At first glance this hard-to-find, meager looking wire brush may not seem like a valuable tool to be in one’s gumpasting toolbox, but if you love adding different textures to your piece(s) as I do, I am sure after using one you will realize this is quite an impressive implement. I first saw one pictured in one of my gumpasting books, Garden Flowers In Sugar, by the renowned sugarcrafter, Tony Warren. The book listed it as a “texturing tool”, but did not give a source for acquiring it. So, the hunt was on and I tried every darn possible combination of words in my Internet search to find it, but to no avail. Then one day by sheer accident I located it while looking at confectioner’s glaze on the CK Products website. On a whim I decided to take a peek at their tab for “Misc Tools” for gumpaste (heaven knows, one can never have too many miscellaneous tools) and there it was! The only problem was that this particular vendor does not sell to individuals, only to the wholesale trade. That did not deter me as I at least had finally found its official name: a Wire Detailing Brush. I ultimately purchased it from another vendor who sold it retail and after receiving it I discovered from reading the packaging that this little gumpasting gizmo is just one of the many creations from the very clever Geraldine Randlesome.
The reason I am such a huge fan is because whenever I want to stipple my gumpaste or fondant I find myself automatically reaching for it. For instance, I have used it to add texture to my: Gumpaste Mermaidens, Prehistoric Party, Cattails, Poppy buds, etc.
How-to-Use a Wire Detailing Brush
It is really simple to use. You just poke the wire bristles into the gumpaste or fondant. I like to hold the brush almost straight up and down as I do it. One trick I have learned when using it on smaller items such as a tiny starfish, is I hold the bristles in place with my index finger and thumb which gives me more control over the spacing of the holes.
What makes this brush particularly handy is you can either speckle delicately or more aggressively depending on the look you are going for. Yes, you can “sort of” get this effect by bundling a bunch of pointed toothpicks together, but in my opinion you will not have the same control with the sizing of the holes when using this texturing technique.
Another use for this wire detailing brush is to create some nice wood graining. I used this type of texturing on my Gumpaste Pea Pod Baby’s white trellis. For this method you brush the wire bristles over the surface of the gumpaste/fondant in a wavy motion until you achieve the amount of wood graining you are looking for. You can press down lightly or with more pressure to change the effect you want to achieve. I suggest starting out lightly.
FYI: It comes in two sizes: large and small, but for my needs the small one does the trick.