FPC Mermaid Tails Mould. Full instructions included.
FPC moulds can be used and re-used many times. They can be washed with household detergent like any other kitchen equipment. As with all new kitchen equipment, we recommend that your mould is washed prior to first use.
Making the impression
We recommend using either a 50:50 mixture of sugarpaste and flower paste or sugarpaste mixed with CMC, tylo or gum tragacanth. When using CMC, tylo or gum tragacanth, the recommended proportions are one level teaspoon of CMC or gum to 250 grams of sugarpaste. The paste needs to be well mixed, smooth, and free of cracks.
Using a lump of paste judged big enough to just fill the mould, press it into the cavities using your fingers and thumbs, or a small rolling pin. Any surplus can be removed using the palette knife or similar. Use a sawing action from the centre of the paste outwards to leave the paste flush with the surface of the mould. Do not try to force the knife through the paste, but allow the sawing action to make the cut. You can stabilise the paste in front of the cut using the fingers of your other hand. This is easier to do than describe!
You should then be able to remove the formed impression by gently flexing the mould. If there is any tendency for the paste to stick, a light dusting of cornflour on the ball of paste will help.
Note that some moulds with deep, narrow cavities (such as the baby shoe moulds) or with undercuts (such as the sleeping baby moulds) can require significant care to both fully fill the mould and to remove the model successfully. In order to release the impression without distortion, the filled mould can be frozen for 20-30 minutes to harden the paste first.
If this method is used leave the resulting impression on a flat surface dusted with cornflour to dry since the cold surface of the paste will attract moisture. When dry the impressions can be coloured with either edible dusts or paste colours diluted with alcohol.
Colouring the impression
The examples on the photos were coloured mostly by using Sugarflair brand paste colours diluted in a 90% isopropyl alcohol, 10% water mix. You can also use a high strength liquor like Polish Vodka, but it must be 90% alcohol. Normal strength vodka or gin (40%) have too high a water content to give good results. The high proportion of alcohol at 90% means that most of the liquid evaporates before the surface of the sugar paste starts to dissolve.
It is also important not to overload the brush. If the first coat of colour is too thin, wait until the surface is dry before going over it again with another coat, otherwise you will just lift off the first coat and it will streak. Using this method, try to build up layers of colour to give the subjects depth, much in the same way as a watercolour picture.
If using dusts as a colouring medium, apply them with a soft chisel edge brush when the surface of the decoration is 'leather hard' - not completely dry, but hard enough not to be distorted.