Fall is here and winter is coming on. We've been busy preparing for some Christmas shows coming up soon and so I've been busy creating things with winter and Christmas themes.
I was thinking of making a snowflake cane and had been looking around for various ideas. One of my ways of getting inspiration is going through magazines, flyers and colorful brochures. I will tear out photos that grab me for one reason or another and sort and file them for later reference. While going through one sales flyer a photo with a snowflake (shown below) got my attention and I could easily visualize making a cane from this design.
I started with a blue colored clay that has some pearl in it for a nice sheen. You can also use a transluscent instead but the blue is easier to see in the photos.
1. Form your clay into a round plug about 2" in diameter and 1-1/2" high. Cut the plug in half down the center. Separate the halves and make cuts into each piece making both sides equal as shown in the photo.
2. For the snowflake "veins" I used a mixture of half white and half pearl clay and rolled it out on the #2 setting of my pasta machine which is the second thickest setting. Cut pieces in the following sizes to fit into the cut areas (see photos 2 & 3):
2 pieces 1/4" wide x 1-1/2" (height of you cane)
2 pieces 3/8" wide x 1-1/2"
2 pieces 1/2" wide x 1-1/2"
2 pieces 5/8" wide x 1-1/2"
Pinch and taper one side of the long edge of each piece (pic 2).
3. Place the white pieces between the blue clay as shown in photo 3 with the tapered ends facing up.
4. For the center vein, use a double thickness of the white/pearl clay and cut a piece 1-1/2" x 1-3/4". Pinch and taper along the 1-1/2" edge on one side (pic 4).
5. Insert the center vein lining up the squared end at the bottom and the tapered end at the top.
6. Press the clay together into a tight round plug again.
7. Reduce the cane to about 14" or longer. Trim off the distorted ends.
9. Cut the remainder into 6 or 8 pieces -- depending on how many sections you want to use.
9. Pinch the top end of each cane piece like forming a flower petal or leaf.
10. For the snowflake center, make a bulls eye cane with blue as the center (3/8" or 10 mm diameter) and wrapped in the white/pearl rolled out at a #3 PM setting (3rd thickest).
11. Arrange the snowflake cane pieces around the center matching up the stems so they line up and touch the center white.
12. Fill in around with more blue clay, packing it tightly.
13. Wrap the cane in a sheet of blue clay.
14 1514. The cane is now ready to reduce.
15. Here are my snowflake canes reduced down to several sizes ready to use.