Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ranunculus Sugar Flowers

Funny how things change. 
I started making ranunculus flowers a few years ago...they have always been a favorite, and I still LOVE the fresh look of the white flowers with the gorgeous green centers. They continue to be a very popular flower for both weddings and cakes, but I've found my flowers have changed over the past few years - especially having spent so much time studying and practicing them, and now teaching them to students!

Here are a few photos of flowers and buds I made several years ago...these photos now make me cringe thinking about how heavy, bulky and poorly shaped my flowers were at the time (so sad!). And it took SOOOO much time just to create a single flower! But I was so excited to try them, and very quickly fell in love:

And I started using them in cake designs - this is still a favorite from years ago:

I wasn't sure about what I was doing at all, but it was certainly fun to experiment..and with time my flowers improved and I figured out the techniques to shape and apply my petals to get a desired look and shape. They were still very stylized and a bit more whimsical than I wanted...but super cute and much more user-friendly:

Then things started to change a bit again, as they always do...and my style, taste and techniques started to become more refined, and I found the look of my flowers and buds evolving into softer and a bit more realistic versions:

Including this little peach number that took a really long time because I was experimenting with veining techniques. A money-maker this was not! That's the trick with a lot of sugar flowers, but ranunculus flowers for have to be very mindful when making them for your cakes...they can quickly become uber time consuming! Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead...and charge accordingly for your precious time!

So here's where I am today...I've played with adding wired petals to make the flower look more open and delicate. This is a great flower to use on it's own on a mini-cake...a real statement and definitely one of my favorites:

And I've come up with techniques and a formula to make a "standard" flower to which petals can be added or removed depending on the size flower I want to create. The ranunculus can be a bit deceiving in its for me, a formula is necessary for making a lot of flowers and it's really helpful for teaching classes. They're certainly not the most realistic versions in the industry, but they definitely fit my current style and the look I'm trying to achieve for Petalsweet:

And that chocolate cake design? It needed a little updating too:

I'm curious what things will look like in another few years...for me, the ever-evolving process is one of my favorite parts of making sugar flowers! They don't need to be perfect...but just a true reflection of my style and vision. 

How about you like ranunculus flowers? Do you make them for your cakes? 

And most you want to learn how to make them? If so, what's the best way for you to learn sugar flowers?

As always...thank you for stopping by! x

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Copyright © 2012 by Jacqueline Butler of Petalsweet Cakes. Content of this blog (including text, cake and sugar flower designs, photographs, videos and layout) is the property of Jacqueline Butler - please respect copyright laws. If you want to link to my blog, or post any of my photos, please contact me - it would be great to have the opportunity to connect with you. Thank you!



Tahira Imran said...

please teach this flower in your craftsy class so those who are not able to attend the class can learn this.
Than you.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jacqueline, just saw your post and invitation to see your story about ranunculus. Honestly to say, it never was so common in my country, and I never really knew about it. I discovered it manly trough you When I saw your ranunculus, than I started noticing it in the flower shops! I think that whatever flower you start to “translate” in your style, it will be simply beautiful!
I adore the peach color one and the idea to open the last round of petals ;) It brings movement and the prints on the petals remind some textures common for bride’s dresses!

Jacqueline Butler said...

Thank you for your lovely post Mila...I so appreciate your kind words and thoughts! Jacqueline x

Morsels By Mark said...

Please please please do a craftsy on this!

Autumn Rabbitts said...

Lovely lovely post Jacqueline!!!

Looking forward to learning a little of your magic touch!

Lots of christmas cheer to you and yours,
from Autumn and family, xxx

Anonymous said...

I would love to see Rannuculus Parrot tulips Poenies and Roses in your craftsy course for more experianced decoratores who want to increase thier skill levels. I live in rural Queensland Australia and with a young family I would not be able to attend any regular classes so a craftsy course is ideal. I especially want to see how you wire your petals togeather as I often struggle with this. I am a big fan of your work and i would love to learn your techniques (0: Angela.

suzanne said...

I too first discovered Ranunculas through your blog, i have made a few using my own technique, they were ok but would love to see a craftsy on more of your flowers including the ranunculas. I bought your hydrangea crafst and its awesome too! love seeing your flowers! xxx Suzy

Kati said...

Hi Jacqueline!
I also have discovered Ranunculus flowers through your blog - your work is a true piece of art!! I took your Craftsy class, and would love to see you teach Ranunculus in Craftsy!
I live in South America, so it's quite difficult to attend personally one of your classes, although I hope to very much one day!
I admire your work so much!!
Happy holidays :-)
Thank you!

TanteCherie said...

Hello Jacqueline, I love your ranunculus and would very much like to learn to make them. I'm particularly interested in your veining techniques and how you are able to thin the edges and still have such well defined texture. I like the new softer, more romantic, version but the more stylized ones are beautiful as well. I recently subscribed to your Craftsy course. I was attracted by the lovely clean lines and fresh colors in your work. I must say the course has really influenced me to become more creative and put more of my own personality into my flowers. Instead of just copying live flowers I have begun combining the techniques I've learned with new shapes to compliment my addiction to the pre-Rafaelite color palette. I've tried my hand at peonies with varying degrees of success and would love to learn more about them. So I am joining the chorus of the rest of your followers: Please do more Craftsy classes! Parrot tulips, roses, anything you'd like to teach I'd love to learn. You really are a gifted teacher. Thank you so much for sharing your work. Cherie Sutherland

Red Couch Recipes said...

These are stunning! They are a work of art. Joni

Heidi (Sweet Loft Cakes) said...

Hi Jackie,

Love your post and you're too modest.. I think your ranunculus look beautiful NOW and THEN! I hope that you'll come back to Toronto very soon to teach us a few more of your sugar flowers!

Heidi Ghafoor

Savor The Baking said...

Thanks for taking us of your journey of ranunculus sugar flowers. Great post!!

Wal Decal Company said...

Thanks for sharing.

online cake delivery in Delhi said...

Best image in your blog

simonarossi66 said...

dearest Jacqueline
first I apologize for my English.

I know that I will be repetitive and I 'll said things that you hear every day, but I really believe that your flowers are incredibles.
The fact is that since I discovered your blog, and I bought your video lesson on craftsy I can not more 'to sleep.
All I do is think about how much you want to learn how to create other beautiful flowers such as ranunculus, peonies, roses .... just your style!
Unfortunately, thousands of miles I share the dream .... ahhh if I could attend one of your classes ... can not imagine what I would be even willing to do!
That would be great, I would be the first to buy your video lessons.
Please, please ..... do something to make you happy all of us ... your fans.If you can't on craftsy ... do it on their own .... just make a video of your private lessons ....
write a book .. or make a tutorial (fee) on your own blog!
I would be interested also to eventually have a private lesson in video .....only for me!!
I'm desperate!!
now this passion I have entered into the heart and mind 24 hours a day.

Do you think that I know a few words of English, but just to learn from you I try to understand .... listening to more 'times each step! and you're so good, so clear that I can understand quite well the words I do not know at all ...... fantastic Jacqueline!

Ps. I'd be curious to know how do the create veining on the ranunculus petal ..... you use a veiner ... what kind?

thank you so much......
I love your flowers, your style....


Jacqueline Butler said...

Thank you very much for all of your very kind words Simona! I understand losing sleep over making sugar flowers...they are a wonderful art form and I spend as much of my free time making flowers as possible!

I do hope to have more online videos in the near future to cover my peonies, ranunculus and more. I will be keeping you posted!

I use several different veiners for my ranunculus flowers depending on how fine I want the flower to be. The really fine veining is just made with a cornhusk veiner!

Thank you so much,
Jacqueline xx

Wedding Cakes Pittsburgh said...

Lovely flowers. The flowers are very detailed. The white flower can be put to a wedding cake.

Unknown said...

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Anonymous said...

Im new to sugar flowers and have just completed my first ranunculus. The flower is quite large and heavy and consequently it has slipped down the wire and the wire has pierced through the top of the flower. How can I prevent this from happening?

Jacqueline Butler said...

Dear Anonymous...the ranunculus flower is a bit tricky. There is fine balance in keeping the petals thin enough to make the flower light, as well as thick enough to be able to shape correctly. Did you give your center enough time to dry thoroughly before using? If we are using gumpaste for the center we allow ours several days to dry. We also keep our flowers on the small side to keep them from getting heavy. We will have a tutorial available in the near future! Jacqueline and Petalsweet

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice, I will be sure to let my centre dry for longer.

Krystal said...

These are just beautiful. You are extremely talented. Thank you for sharing.

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