1. When carving always choose fruit and vegetables which are as hard as possible. The soft ones are not easy to manipulate and often break or squash.
2. Remember! Once you have learned how to carve one flower, you can carve the same one using other vegetables or fruit following the same technique. Always try to carve the same flower onto different products to see how they stand.
3. The more you carve, the better the flowers look. Try to master them.
4. When comes to carving petals or leaves, they don’t need to be carved in a perfect design or order. Just follow the appearance concept of the respective flower, and you can slightly change the curve, the size or the shape of the petals/leaves so that it looks more natural. Do not make them look like they have been carved by a machine which normally uses precise cut and measurements. In nature the flower petals/leaves are sometimes off the centre or slightly bent to the side or even deformed. Make them look natural.
5. Try to use all the colours of the fruit and vegetables for best effect. For example, watermelon has dark green skin, white underskin and red internal flesh. Leave the skin on and try to use it for greater effect when carving certain patterns.
6. Always use razor-sharp carving knives, especially when forming the smallest details. A blunt knife will not cut great shapes in soft flesh.
7. Some fruit and vegetables need specific preparation and treatments: do not soak carrots in water as they become tougher for carving; beetroots need to be washed in water with a little salt in it before carving - it will reduce the loss of colour; apples should be soaked in water with some lime/lemon juice in it before peeling to prevent browning; after carving rinse the watermelons with cold water and cover with a damp cloth; once carved the swede, radishes and turnips should be kept in a cold place covered with a damp cloth. After carving almost everything should be kept in a cold place and covered with a damp cloth or bagged to prevent browning or aging.
8. How to give the petals a serrated appearance when carving Roses or Carnation flowers? It is easy and when practiced for a while, it’ll give you good results. The trick is - when carving the petal move the carving knife in and out and at the same time slightly twist it towards the petal. The key is in the twisting motion.
9. When carving petals/leaves always cut some flesh around it so that they stand out. The more flesh is removed, the more define they will be. Find the right balance depending on the sought effect.
10. And the most important advice I can give you is just keep carving. The key is in the practice. The tenth carved rose will always look better than the first one.