I don't use the assembly-line method for my cakes, but that's pretty much what you have to do when you make gumpaste flowers. Since there are usually multiple steps to each flower, and there's some drying time between steps, it makes sense to do a bunch at once. This week and next I have a few cakes that will use a decent amount of flowers on them. Some are the gumpaste callas, shown here drying on the formers.
These are hydrangeas, which will be used as filler on the same cake with the callas.
The first step with these is to make the wired centers, then attach the petals and dry upside-down so that they don't flatten out.
These are the first and a couple of second steps to gumpaste roses. The cones are the first step, and for those I use up old colored gumpaste and fondant that I won't be using for other cakes. The white roses are the second step. For those I used the 5-petal cutter and did the first step of the quick rose. To make them larger I'll do more rows with the same cutter, or I'll do separate petals and attach them individually.
Last for this week's cakes are some snowflake filler, which I made out of gumpaste rolled through a pasta machine, then stamped out with a cutter.
The final step for these flowers will be to use petal dusts to finish the color, and to add centers to the callas.
I like to make my flowers instead of buying them, since they look less cookie-cutter, and you can do more varieties. I use a quick gumpaste with Toba Garrett's recipe, 1 pound of homemade fondant with 2 tsp Tylose kneaded into it. This works well for me, especially in the dry winter months when there's no humidity!