Posted by: doras_explorations | May 22, 2009

Where to Look for Cane Design Inspiration-besides other people’s canes !


When I lack energy or ambition or have a creative block, I either reach for a piece of chocolate or surf the Internet.  Sometimes I do both.  I suppose it would be better to head to the gym, or to do some yoga and meditate, but self-discipline is unfortunately not one of my strong suits. 


   Much of my inspiration comes from the Internet, but not all, as demonstrated in a previous post.  One obvious place to look, of course, is at the work of other polymer clay artists through their websites, blogs, and photo sites such as Flickr.    So far, I have not utilized social networks such Facebook, My Space, or Twitter , since I am admittedly so ‘behind the times’ and uncool, LOL !   Besides, I am a lot more drawn to the visual rather than the verbal, despite the fact that I have been a speech pathologist for over 30 years.  If you take a look at my sidebar, you will see that I have loads of links to other polymer clay artists, and a generous sprinkling of links to mixed media, jewelry, beadwork, and other artists. 

       Although I love to look at other artists’ work,  I make a conscious effort not to rely on it too much.   This is because I want very much to develop my own style and not adopt the ‘look’ of another artist, let alone copy his/her work.  Obviously, that is much easier said than done!  Many times I thought I had come up with something ‘new and original’, only to find that someone else had already been there and done that, usually better than I did it !  Nonetheless,  I do learn many tips and techniques from other polymer clay artists which I utilize to improve the quality of my own work.  My Internet connection to the polymer clay community, in fact, has had a huge influence on my work. 


    Currently one of my favorite ‘non-polymer clay’ websites is COLOURLovers .  On this site, there is a gold mine of information about color trends, and how color is used in the real worlds of interior design, graphics, and fashion.  There are a lot of interesting articles and interviews with noted designers, but what really makes this site so special is that it allows people to post and share color palettes……….And there are, at last count, over 830,000 of them.   That’s a lot of virtual color swatches !  Many of the palettes are color gradations,  so it’s like having a library of Skinner blends!  There are tools on the website which allow you to mix colors, create a color palette, and choose a pattern to color in.  You can also search for colors and/or color palettes using various criteria or keywords.  For example, if you type ‘summer’, you will get all color palettes related to summer. If you have never visited this site before, take a look, it is amazing.  You are sure to get fresh ideas if you are in a ‘color rut’ !

    At first, I spend a lot of time just playing around on the site like a kid with new crayons and a coloring book.  But it soon occured to me that I could choose a  color palette to design a cane.  Obviously, the colors must be recreated as closely as possible in polymer clay,  but  color mixing is a great skill to practice, isn’t it ?


  So I have decied that in  my next post, I will pick out a color palette of 4-5 colors from the COLOURLovers library, and use it in a cane design.  I will show how I recreate (or, more accurately, try to recreate!) the colors with polymer clay, and of course, build a cane with them.  My cane will be based on  a ‘retro tea set’ pattern I found on the Flickr Mid-Century Modern Ceramics and Tableware group . Although I will be duplicating the pattern in cane form, I will use my chosen color palette instead of the one in the  tea set.  This is going to be my ‘weekend project’, so hopefully I can upload the post by Monday or Tuesday.  My computer is getting very slooooooooooow of late, and uploading anything seems to take forever, especially photos.  Time to shop for a new computer, I guess  {Sigh}and I just paid off my Visa. 

Anyway, stay tuned and see ya next week !




  1. Hi Dora,

    I looooove that website. It has so much color inspiration. Can’t wait to see your new cane!

    p.s. I can identify with the lack of self-discipline when it comes to chocolate! lol

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