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A ball tool is a piece of equipment used in the edible artwork that many pastry chefs create. The tool is used when manipulating fondant and gumpaste for the decoration applications in different pastries, especially in wedding cakes and other celebratory cake art. Made out of stainless steel, ball tools come in various shapes and sizes, some with a differently sized ball on each end. Some ball tools are actually multipurpose in nature, with the ball on one end and a different tool such as a scoring tool or a frilling tool on the other.
Depending on the brand or maker, a ball tool can be one solid piece or can consist of a wooden or composite handle with a steel blank exposing the ball on the end. Ball tools can also be completely carved out of a single piece of hard maple or rosewood, or be molded one-piece units made of different composites or plastics. Silicon utensils have also become widely popular, as they are resistant to staining.
A ball tool can be somewhat intimidating to someone who doesn’t know exactly what can be done with it, as the use of a ball tool requires delicacy and light touch. The experienced fondant artist uses the ball tool to make shapes out of fondant material such as rose pedals, flattening fondant or various other forms, either by using prescribed methods or the artist’s own inspiration. The array of sizes that different ball tools come in make them a truly versatile tool for their designed art form as well, while available in various circumferences makes them usable in a vast array of projects.
Ball tools are in fact extremely versatile and used in hundreds of different manners by fondant artists and cake designers the world throughout. Other similar tools are also used frequently in conjunction with the ball tools when creating various forms of pastry art. Scoring tools, boning tools, frilling and perforating tools, for example, are all used by people who specialize in designing beauty from edible materials, and none of them are exclusively to be used for the shaping and molding of fondant material. Many of these tools can also be used to create different shapes and designs out of other pliable materials, meaning quite literally that the limitations on using these tools are determined only by the artist’s imagination.
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