Chinese Hat Tutorial

Chinese Hat Tutorial

When I first saw a picture of this plant, I knew that I wanted to make it in sugar. It isnt a native to the UK, being semi-tropical, so in order to give the flower a texture I made a mould to enable me to reproduce it in a reasonable fashion.
It's a very simple and fun flower to make and within most capabilities.
What you will need
Dusky Rose Chinese Hat Veiner(here)
Board to work on
Pale yellow Flower paste
Slim rolling pin or Orchard pin
Cocktail stick
Craft knife
26g white wire (in 1/4 lengths)
Fine white stamens
Paintbrush and glue of choice
Dusting brushes and colours
Making the flowers
The flowers of this plant are actually the protuberances that grow out of the centre of the "hat", which is in fact a spathe or calyx.
The flowers can be in various stages of maturity, and you should make a selection of different sizes.
Take a tiny piece of yellow paste and roll into a ball. Insert a dampened, hooked piece of 26g wire into the ball of paste. Shape the paste onto the wire. Using your craft knife, cut a gentle cross into the top of the paste. For larger unopened flowers, make the ball of paste slightly larger and roll down the wire.
For an open flower, the method is the same as the previous step, but instead of cutting the cross in the top of the paste, use a cocktail stick to open out the throat of the flower as shown. Insert 3 very fine stamens.  Leave all your flowers to dry thoroughly before adding the "hats"
Making the hats(calyx/spathe)
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Take a pea sized piece of paste and roll into a ball. Between the finger and thumbs of both hands, pinch the paste, until it resembles a mexican hat, with just a slight bump in the centre. Turn the paste over and with the end of a paintbrush, or the round end of the orchard pin, make an indent into the centre of the paste.
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Place the indent over the centre of the veiner. Gently press the paste down around the veiner, making sure to keep that thicker part at the centre top.
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Using the small rolling pin, roll the paste down the veiner, all the way around. This thins out the paste and picks up the texture of the veiner. Flex the veiner to remove the calyx.  Using a tiny amount of your chosen glue, dampen the centre of the calyx.
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Thread a prepared and dried flower down into the centre of the calyx, and pinch the back of the flower to make sure it is secure.  Leave in a block of oasis to dry before dusting.
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These flowers in nature range in colour from pale yellow through to red, so here I have chosen to dust them first lightly with yellow dusting powder, followed with a tiny bit of orange and finishing them off with a little red. You can of course make them any colour you wish.
The hats are grouped in nature, so should be taped in 3's or 5's. The foliage is heart shaped and quite heavily veined, so I have chosen to make the leaves from the Epimedium leaf veiner(here)  The buds are simply small pieces of bud shaped green paste, and taped in a group as the open hats would be.
Chinese hats red & yellow CH25
Finished flowers, and an alternative colouring using lilac and purple shades if you wanted to try them in another colour.

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