Stretch the first half inch and wrap it once tight and straight around the tip of the wire and the beginning of the stamen stem under the pearl--this is the hardest part, just pinch it really tight and roll your thumb till it sticks and wraps once-- then tilt it to a downward angle, stretching it as you go and wrap it as tightly and thinly as possible. Also, make sure you fit the stamen so that the wire is right at the base of the little pearl part.
To attach the wire to the flower, I place the blossom on my index and middle fingers, so that the center is above the [almost non-existent] space between, and add a drop of gum paste glue, then stick the wire in,holding the flower in place and sliding the wire between my fingers. Then at the end, I can press it gently with my other index finger to sort of pinch the gum paste at the bottom against the wire.
So here's what I finally ended up doing and it works really well. (Even my teacher liked it!)
First, I'm not sure what you mean when you say you are threading it from underneath - you should be going through the top. You don't want to push the pearl part of the stamen through the blossom, that will make the whole even bigger. So you have the blossom in your hand (kind of in between your fingers like rowantree explained) and you poke the wire (the end without the stamen) through the top of the blossom.
So then I put the blossom on the wire and ran it up to about 1/4 of an inch from the end (where the pearl is) but not quite all the way where I wanted it to end up. Then I made a little ball of the same colored fondant, probably a little bit smaller than a pea. I poked the wire through it and ran it up to almost where the blossom was and put a little bit of gum paste glue on it and then slid it all the way to the blossom so they would stick together. Then I kind of slid the whole thing the rest of the way up to the pearl on the stamen while pinching my little "ball" onto the wire. After that not one of them fell apart! And I actually thinks it looks a little bit better too because it seemed like once you tried to pinch just the blossom on to the wire, it ended up really thin and uneven.
I hope that makes sense. Basically the problem is that there is really almost nothing there to pinch on to the wire to hold the blossom in place. So I just found a way to add a little bit more gum paste underneath it to have something to hold it on the wire.
Sorry, I can't help with the tape wrapping though... Grrrr......
Step 1 picture - You have the blossom in your hand (kind of in between your fingers like rowantree explained) and you poke the wire (the end without the stamen) through the top of the blossom.
Step 2 picture - Push the wire down to about 1/4 of an inch from the end (where the pearl is) but not quite all the way where you want it to end up.
Step 3 picture - I made a little ball of the same colored fondant, probably a little bit smaller than a pea. I poked the wire through it and ran it up to almost where the blossom was (Step 4 picture) and then put a little bit of gum paste glue on the ball and then slid it all the way to the blossom so they would stick together. Then I kind of slid the whole thing the rest of the way up to the pearl on the stamen while pinching my little "ball" onto the wire. And I shaped the little ball into more of a cone shape.
Last picture shows one finished.
That extra gum paste just allows you to have a little bit more to attach to the wire. And like I said, I think I actually like the way it looks with that little "cone" underneath it.
Anyway, hope this helps you guys. I love these flowers but was about to give up on them until I figured this out.
Never gets out of her seat to check to see what we are doing. I had another instructor for the old classes one and two and she was so much better. I retook the new class one and two with the current instructor and I was helping others in the class because she would not even get up to help them learn how the get the proper pressure when doing shells to get them to come out right. It was just a refresher for me, and was glad to help others, but she is the one getting paid and should be helping.
After taking the classes with two different instructors, I must say, some are much better than others. I did,fine because I have experience doing a lot of the things, but felt really bad for others that had never decorated anything.
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