How to add color to gum paste

How to add color to gum pasteWhat makes gumpaste different from other pastes is the addition of a special ingredient – a gum – to add strength and flexibility to it, so that it can be rolled out much thinner than your average fondant, resulting into a more realistic cake decor. This important ingredient makes the gumpaste stretchable and elastic, just like the consistency of a gum. Gumpaste decorations are valued more for their appearance rather than for their taste.

Where to Use It

Gumpaste is, more often than not, used to make decorative flowers, that’s why it is also known as flower paste. You can make roses, daisies, and calla lilies, and many other flowers. As a cake decorator, you will need a tremendous amount of patience and pay close attention to even the smallest of detail when making flowers out of gumpaste. You need to attach petals, stamens, and leaves together until you form the sugar flower. Aside from flowers, you also use it for bone-dry cake decorations and three-dimensional cake toppers. Here are some useful gumpaste tips that will surely come in handy while working on your decorations.

While Kneading

  • Check out the temperature first before working since gumpaste is highly sensitive to heat and humidity. Use more dusting powder if the weather is too humid to incorporate moisture back into the gumpaste.
  • Get the amount that you need for the decoration, and then keep any of the unused portion that you are not immediately working on under wraps so it won’t dry out.
  • Before you begin making the decorations, knead your gumpaste thoroughly until it is soft and smooth to the touch, so that it will be easy to roll out.
  • Gumpaste is always white to begin with, so you need to add color to this paste in order to bring your cake decorations to life. A small amount goes a long way, so in order to control the amount of color you are putting into the paste, use a toothpick to dip into the color and then wipe it into the paste. Begin kneading the gumpaste in order to evenly distribute the color all throughout.
  • Instead of cornstarch, use vegetable shortening when kneading so that the gumpaste won’t have cracks and won’t become brittle.

While Decorating

  • Here are some of the basic tools you need to have on hand when decorating using gum paste:
    • Petal cutters. Use cutters to come up with uniform shapes. These come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in either plastic or metal, although the latter cuts sharper edges than the former.
    • Real leaves. If you are going for a more authentic look, you can press your gumpaste into a real leaf for a realistic design.
    • Ball tool and veining tool.Modeling tools give a finished and professional appearance to your cake decorations. Achieve naturally-shaped petals with soft curves and ruffled edges with the use of the ball tool. To achieve this, you must hold the ball tool like you would a pencil. Use it to thin out the edges of petals by sliding the balled end around the petal. The harder pressure you use on the ball, the more pronounced the ruffling will be. The veining tool, on the other hand, adds texture to petals and leaves, resulting to a more authentic look.
    • Foam pad.This provides you with a firm surface to work on so that you can easily mold, thin out, and soften the edges of petals and leaves.
    • Florist wires, floral tape, wire cutters, and long nose pliers. These tools come in very handy during detail work, especially when making flower sprays out of gumpaste.
    • Petal dust. Aside from the food color you added while kneading the gumpaste, you can add color dusts to sugar flowers in order to give them a more realistic look. Choose from a wide variety of pastel and bold colors. Choose from petal dust, luster dust, and pearl dust, depending on the effect you want to achieve.
    • Paintbrush.You will need to use a fine brush to apply glue and petal dust on your sugar flowers.
    • Flower formers. A curved plastic platform that allows you to dry your sugar flowers and other decorations. Its curved shape makes it easy to dry the flowers while retaining their concave or convex shapes. If not available, you can use empty egg cartons.
  • When sticking your decorations together, use gum glue or water sparingly. Use a brush to control the amount of glue applied on the gumpaste.
  • Once finished, give the decorations enough time to dry completely. Dry them overnight before storing to prevent cracking and to remove moisture. Put them in a container and store at a cool, dry place rather than in a refrigerator to prevent them from cracking as well as absorbing the smell of the other food in the refrigerator.

By following these gumpaste tips, you should be able to turn out beautifully handcrafted decorations made from gumpaste in no time at all! For a quick homemade gumpaste recipe, click here!

Here is a technique I use color gum paste flowers.

In my experience of running a cake decorating business, I have had instances of customers requesting for cakes at the very last minute, sometimes in less than 2 days. This happens mostly for birthday cakes. I have also had similar requests for wedding cakes, sometimes with less than 2 weeks’ notice. It is still acceptable if the cake design is simple. By simple, I mean little deco and no sugar flowers. But in most cases, as simple as it can get, brides often request flowers as part of their wedding cakes deco.

How to add color to gum paste

Last-minute Cake Orders

So I figured out a way to cater to this kind of cake orders. I make the sugar flowers in advance. So when a rush order comes along, I have ready-made flowers to be used. It’s not practical to have these ready-made flowers in every imaginable color. So what I do is make all the flowers in white. When an order comes along which requires a specific colored flower, I simply color gum paste flowers by painting and dusting them.

This technique also works well when you want to color gum paste flowers in deep or dark shades of a color. Instead of mixing lots and lots of color into the gum paste to achieve the desired depth of the color, painting and dusting the flowers is often a faster option.

I have also used this technique on store-bought flowers. It is not only time saving but sometimes is a cheaper option. And can be considered for customers who do not have a big budget for their cakes.

How to add color to gum paste

I recently had an order for a wedding cake that required deep purple colored roses for the deco. And was kind of a rush order (the order was from a return customer, so I could not reject it). I didn’t have any ready-made white roses at that time. Making the roses myself was not a good option as it was a rush order. So I decided to purchase ready-made sugar rose bouquets instead. Unfortunately, I could not find the roses in the shade of purple I wanted!

So I bought white roses and colored them instead.

How to Color Gumpaste Flowers Using Food Coloring and Petal Dust The Quick and Easy Way

This is the rose bouquet, straight out of the packaging from a local cake decorating supply shop.

How to add color to gum paste

This is how the rose bouquet looked after I painted and dusted it with purple food coloring and petal dust.

How to add color to gum paste

How to Color Gum Paste Flowers

  • To achieve this deep purple shade, I used a mixture of these food colors:

How to add color to gum paste

Royal Blue and Navy Blue Americolor Food Coloring

How to add color to gum paste

Fuchsia, Burgundy and Electric Purple Americolor Food Coloring

Color consistency

  • The paint mixture must be diluted in water before painting. To ensure color is in the shade you want, always test it on a test flower first. Generally, if the paint solution is thick, the color on the rose will be too dark a shade of purple that it will look black instead of purple. Too much water would, on the other hand, appear as too light of a purple shade.
  • The trick is to add water in little amounts until the right shade is achieved.
  • Once you have the right consistency, start by painting the center of the flower. And use a fine brush so that you can reach the insides and bottom of the petals without breaking them. Also, make sure your brush does not contain too much paint. Otherwise it will take a long time to dry the paint.
  • Here is how my rose looked after painting:

How to add color to gum paste

Avoiding spillage

  • Once the whole flower has been painted, leave it to dry completely. Since the roses came in bouquets, I had to be extra careful when painting so as to not accidentally paint the filler flowers which I intended to leave white.
  • One way to avoid any spillage onto other flowers is to use a small piece of kitchen towel or sponge around the base on the flower you are painting. Here is what I used:

How to add color to gum paste

  • This piece of sponge came with the rose bouquet when I bought it, so I just recycled it . If you don’t have these, you can use a kitchen towel.

How to add color to gum paste

How to add color to gum paste

  • Once the flowers are painted, leave them to dry completely. I left mine to dry overnight.

Dusting the gum paste flowers

  • To enhance the color of the flower and hide any brush marks on the painted flowers, I then dusted them with Violet petal dust. Dusting not only hides all the brush marks and uneven paint tones on the petals, it also helps to enhance the color. I used Violet dust from Squires Kitchen.

How to add color to gum paste

  • See the difference between these two roses. Both were painted, but the one of the right was dusted with the petal dust and the one on the left was not.

How to add color to gum paste

  • As for the smaller filler flowers, instead of painting them, I dusted the centers with petal dust above.

How to add color to gum paste

How to add color to gum paste

  • Here is how the rose bouquet looked after painting and dusting:

How to add color to gum paste

  • I had to prepare 5 of these gum paste rose bouquets for the wedding cake, and this whole painting and dusting process took me approximately 4 hours, which is really worth it considering there were so many roses to paint and dust as compared to me making the rose bouquets myself which would have easily taken 2 days at a minimum.

How to add color to gum paste

Here is another one of my cake projects in which I used the exact same colored roses. Click here to see step by step pictures on how I made this flower pot cake:

Nicholas Lodge is a world-famous and highly acclaimed sugar paste artist, known mostly for his stunningly realistic sugar flowers. We’re proud to have him as one of our Bluprint instructors, teaching cake decorators his highly sought-after sugarcraft techniques and methods in The Ultimate Sugar Rose and Classic Sugar Flowers. In this free video tip, Nicholas demonstrates one of the most fundamental things you need to know when it comes to working with gum paste: how to make it! Check it out, then whip up a batch for yourself, knowing you’re using none other than Nicholas Lodge’s sugar paste recipe for all of your sugar art!

Hi, I’m Nicholas Lodge, an instructor on Bluprint.com. I’m going to be demonstrating how to make up a batch of gum paste.

Gum paste is what we use to make sugar flowers, as well as decorations on cakes. In my Kitchen Aid mixer bowl, which I have fitted with a paddle attachment, I have 125 grams of egg whites and 725 grams of powdered sugar. Now you’re just going to mix the egg whites up a little bit, then add the 725 grams of powdered sugar. Once we have got this mixed for about two minutes (I’ve already mixed this up), it should be a nice, creamy consistency. And as you can see, the consistency is going to look a little bit like meringue. It’s going to have a shiny peak to it. So it looks a little like meringue or soft serve ice cream.

Once we get to that point, we’re going to then take the gum paste. It can be colored at this stage. So if you wanted to make a whole batch of pink gum paste, you can put pink color in there, or green. I’m going to show you this in white. Then I have in here, 30 grams of Tylose powder. Tylose powder is the gum that is going to bind the gum paste together, and make the gum paste flowers set firm.

So I have 30 grams of Tylose powder, and on the stir setting I’m just going to add the Tylose powder to the powdered sugar and egg white mixture. And so what this is going to do is thicken up this mixture. Just mix this up for a few seconds. And so you can see this totally changes the consistency of this.

Now, I have an additional 100 grams of powdered sugar here. So I’m going to just sprinkle that additional 100 grams—some of this. We will not use all of the 100 grams. So remember, 125 grams of egg whites. I always scale in grams because this is more accurate than trying to scale in cups or in ounces, and any digital scale (like this digital scale here) will obviously be accurate, and can be scaled in grams or in imperial. But in pastry, we always scale in grams. So a 125 grams of egg whites. And then 725 grams of powdered sugar.

And this is just going to be mixed up and then once we get this mixed up, we’re going to just take some vegetable shortening. So I have here some vegetable shortening. This is approximately four teaspoons, which is around 20 grams of vegetable shortening. And I’m just going to mix this up with my hands. This is fun to do, and if you’ve ever made rolled fondant from scratch, this is very similar to making rolled fondant from scratch.

Once you have mixed this all up, we’re going to add enough powdered sugar, so we get a soft but not sticky consistency. The consistency we’re looking for is going to come together, so when we pinch this it’s going to be soft but not sticky. So it should be springy, a little like bread dough. Once we get this made, we’re going to put this in a Ziploc bag. So we put it in a Ziploc bag like this. We store this in a refrigerator for 24 hours prior to use. And then take this out about an hour before we want to use it. And then you can then color this with a little bit of gel or paste color. If you wanted to just color a small amount of white, add just a little bit of vegetable shortening.

Gum Paste Roses

How to add color to gum paste

With the right tools and a little patience, anyone can shape elegant, intricate gum paste roses. This illustrated guide will help you make a variety of roses, from tight buds to extravagant blooms.

What You’ll Need

  • Flower paste/gum paste
  • Toothpicks
  • Styrofoam block
  • Nonstick board or marble slab
  • Cornstarch
  • Rolling pin
  • Gum paste cutters or cookie cutters in various sizes
  • Gum paste flower tool (optional)
  • Small brushes
  • Gel paste colors/edible petal dust

Make Base

How to add color to gum paste

Roll some gum paste into a small ball, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Pinch the top of the ball to shape it into a teardrop.

Insert Toothpick and Let Dry

How to add color to gum paste

Insert a toothpick into the base and set it aside in a Styrofoam block. Make these bases a few days in advance, as they need to be completely dry before you can proceed.

Roll Out Gum Paste

How to add color to gum paste

On a smooth surface dusted with cornstarch, use a rolling pin to roll out your gum paste to a thickness of about 1/16 of an inch.

Cut Out Rose Petals

How to add color to gum paste

Use an assortment of gum paste cutters to make your rose petals. In order to create a more natural effect, use smaller cutters for the inner petals and large cutters for the outer petals.

Thin Out Petal Edges

How to add color to gum paste

If you have a gum paste flower tool, use it to thin each petal’s edges and create a delicate, frilled effect. If you don’t have a flower tool, simply pinch the petal’s edges to thin them.

Wet Finished Petal

How to add color to gum paste

Wet the finished petal with a little water or gum paste adhesive.

Wrap Petal Around Base

How to add color to gum paste

Wrap the petal around the base and furl the outside edge slightly to create a closed rosebud. If you’re making a gum paste bouquet, keep some flowers at the rosebud stage.

Make Another Petal

How to add color to gum paste

Prepare another petal of similar size and repeat steps five through seven.

Wrap Second Petal

How to add color to gum paste

Wrap the second petal around the rosebud, then roll back the petal’s outer edge.

Attach Third Petal

How to add color to gum paste

Repeat this process with a third petal of similar size. Again, roll back the petal’s outer edge to open your gum paste blossom. If you are making a gum paste bouquet, keep some roses at this stage.

To shape larger roses, cut out a set of larger petals and repeat steps five through 10. Always ensure that your roses are dry before moving on to the final step.

Add Color to the Finished Dried Roses

How to add color to gum paste

Paint your flowers with a small brush and an assortment of gel food coloring or petal dust shades. Apply a darker tint to each flower’s core for a natural effect.

Note: If you are aiming for a deep red hue, use colored gum paste—it is nearly impossible to produce a rich, vivid color with just petal dust or gel food coloring.

Whenever you start something new, you always feel that it will cost you a fortune, and I don’t doubt that your expectations will be no different when you decide to start making gum paste sugar flowers.

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to spend a lot of money to color your Gum Paste when you start making sugar flowers and still get amazing results?

You will need to buy some basic tools and either purchase or make some Gum Paste, but when you first start making them, there is no need to color your gum paste.

You can start practicing with white gum paste, and the flowers you produce will still look amazing. For example, a white rose is simply stunning!

Once you realize that making Sugar Flowers is a fantastic skill to learn, and I am sure that will happen quickly, that will be the time to invest in just a few basic colors.

You need the right product…

To color gum paste, you need to buy gel colors. Liquid colors are not suitable as they destroy the paste’s consistency and won’t allow the finished flower to become hard when dry, but it’s not altered if you use gel colors.

The good thing is that the gel colors you buy to color gum paste can also be used to color rolled fondant/sugar paste and buttercream, so they are a good investment.

Eventually, you will most likely invest in many colors but wait until you need them, then you won’t feel that it costs you a lot of money when you start.

In the UK, Sugarflair is the most reliable and popular brand of gel color and the one that I have always used but, as you get more experienced, it will be up to you to decide which brand works best for you.

In the USA, I believe Americolor, Chefmaster, and Wilton produce the most popular gel colors.

Wherever you live, if you go to your local cake decorating supplier, I am sure they will recommend the best gel paste color to use.

How to add color to gum paste

It would be ideal to start your collection of gel paste with the three primary colors, red, blue, and yellow. Then, by mixing the primary colors, you can make orange, violet, and green. Those six colors will be more than enough for any project you are working on.

Multiple shades of each color…

You can expand your color choices by making multiple shades of each of those colors by starting with the deepest shade then mixing them with varying quantities of white gum paste.

I’m going to take you through the basic way to shade your gum paste. You will become experienced in estimating how much of the darkest shade you will require and then how much of the darkest shade you need to mix the various shades, depending on the size of your project.

The first thing to decide is how much white gum paste you will need to make the deepest shade of paste for your project, then double the quantity. Be generous with your estimate, as extra may be required to adjust the shading.

Dip the end of a cocktail stick into the gel paste color, apply it to your gum paste, then knead it until the color is evenly distributed. Keep adding color and kneading it until you achieve the darkest shade you require, taking note that the color will darken as it “matures.”

Once you think your paste is dark enough, double wrap it in plastic and leave it for about 4 hours to allow the gel color to penetrate the sugar crystals.

As I have already said, the color will darken as it soaks into the sugar crystals, but after it “matures,” if you think it is not dark enough, you can add more gel paste and again leave it to mature. If the shade is too dark, you can always add some white gum paste to lighten the shade.

If you want your flowers to match, remember to allow enough gum paste to make them all because it is challenging to get the exact shade again once you have mixed a batch.

Let’s get started with the shading…

Note: keep all the paste you are not working with tightly wrapped to avoid it drying out.

  1. Take the paste you have colored to the darkest shade and cut it in half. Wrap one half and put it aside.
  2. Take an equal amount of the white paste as the half portion of colored paste and knead them together.
  3. Cut the newly colored paste in half, wrap half, put it aside, and work with the other half.
  4. For the next shade, add an equal amount of white gum paste to the colored half, knead well then cut the new tone in half. Wrap half and work with the other half.
  5. Continue doing this until you have as many shades as you require.

If you think some of the shades are too strong, add white paste until you get the shade you require or if you feel the shade is too light, then add more of the darker shade.

Leave for at least 4 hours for the colors to “mature” before using. I always mix my paste colors the day before I want to use them and let them sit overnight, so the colors are completely “mature.”

How do you store it…

When you have finished your project and if you find you have paste left over, there is no need to throw it away as you can always use it for other flowers or when making filler flowers.

  • Colored gum paste will last at room temperature for a week.
  • Don’t store your colored gum paste in the fridge because it may become sticky on the outside and, in some cases, become moldy and unsafe to use.
  • Store any leftover paste (double wrapped in thick plastic and placed in an airtight plastic box) in the freezer, and it will last for months.

I wish you success in coloring your gum paste.

How to add color to gum paste

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How to add color to gum paste

How Do I Color Gum Paste A Gold Color

Help ASAP I am making a crown,for a prince’s crown,and I need to color the whole thing gold. I know you can “paint” it using Luster Dust? Is there a way to turn the whole batch gold? The same way you would use gel coloring. I need to make the crown today ,tomorrow at the latest . It is for a baby’s 1st Birthday cake. The party is next Saturday so I need to make the crown ASAP so it will dry. It will sit on top of 6″ cake it is the same size as the cake. Thank you for any help you can give

Not really, no. You just need to either airbrush it with gold sheen (ok gold look, not bright and realistic, but effective enough). I get gold highlighter powder from CK, and mix it up with vodka and paint it on. You get an actual shiny gold look with that stuff versus luster/airbrush sheen.

make it in gumpaste, let dry and spray with edible gold.

I would consider spraying it with the gold sheen airbrush colour or paint it on after with that. I made a silver crown for a first birthday cake that is my photos in the Children’s Birthday Cake album and I painted it on and used the silver sheen americolour airbrush colour. I had to do a few coats to get the density I wanted.

Make in color similar to gold. then spray or paint as already suggested.

Galaxy cakes, drip effects, and gravity-defying designs display the infinite imagination of cake decorators. Their unbelievable ability to create gorgeous life-like botany from sugar has us asking once again, “how do they do that?” The answer is Tragacanth gum.

How to add color to gum paste

What Is Tragacanth Gum?

Tragacanth gum comes from the astragalus gummifer and other Asiatic species of astragalus. The gum exudes from cuts made in the bark. The dried ribbons and flakes are collected, cleaned, and milled. Tragacanth gum is a natural ingredient used to emulsify and thicken foods like mayonnaise, relishes, and liqueurs. But, its strength and elasticity makes creating botanical garden-worthy blooms possible.

How to add color to gum paste

How To Make Gum Paste

To create stunning floral cake decorations, you will first need to make some gum paste. We’ve included an easy recipe with instructions at the end of this post. The paste will need to rest for 24 hours before using, so planning ahead is a must. Once you have the paste mixed, it is very important to keep it double-wrapped in plastic to keep it from drying out while it rests. To color your paste, we recommend kneading just a touch of gel color into a bit of your paste.

Pro Tip: Create a gradient effect within the petals by coloring some of the paste just a touch darker. Intertwining slightly different shades will create a more realistic result.

How to add color to gum paste

How To Make Gum Paste Flowers

Once the paste is ready to go, you can start creating. There are tons of great videos showing techniques from simple daisies to advanced peonies. We like these videos from Craftsy and Pink Mama Bear. If you don’t have all the official tools, don’t worry. Your kitchen is full of objects that can be used to cut shapes and create texture and detail in your flowers. Seives, old cookie cutters, and the tip of a whisk are all great options. Get creative!

How to add color to gum paste

Easy Gum Paste Recipe

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 Tbs light corn syrup

2 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder

4 Tbs warm water

  1. In a large bowl, whisk 3 cups of sifted confectioner’s sugar and tragacanth gum. Set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave safe bowl, add 4 Tbs warm water. Sprinkle gelatin on top, making sure the gelatin is fully saturated.
  3. Stir in corn syrup and heat in microwave for 15 seconds. Stir to make sure corn syrup and gelatin are melted and fully incorporated.
  4. Gradually add the sugar mixture to the corn syrup/gelatin mixture.
  5. Transfer incorporated mixture into a stand mixer bowl. With dough hook attachment, mix on medium speed until dough looks uniform. It will be a bit sticky at this point. Double wrap in plastic wrap, place in airtight container and let it rest overnight.
  6. After letting the dough rest, sift the remaining cup of sugar and knead into dough until the dough is no longer sticky.
  7. This is a great time to divide your dough and add some color. Just make sure that any dough you are not actively working with is double-wrapped in plastic to keep it from drying out.

Gum Paste Roses

How to add color to gum paste

With the right tools and a little patience, anyone can shape elegant, intricate gum paste roses. This illustrated guide will help you make a variety of roses, from tight buds to extravagant blooms.

What You’ll Need

  • Flower paste/gum paste
  • Toothpicks
  • Styrofoam block
  • Nonstick board or marble slab
  • Cornstarch
  • Rolling pin
  • Gum paste cutters or cookie cutters in various sizes
  • Gum paste flower tool (optional)
  • Small brushes
  • Gel paste colors/edible petal dust

Make Base

How to add color to gum paste

Roll some gum paste into a small ball, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Pinch the top of the ball to shape it into a teardrop.

Insert Toothpick and Let Dry

How to add color to gum paste

Insert a toothpick into the base and set it aside in a Styrofoam block. Make these bases a few days in advance, as they need to be completely dry before you can proceed.

Roll Out Gum Paste

How to add color to gum paste

On a smooth surface dusted with cornstarch, use a rolling pin to roll out your gum paste to a thickness of about 1/16 of an inch.

Cut Out Rose Petals

How to add color to gum paste

Use an assortment of gum paste cutters to make your rose petals. In order to create a more natural effect, use smaller cutters for the inner petals and large cutters for the outer petals.

Thin Out Petal Edges

How to add color to gum paste

If you have a gum paste flower tool, use it to thin each petal’s edges and create a delicate, frilled effect. If you don’t have a flower tool, simply pinch the petal’s edges to thin them.

Wet Finished Petal

How to add color to gum paste

Wet the finished petal with a little water or gum paste adhesive.

Wrap Petal Around Base

How to add color to gum paste

Wrap the petal around the base and furl the outside edge slightly to create a closed rosebud. If you’re making a gum paste bouquet, keep some flowers at the rosebud stage.

Make Another Petal

How to add color to gum paste

Prepare another petal of similar size and repeat steps five through seven.

Wrap Second Petal

How to add color to gum paste

Wrap the second petal around the rosebud, then roll back the petal’s outer edge.

Attach Third Petal

How to add color to gum paste

Repeat this process with a third petal of similar size. Again, roll back the petal’s outer edge to open your gum paste blossom. If you are making a gum paste bouquet, keep some roses at this stage.

To shape larger roses, cut out a set of larger petals and repeat steps five through 10. Always ensure that your roses are dry before moving on to the final step.

Add Color to the Finished Dried Roses

How to add color to gum paste

Paint your flowers with a small brush and an assortment of gel food coloring or petal dust shades. Apply a darker tint to each flower’s core for a natural effect.

Note: If you are aiming for a deep red hue, use colored gum paste—it is nearly impossible to produce a rich, vivid color with just petal dust or gel food coloring.