I wrote about the impact of repetition, even using a very basic design here.
To see the results of makin kaleidoscope canes from very beautiful and complex canes, see Carol Simmons’ work here and here.
I took very simple canes – bulls-eyes, stripes, squares and a basic leaf, and packed these together to form a triangular cane (below left). This was reduced and cut 8 times to form the kaleidoscope cane (in the middle of picture below right). Thin slices are then used to cover a blank purse mirror – after first covering the metal with PVA glue (which is allowed to dry) I use liquid polymer clay for a strong bond.
My daughter has some favorite green shoes, which she wants to wear with greys and neutrals – she clearly needed a necklace to tie in the shoes.
I added some ground cumin and coarsely ground black pepper to the white polymer clay, to add a bit of interest. I mixed a color to match the shoes (kato clay: 2 yellow, 1 turquoise and a pinch of red). I created a skinner blend then made beads from different parts of the blend. For the shape, I rolled lentil beads, and once I had the lentil shape, simply squashed them with the top plate.
I made this pendant for my daughter, who enjoys swing dancing. Cut from copper, it is blackened with liver of sulphur.
Printed aluminium, silver jump rings, riveted (copper), cotton.
I recently enjoyed a five day workshop with Anna Davern at TAFTA Forum (Geelong, Australia). The main technique was sublimation – transferring images onto plastic and metal (pre-coated with a thin plastic layer).
My inspiration was “Mrs Beeton’s All About Cookery” – my copy was given to my grandmother in 1909. Published in England, the recipes are intriguing – particularly the “Colonial and Foreign” section, which includes parrot pie for Australians and terrapin stew for “America and Canada” ! I love the pictures.
Once scanned, printed and transferred to metal, the main pictures are cut out with a jewelers’ saw, then riveted to background pictures of crochet. The mangle picture is from an advertisment in the book for Champion mangles. “Ask your ironmonger for this particular mangle, accept no other“. The small crochet motifs are also printed on metal – the cake pin is then finished with crochet cotton.
Printed aluminium, silver jump rings, riveted (copper), crochet cotton (cake pin only).
This ‘retro’ cane is popular – it looks great and it’s not as difficult as it looks, but you do need an extruder. The key to the look is the shape of the die you use in your extruder and your color scheme. As long as you stack a range of colors into the extruder, the design just happens. I extruded through a square – but I would imagine it would work well with other shapes such as triangle and hexagon. See Bettina Welker’s lovely cane made with the small circle shape.
I enjoy the process of designing and problem solving when working with found objects. I only do this occasionally (despite my growing collection of objects!) so it can take some time for me to work out my design, and to solve problems – such as how to attach the typewriter key.
Parts of the design is informed by the person I’m making for, but for the rest, I just decide what looks right.
I made this nude cane about 14 years ago, and I still use it occasionally in my work. These pictures show the end cut from the original cane before it was reduced, and different sizes once the cane was reduced – her body shape tends to change a little with every reduction! See the original drawing below. Sometimes, as on this pin, I used a slice of the nude cane then added slices of face and hair canes separately. I also made a cane which included all these elements. There were very few tutorials on the web at the time, and no youtube, so I worked out how to make this by trial and error. However, Cynthia Tinapple’s video of making a face cane is similar to the technique I used, although I shaped each piece separately then packed it together. You can see the shapes of some of the components in the big slice beside the drawing, as well as two of the pieces that went into it.
Canes can last for some time as long as they are not exposed to heat, but you need to be patient to make them usable without cracking. I put pressure around the sides of the cane with my hands, and very gradually try to reduce it – this can take some time with an old cane. Alternatively, if the cane is at the size I need, once it’s a little warmed up in my hands, I carefully cut a thin slice, place it between two pieces of baking paper and gently rub with my finger. The warmth and friction make it pliable enough to add to a bead – like this one below.