Philadelphus Flower tutorial
Philadelphus Flower Tutorial
Using Dusky Rose Philadelphus "all in one" flower veiner.
This tutorial also contains a module for making your own stamens from cotton thread, but you could omit this step and use commercially produced stamens if you wish.
Making the stamens
What you will need:
White cotton thread
28 or 30g wire
Sugartex pollen or coloured polenta grains
White stem tape
Wrap the cotton 20 times around a single finger. Taking a length of wire, slip the wire between thread and finger and give a twist before slipping the thread off your finger. Twist the wire as shown to secure. If you prefer a fuller, bushier look to your stamens, just wind the cotton around your finger a few more times.
Take a length of half width white stem tape and tape down the length of the wire, making sure you cover the wire loop securing the cotton. Using your scissors cut through the loop at the top, and level the cotton threads so that they are all the same length.
Holding the very tips of the cotton threads between your finger and thumb, lightly brush the edges with egg white.
Dip the stamen ends in the sugartex or coloured polenta and shake off any excess. Leave to one side until ready to use.
The wires you use when making any stamens in this way will be determined by the size of flower you make, as the wire needs to be able to support the weight of the flower. For the philadelphus flower, tape an additional 28g wire in.
To use egg white as a glue in this way only works with cotton thread. It does not work with polyester threads, as the polyester will not absorb the egg white, and the pollen will just fall off.
Making the flower
Take a piece of well worked paste as shown and shape into a fat cone. With the fingers and thumbs of both hands pinch out the cone at the sides till you are left with a bump in the middle of the paste.
Rub a small amount of white fat or petal base on your rolling board (or use a cornflour bag to dust if preferred) and using a small rolling pin (orchard or celpin) roll the paste away from the bump in the centre from all sides, until your paste is a uniform thickness all around and large enough to cover the veiner. Place the paste over the veiner with the bump uppermost and press the paste into the veiner. (If you used cornflour to roll out, you will need to wipe the tiniest amount of white fat over the veiner to make it stick) Take the paste off the veiner and turn it over.
Using your cutting wheel, cut between the petals first, and then around the petals. This makes the cutting around the petals much easier.
Transfer the cut piece to a softening pad. If you wish to enhance the veining on the petals, you can do so at this stage with a veining tool.
Soften and slightly frill the edges of the petals with a ball or bone tool, and you can do this from either side of the petals, it doesnt make a great deal of difference with these petals.
Take the prepared stamens, and with a paintbrush, moisten the base of the stamens with a very small amount of egg white or sugar glue. (Too much egg white or sugar glue will make the paste start to dissolve and it may slip off the wire) Thread the stamens down through the centre of the flower carefully. The tape at the base of the stamens should be threaded right into the paste so it is not visible. Pinch the paste at the back of the flower around the wire to secure. Tease the petals around so that they are slightly overlapping. At this stage the paste may have sufficiently firmed up to be able to hold its shape. If this is the case, you can leave it standing upside down, or you can bend the wire and hang it upside down in a block of oasis or similar. Leave aside to dry off.
Attaching a calyx
This flower variety has a four lobed calyx in nature, and if you have a 4 lobed cutter you can use that, but here, although not botanically correct I am using a small five lobed calyx cutter.
Take a small pea sized piece of pale green paste and shape into a mexican hat as shown. Roll out from the centre till you have a uniform thickness all around. Cut out using your calyx cutter.
Open up the throat of the calyx with the pointed end of your small rolling pin. You need to open up the throat large enough to be able to feed the back of the flower into it. Using the ball tool, cup each of the lobes slightly. Moisten either the back of the flower or the centre of the calyx with your chosen glue and thread the wire of the flower down into the centre of the calyx.
Make sure the calyx goes right up to the back of the flower and gently pinch to secure.
Once the flower is complete and dry you can dust the calyx lightly with a green petal dust of your choice, and steam to set the colour. Tape down the whole wire with green stem tape of your choice.
I hope you find this tutorial useful, and if there is anything at all which is not clear, please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact form, or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.