Cotton stamens Tutorial

Making your own stamens
Although commercially bought stamens can be used for a lot of flowers, they can be expensive, and aren't always suitable for the job.
Making your own, although time consuming can add realism to a lot of flowers, and with a little thought the following tutorial could be adapted for many flowers. The cotton thread I have used here is white, but can be dusted with petal dusts or painted afterwards if required.
A point to note: Cotton thread will absorb egg white and polyester threads will not. If you are using polyester threads, use watered down PVA glue to stiffen the threads. At the time of writing, using egg white is acceptable practice for flowers placed in Sugarcraft competitions, but PVA glue is not.
If you have problems obtaining 100% cotton thread, or object to the cost of many of the well known brands (which I do), the products sold here are excellent value for money at £2.00 for 1000m :
The first part of this tutorial is with a Clematis flower in mind, and can be seen used for the flower in the Clematis tutorial.
 Wrap thread around two fingers 50 times (more if you want a fuller effect). Take a 1/4 length piece of white 28g wire and slip the wire between cotton and finger and give a twist before removing the cotton from your fingers. Twist the loose end down the wire as tightly as possible.

 Take a piece of half width white tape and tape over the wire, making sure you cover the wire securing the loop. Cut through the loop and trim to straighten up the cotton threads.  Using a palette knife or something similar, evenly select threads from all the way around the bunch and hold down with your finger and thumb.

 Wrap a fine wire around the down facing threads and give a twist to secure them.  Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut through the remaining upright threads to the length you require.  Using a paintbrush, brush egg white on these remaining upright threads and set aside to dry. If using pva glue for this step, make absolutely sure they are dry before continuing to the next step or the threads will stick together.
 When the upright threads are dry, undo the wire holding the down threads and open them up. Pull all the threads back up into a bunch and trim to the length you want the stamens to be.
Alternative cotton stamens.
stament14 stament15 stament16 stament17
Here the stamen bunch is smaller.  I have wrapped the cotton around a single finger and proceeded to step 5.  I have then brushed the edges of the cottons with egg white and have dipped into natural coloured polenta grains. Then I have opened out the threads with a pin, dampened the very centre with a tiny amount of egg white, and popped a tiny ball of paste down into the centre. (Use a ball or bone tool to push it down into the centre)  Then I have brushed a very tiny amount of egg white onto that small piece of paste and used a dresden tool to pick up and sprinkle with more of the polenta grains.  This too can be dusted to the shade of your choice, and this type of stamen bunch can be used for wild roses if using this size, or if made larger and bushier could be used for some open roses.  Cutting the threads shorter, it could be used for bramble type blossoms.

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