Posted by: doras_explorations | August 18, 2008

Cane of the Week, Aug 18th: Back to Basics

As promised, here’s the first of what will be a regular feature of my blog, barring any unforseen circumstances !  Yesterday I set up my workspace in my photography studio (aka my dining room !) to make a new cane and record the process using my new Nikon D40 .  I’m still a novice photographer, so some of the shots are not flawless,  unlike my canework (I’m kidding of course !!!).  The problem seems to be mainly with the lighting. My dining room is illuminated by a combination of filtered sunlight and incandescent lights, and the camera seems to be ‘confused’ by this mix.  My Photoshop skills aren’t quite up to the challenge of correcting the problem, but I’m learning.

       On Friday night, while I was laying on the couch and watching the Red Sox, I got my sketchpad and black Sharpie, and played around with a few designs.  I stuck with a basic square shape for the outline and simple geometrics for the interior.  This is what I came up with:   

     OK, so it’s not fine art, not even by doodling standards.  My goal was to sketch out a cane design with simple shapes, no Skinner Blends, no color shading.  This is a departure from the kind of canes I’ve been making recently (see my cane photos on Flickr).  I decided to use the design on the left in the middle row.  One cane would feature pink with a white background, the other would be pink with a black background.  I chose these colors because I had a huge quantity of them on hand.  As it turned out, I almost ran out of pink.  Since it was a mix of many other colors, I couldn’t duplicate it, so I had to add some white to it so I’d have enough to finish the black cane.  Perhaps I should get into the habit of recording color formulas…..


  Enjoy the show. If you click on a photo to enlarge it, and you get a gigantic image, click on it and it should reduce to a viewable size!




  1. I think I like the pink and black too. I do wonder how it would look if you outlined the pinks sections (in the white one) with a super thin layer of black if it would make it look more intense. make sense?

  2. Thanks for your comment,I agree, Kathi, the black outline would probably make the pink stand out better against the white background. According to color theory, light colors advance and dark colors recede. That would explain why the black background made the pink ‘stronger’ and made for a more striking design. One of my goals of doing “A Cane a Week” is to get people (including myself!) thinking about color and design options when constructing a cane. I read that Sarah Shriver takes up to a month to design and construct a cane, and we all know how hers turn out, LOL!

  3. Dora, this is fabulous! Since caning is not my first polymer clay love, I never even thought about drawing a design and then reproducing it in a cane. How cool is that?!! You’re doing a great job with documenting your process. I, too, prefer the pink and black canes because I like a lot of contrast. I think that playing with different color combinations in simple canes is a wonderful way to see how colors work together. I’m looking forward to more installments of your new series!

  4. Thanks, Karen ! I get a lot of great color ideas from your beadwork too. I don’t normally sketch a cane design ahead of time, because I tend to make it up as I go along. However, I did find it helpful and plan to do it more often.

  5. I just love watching an artist work! I like to draw out my designs first to o. I didn’t do that when I first started making canes and ended up with things looking out of proportion.

    I liked your pink and white canes when they were bigger. They only lost their contrast when the were reduced. IMO

  6. I would agree with you, Cindy, about the pink and white canes…I tend to get carried away with the reduction sometimes, LOL !!! Part of doing good canework is knowing when to stop !

  7. Thanks Dora! I’m discovering that sometimes sketching can be a very good thing.
    I’ve tagged you if you’d like to play “6 Random Things”. 🙂

  8. Sounds fun, Karen, how do you play?

  9. que lindos los canes dora, eres un artista linda, por darnos tantas cosas preciosas mandano mas canes con eso aprendo mas…………jenia..

  10. te quiero mucho dora jenia……………

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