Posted by: doras_explorations | July 7, 2009

Cane of the Week, 7/5/09: Behold!, Part II

      To those of you who read my previous post, welcome back!   As promised, here are the steps I used to construct my Behold! cane. 

1.	To make my Skinner blend, I roll out sheets on the thickest setting of my Atlas pasta machine (#1).   These sheets are approximately 4”x6”/ 10.6x15.24cm in size.  I will use a smaller amount of the blue clay in my blend, as you can see in the next photo.

1. To make my Skinner blend, I roll out sheets on the thickest setting of my Atlas pasta machine (#1). These sheets are approximately 4”x6”/ 10.6x15.24cm in size. I will use a smaller amount of the blue clay in my blend, as you can see in the next photo.

 

2.	I cut, stack, and arrange my 3 colors to look like this.  My Skinner blend will be made from this slab, which is approximately ¼”/6.35mm in thickness.

2. I cut, stack, and arrange my 3 colors to look like this. My Skinner blend will be made from this slab, which is approximately ¼”/6.35mm in thickness.

 

3.	I fold the clay slab in half, and flatten it out so it will fit through my pasta machine more easily.  I then proceed to make the blend.

3. I fold the clay slab in half, and flatten it out so it will fit through my pasta machine more easily. I then proceed to make the blend.

 

4.	Here is my Skinner blend after approximately 20 passes through the pasta machine.

4. Here is my Skinner blend after approximately 20 passes through the pasta machine.

 

5.	After trimming the ends, I roll up the Skinner blend across the colors to form a log shape.  The log is compressed and reshaped to make a square block or ‘plug’.

5. After trimming the ends, I roll up the Skinner blend across the colors to form a log shape. The log is compressed and reshaped to make a square block or ‘plug’.

 

6.	Here the block has been flattened and stretched so I can fit it through the pasta machine on the #1 setting.

6. Here the block has been flattened and stretched so I can fit it through the pasta machine on the #1 setting.

 

7.	This is what the sheet looks like after it has gone through the pasta machine.  I divide this strip into 1”/2.5cm segments, then stack the segments to make a block shape.

7. This is what the sheet looks like after it has gone through the pasta machine. I divide this strip into 1”/2.5cm segments, then stack the segments to make a block shape.

 

8.	The segments are stacked, and I compress this rectangle to make it more of a square.  I also trim the sides to make them neat and even.

8. The segments are stacked, and I compress this rectangle to make it more of a square. I also trim the sides to make them neat and even.

 

9.	This square will be cut in half from corner to corner to make 2 triangles.

9. This square will be cut in half from corner to corner to make 2 triangles.

 

10.	The 2 triangles are cut in half to make 4 triangles.

10. The 2 triangles are cut in half to make 4 triangles.

 

The pieces are arranged as shown in the above photo.  Notice that the color bands are now diagonal.  This square will be reduced to a length of approximately 2”/5cm.

11.The pieces are arranged as shown in the above photo. Notice that the color bands are now diagonal. This square is reduced to a length of approximately 2”/5cm. Then it is reshaped to form a 3/4"/19mm x 1"/2.5cm rectangle.

 

beholdcane12

12. Once my rectangle is made, I slice it from corner to corner, following the line where the light and dark colors meet. I scrape off any dark clay that remains on the light side (and vice versa) using my clay blade.

 

13.	 My 2 triangular pieces are cut in half as shown in the photo to make 4 triangles.

13. My 2 triangular pieces are cut in half as shown in the photo to make 4 triangles.

 

14.	 I stand up my triangles with the longest side on the bottom.

14. I stand up my triangles with the longest side on the bottom. Then I wrap each triangle (but not the bottom!) with a very thin (Atlas #6) sheet of blue clay.

 

15.  I wrap each triangle (but not the bottom!) with a very thin (Atlas #6) sheet of blue clay.

15. Now the triangles are arranged as shown above to form a square, but are not pressed together. In the center is a small “tilted” square hole. Note that the unlined sides of the triangles face outward to form the sides of the square.

 

16.	The square is now pulled apart, and a square log (I used the green clay) is inserted to fill in the center square hole, checking both ends of the cane to make sure it fills it completely.

16. The square is now pulled apart, and a square log (I used the green clay) is inserted to fill in the center square hole, checking both ends of the cane to make sure it fills it completely.

 

17. I press the pieces of the cane together and make sure there are no gaps between the pieces.  Then the cane is wrapped with a #6 sheet of blue clay.  This cane will now be reduced to a ¾”/19mm square approximately 3”/7.6cm in length.

17. I press the pieces of the cane together and make sure there are no gaps between the pieces. Then the cane is wrapped with a #6 sheet of blue clay. This cane will now be reduced to a ¾”/19mm square approximately 3”/7.6cm in length.

behold18

18. Behold ! , the finished cane !

 

19.	Here I have taken a piece off the base cane, reduced it, and reassembled it to make a 9-patch square.  Note that the little green center squares are all tilting in the same direction.

19. Here I have taken a piece off the base cane, reduced it, and reassembled it to make a 9-patch square. Note that the little green center squares are all tilting in the same direction.

 

           I realize the steps are a bit complicated.  Most of the difficulty was in making a Skinner block with diagonal striping.  If anyone out there has an easier technique to accomplish this, I would love to hear it.  I did a search on the ‘net, but the only instructions I found for diagonal Skinner blends were those that resulted in a cane that shifts colors as you slice it.  One example is Beth Kazze Curran’s “Rainbow in a Cane” lesson featured in the October 2008 issue of Polymer Cafe. And I wanted my diagonal blend to go all the way through the cane and not shift color.

     Anyway, that’s it, folks !  Next time I will more careful in choosing a cane design based on mathematical principles, LOL !

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Responses

  1. It is a very beautiful cane, Dora! I love your choice of colours; and reducing square cane so neatly is something fantastic 🙂
    I do my colour gradients for flowers’ petals the same way :))

    • Thanks, Zu ! I have made a lot of square canes lately, and I seem to be getting better the more I practice. But I still find round canes to be much easier.

  2. Wow Dora! Great looking cane! It does look complicated. I can see why it took awhile to figure out. Funny… the stuff that looks simple on paper can be quite tricky in real life. Sure ended up looking cool. Very 3-D looking!

    • thanks, Cindy ! I thought the ‘dimensionalness’ showed up better when I reduced the cane to make the 9-patch square. Now that I know how to make this cane, I’d like to try it with colors that have more contrast. I’m thinking black and white with red for the center square…

  3. Oh my word, that’s gorgeous! And it has the feel of vibrant life, as if you’ve created an exuberant eternal garden. Extraordinary!

    • thanks, Kathleen, for the compliment. All in all, I was pleased with the result, although I still see room for improvement (as always!)

  4. It really turned out to be a treasure of a cane. And you have all the instructions for next time. Great job and thanks for sharing.

  5. Your cane world is really awesome and these green is wonderful, grat work 🙂

  6. Wow, Dora, what an amazing cane! I’m so impressed with all of the mathematical figuring you did to get this cane to look exactly as you wanted it to. The color scheme is fabulous.

    You are the cane queen!

    • Thanks, Alkhymeia for your kind words !
      Thanks, Karen ! When I was in high school I didn’t think I’d have any use for geometry ! Amazing how useful it is in everyday life……..

  7. OK, I’ll admit to impatience…but it’s been 3 weeks since your last post…shouldn’t you be giving us at least a tease picture?

    • Hi Kathleen ! Yes, I am indeed overdue to post (hanging head in shame).
      I have just returned from a weekend clay retreat, (Klay Karma 2009)where I did a demo of my Plaid Cane. So I had spent most of last week preparing for the demo and packing all my clay stuff. The retreat was awesome. I spent the weekend with an enthusiastic and talent group of polymer clay artists, ate and clayed a lot, and slept very little. I came back Sunday night totally wiped out. On Monday, I received via Fed-Ex my shiny new laptop, a Toshiba Tecra A-10, and have since been moving my files from my old laptop. Of course, I have also been playing with my new toy, and adjusting to Microsoft Vista after 7 years of using Microsoft XP. Anyway, I fully intend to post a summary of my retreat experience and a photo or two. A dear friend of mine took photos of my demo, and she will e-mail them to me so I can post them. Hope to sit down and compose something in the next day or so ! Promise !

  8. Very cool cane! I’m very impressed with your ability to remember to stop and take pictures at the proper time… and your ability to describe well what is going on.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Debbie

  9. Thanks, Debbie !!! Knowing when to take pictures is a learning process. My years as a speech pathologist working with language disordered kids has taught me the importance of visuals !

  10. jenia bellisimo,
    me vuelvo loca los canes ,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • I have not made butterfly or dog canes, but I hope to try them someday !

    • check this website, the artist makes beautiful animal canes, and she has classes: http://www.claysquared.com/classes.htm

  11. Thanks for sharing this. I was wondering earlier today how to create a pattern like this one. You saved me several hours. Thanks

    • I’m glad my instructions were helpful to you ! Happy Caning !
      Dora

  12. […] FULL TUTORIAL […]


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