Poppy centre

Lightly colour a chickpea-sized ball of paste with Chestnut food paste.

Roll into a ball and cone it a little.

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With needlenose tweezers, make 8-10 indents (make one, then make another indent opposite, then add in the others in the same fashion) on the side of the cone, leaving the top centre undented.

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Flatten a little on the bottom of the centre. Hook a piece of 26g wire and wire the centre.

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When it’s dry (4 hours+), dust with Brown and then Nutkin Brown food dust.

 

Petals

Lightly colour some paste with Ice Blue.  Keep this in a polythene bag when not in use.

Roll out the paste but not too thinly.

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If you roll out on a grooved board, this will create a funnel (see photo below) in which you can wire the petal.

With a rose cutter, cut out 4 petals.

Using a third of the 26g white florist wire, wire the petal about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up, using your thumb and finger to guide the insertion of the wire up the paste.

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Thin the edges with a ball tool.

With the silk veining tool, vein the petal on the board. Keep the tip of the veining tool at the base of the petal where the wire goes in, and vein out into a fan shape.

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As an optional step, put the petal in the poppy veiner and press down gently.

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Put the petal in the apple tray / flower former, and arrange the petal.  Two of the petals (the inner petals) will need to be more cupped.  The 2 outer petals less so and can even be formed outwards if you wish.

Leave to dry (4 hours+).  (You can make the stamens in the meantime.)

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When dry, dust with a mixture of Petal Blue and Extra White dust.

 

Stamens

Wrap cream cotton about 50 times round 2 fingers. Twist into a figure 8, and bend in half.

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Feed a piece of 30g-33g florist wire, through the loops and twist several times to secure firmly.

Cut the loops. Repeat again, so you have 2 of these.

Trim the loops if necessary (check by placing the 2 sets of stamens together, overlapping them, and place the poppy centre in the centre of the stamens).

Brush a little Dark Brown dust or paste on the ends of the threads.

Fluff the ends of the threads with a piece of sandpaper or an emery board.

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Tape the two sets of stamens together under and around the wired poppy centre, securing with a little florist tape.

Make up the pollen by mixing Brown and Black dust with semolina (or using brown and black pollen dust). Dip the ends of the stamens in glue and then the pollen.

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Putting it all together

Starting with the wired poppy centre, use florist tape to secure the inner two petals.

Tape the other two outer petals.

Arrange the position of the petals as you tape to achieve the look you want – a more open or more closed poppy.

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