaves, 1 bud, and the pistil and stamens. You'll also need green florist's tape and scissors. 
 Start by wrapping one stamen alongside the pistil. It should be slightly higher than the top of the pistil. I didn't wrap the tape all the way to the bottom of the pistil's wire…
 …but I did wrap each stamen individually. Make sure the six stamens are evenly spaced around the pistil.
 Continue to assemble the lily by attaching each petal and leaf individually; I go into greater detail about how to do this here. Start with the three large petals…
 …continue with the three small petals…
 …add the bud…
 …and the three green leaves. I think this flower might actually be done!

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