There is a lot of equipment that is needed by a sugar artist in order to create beautiful sugar flower. I'm going to first start talking about all of the different pieces of equipment that need to be used in order to create petals. And in just a moment, we'll talk about the tools that are needed to assemble and paint them in order to finish them and make them realistic.
First thing is, what are sugar flowers made out of. Sugar flowers are made out of a material called gum paste. Gum paste is a mixture of sugar and water and some edible gums. Gum comes from the roots of plants, so is fully edible. The first gum that's in here is called Gum Arabic. And you can find gum arabic on the back of an envelope. You know how when you lick the envelope, it's sticky? That's what's in here. It's a sticky dough.
There's another gum that's in here that's called Gum Tragacanth. And gum tragacanth is something that is going to allow these petals to dry hard. When I finish my sugar flower, it is going to have a porcelain-like finish, very different from the playdough that I start with in the beginning.
Now when I'm working with my gum paste, I want to be able to roll it out, so I use a pasta machine. The pasta machine allows me to get a uniform thickness. If I need to thin it out even further, I can use my fondant pin. I prefer an acrylic fondant pin, instead of a plastic one or one that's made from wood, because it's a little bit heavier and will help me to achieve the thickness that I'm looking for.
Once it's rolled out, then I look to my cutters. I have a variety of cutters in front of me. I have leaf cutters that can be used, or petal cutters. All sorts of different ones. A sugar artist can really go crazy in buying all the different cutters. But we want to make sure that we have a few different kinds on hand.
Once those pieces are cut out, very, very important to have a cell flap. A cell flap is a plastic sheet. Air is the enemy of gum paste. We really want to make sure that our gum paste doesn't dry out too quickly. Once it's rolled out, we'll keep it covered up and underneath our plastic. So this way, it doesn't dry out until we're ready to use it.
Then, finally, when we're making our petals, a lot of times, we'll use a veiner. We want to get some texture onto our petals, so we use a veiner. And these can just be purchased in craft supply stores or in baking supply stores. Sometimes, we will look for getting a little bit of ruffliness on the edge of our petals, and that's where a ball tool comes in handy. And we use a ball tool on this flower foam mat. That will allow us to make super ruffly petals.
Finally, we need to dry our petals before we're ready to use them. So I have a variety of pieces of equipment that I'll use to dry them. Sometimes, it's something as simple as a piece of bubble wrap, or there are special flower-formers that can be used. And a lot of times, I'll save some old egg cartons that I can use to dry my flowers in as well.