Thursday, May 22, 2008

Flower Power

As you can see I've really gotten into my flower stage lately. This is a photo of one of my new barrettes -- I will share more on these later. Many people have commented on the "painted" flowers and are surprised when I explain there is no paint involved at all.

All the colors are in the clay and then mixed and combined to create new colors like paints, only instead of using a palette knife and brush, I use my hands and a pasta machine. For those of you who know me real well, you're probably surprised that I would one day use a pasta machine for my art rather than for cooking!  Anyhow, I shared with you how I made my Puffin cane and so now I will give a short demo on how one of my flowers is created:

I first made a gradient blend of blue so that it goes from dark to really light to give the flower petal a little more depth.

I then made a "plug" and added some details.

It is now ready to "reduce" by gently squeezing and shaping. You can see the size of my clay piece in comparison to my hand.

Here is the "plug" or what will be the petals reduced to a long thin snake. They are then cut and individually shaped.

Now I need to make the centre and then reduce it to fit my petals.

The petals are arranged around the centre. Another type of clay is then tightly packed around the petals so that when the cane is reduced, they will maintain their shape and not get too distorted. I packed this cane with a transluscent clay. 


Here the flower cane is reduced and then cut in half to see the inside.

I took one half of the cane and reduced it further and then half of that and reduced it smaller still. I now have my flower cane in three different sizes, ready for use. The last part to using a cane such as this one is to slice it very thinly and then carefully applied. 

I love making canes and you can make them as simple or as complicated as you like. Here is a photo of a pansy cane which is done in a similar manner but with more detail. Now I can't wait to make more creations using my new flowers!

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