Monday, August 17, 2009

Building a Cane

   

When people view my work they automatically think it is painted.  When I explain how the flowers and designs are formed from a "cane", it is difficult to visualize.  So as part of the "How We Do It" series, I will show you how I build a cane like the ones shown above.

When I start a cane I need to choose my colors.  For this one, I decided on an autumn mix  of a mocha brown, chili pepper red and sunflower yellow.  These are some of the special  colors I mix myself.  I make my own color recipes (just like a cookbook) as explained in the Mixing Colors post I did earlier.

   

After choosing my colors I blend them together in a sheet and then stretch my blend and roll it into a log (below left).  This part is shown in the color blending post I did last month. 

   

I then cut into my log and insert the veins and stem for a leaf pattern and put it back together again like a puzzle.

   

The next stage is to reduce the cane and this is done by gently squeezing and stretching it.  You 
can see how it has been stretched in the photo (above right) and it is also thinner.

   

I can keep stretching and reducing this cane to as small as I want.  When I slice of a piece off you can see how the same pattern goes all the way through.  I shape them into leaves that I can use for various projects.

I like how these leaves turned out and have some ideas already on what to make with them.

3 comments:

Joan Tayler said...

I like the leaf and I also like the round cane that looks like a stylized tree. Very nice.

2 Good Claymates said...

Thanks Joan, You know I never even noticed the "tree" until you mentioned it! Ha! lol ! You do have a good eye!

Anonymous said...

I have been playing with polymer clay for a little while now and am pleased with the results....but cane making always seems to go 'pear shaped' for me. It looks easy when watching a professional doing it. I guess it's a matter of practice making perfect. I shall keep on trying. Thanks for the tutorial...I have only just found your site...so will favor it and keep on watching out for new tricks :-)
Chris from Australia