Step Four – Assemble the Centre Petals
I prepare the petals by soaking them in water for a few minutes to make them pliable.
I set a few petals on tissue to absorb excess water before gluing.
I use cyanoacrylate adhesive because it is fast setting. Moisture helps to speed up the curing process. This makes it the ideal adhesive for this project. I also keep a can of acetone and several cotton swabs handy for those inevitable times when my fingers become part of a flower!
It helps to have a set of patterns to help position the petals when gluing them.
There are seven rows or tiers of petals in the roses I make.
They are arranged and glued to resemble the pattern below.
I cover my pattern with a sheet of acetate to protect it from glue and moisture.
The sheet you see on my drawing board has patterns for two sizes.
You can see the process of assembling the first three rows in the next series of photos.
The fist row (the centre of the flower) consists of one petal.
Each subsequent row gets one more petal added to it.
Each row is bent into a cone shape and glued.
I have a set of sharpened dowels of various diameters to help with this task. The points on the dowels are wrapped with packing tape to make them less likely to get stuck by the adhesive.
The photo below shows the fist petal being rolled around a thin dowel.
Here is the centre petal after gluing.
Using the pattern to place petals for the second row.
The second row is glued and ready for bending.
Notice that the petals in these three rows have the grain running lengthwise.
This helps in rolling the petals into tight cones.
In this example, Rows 4-7 will have the grain running from side to side, creating a flower with gentle curves (Refer to notes on grain direction in the previous entry).
In the photo below, the second row has been rolled and glued into a cone and the single petal is being inserted.
Here is the third row, glued and ready for bending into a cone.
Here are two special “centre guide” tools made from lengths of wire with one end rolled up to make a handle.
I use the centre guide to help align the centre openings of the flower rows. Keeping these openings aligned makes it easier later in the project to insert the wire which will make the flower stem.
Three rows now completed to form the centre of the flower
-- Ron Tourangeau, Ottawa, ON – www.generationstudios.com