Now it's time to create the petals for our Cymbidium orchid. I roll down my gum paste and I've cut it with a three petal cutter. If you don't have a three petal cutter, you can always use the small circle cutter, but I have my three petal cutter, and I'm going to pinch off and separate all three petals, keeping the two that I'm not using aside until I'm ready to use them. I keep them underneath plastic so that they don't dry out.
Now I need to individually wire each one of the petals. I'm going to fold over the end of the petals just so that I get a nice smooth surface to start. My wire gets dipped into a tiny bit of edible glue, and I brush off the extra. I'm going to insert in between my two fingers, insert the wire. It only goes in a teeny, tiny little bit. And then I can taper the petal back to the wire. At this point, it should look kind of like a balloon on a stick. Now I believe in having very thin petal edges so the technique that I use is as if I'm snapping, I'm going to pinch and roll the edges all the way around. I'm pulling the top edge out and pushing the bottom edge under. This is going to allow me to have thinner edges and also to make sure that my shape is not perfectly around. Nothing in nature is ever perfectly round.
Now a key force in Cymbidium orchid petals is that they have a tip, a pointed tip at the end. So I'm going to hold the petal in between my two fingers and pinch so that I can make a point. I'm taking that round petal and pinching it, so I can make a point on the top. I'm going to turn my petal upside down onto my veiner. This veiner was made from a rose petal that we press into food grade silicone. You can though just buy a veiner specifically made for an orchid. I'm going to work on the edges, first pressing down, and I press in so that my fingers are half on the petal and half off the petal. I don't want my fingers to just be all the way on the petal, I'll never get the edges very thin.
So if I press all the way down, once I have the edges nice and thin, I want to set the shape of my petal. In this case, I want to make a nice wide petal shape. Beginner sugar flower makers tend to make their petals too long. I'm going to make sure that it's nice and wide. Once I have pressed all over my petal, I can pick it up and see all of the veins that I've put on there.
Now, if I were to leave this petal in my hand to dry, it would dry flat, and nothing in nature is ever perfectly flat and specifically orchid petals are nice and cupped. So I'm going to place them in a spoon to dry overnight. This will allow them to curve both up and down and left and right. Leave the petal; we need five of them for each orchid that we're going to be making. We're going to leave our five petals in our spoons to dry overnight. Once we have all of the pieces dry, we'll be ready to assemble.