Flower cane video

I have described how to make a simple flower cane here.  Here is a video of the process, including making beads. This bangle was worn by one of the actors in Jane Cafarella’s play about surrogacy – “e-baby” which was performed at Chapel off Chapel (Melbourne, Australia) in March 2015.

Sarah Ranken (wearing the bracelet) and Carolyn Bock in

Sarah Ranken (wearing the bangle) and Carolyn Bock in “e-baby””

Background information about the play “e-baby” Jane Cafarella talks about play (ABC Radio National) .

Check this link for an amazing (very short) video of the building of a Marilyn Monroe cane by Adina Pastelina.

Another kaleidoscope cane

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.

purse mirrorI 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.

Color match beads

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.

Beads to match 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.

Sublimation workshop


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).

Retro jewelry

retro cane pendantThis ‘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.


Pendant for Lucy

Lucy pendant main

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.

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