Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas

Welcome to my first posting of a blog of my hobbies. I'm very new to blogs so expect to see this site change and grow as I learn to do things.

I've currently got a few things on the go. Right now I'm trying to reduce a santa cane that I created last week when I had some free time. His original dimensions were 4" x 6" x 1" thick which makes him my biggest cane to date. Here's a photo of him prior to reducing. He's wrapped in saran wrap to protect the scanner. My inspiration for him came from a wood intarsia pattern located here: You can see that he's not like the pattern very much, but that's all part of the learning process. I really like the intarsia patterns and will likely base more cane designs on them.

I'm a caner. I love the challenge of putting the clay together like a puzzle. I normally reduce my canes by sandwiching them between two pieces of glass. It works incredibly well for canes that are less than 3" x 3" x 1" but I'm finding it didn't work well for this one. I've ended up taking the top layer of glass off and trying to reduce him. The outside clay seems to be a bit softer than the inside clay so it's proving to be a bit of a challenge. I'm being very good and patient with him at the moment. I'll reduce for 10 minutes or so and then let him rest some more and then go back. I'm fairly confident that he'll come out the way that I want him to. I think I'll probably have about 15 hours in him by the time I get him to the size that I want.

I'll be giving a tutorial at our Southern Ontario Polymer Clay Guild (SOPCG) meeting in October on how to create glass ornaments. Here are a couple of samples of that I made last year.

The first ornament I made for my mother. I'm showing a covered box that I made for her as well that housed the ornament. The second ornament was made for our guild Christmas gift exchange. They're basically a veneer of cane slices stuck to the glass lentil ornament and textured on the back. What you're seeing in the photos is a layer of glass, the inside of the ornament, another layer of glass, then the clay. Turn it over and you'll see the textured back.

Anyhow, this is my first posting. Feedback is welcome.

I'm also trying to figure out a fool proof way to do a snowflake cane. I've got the general idea but there are a couple of wrinkles that I haven't figured out yet, mostly related to reducing. In the mean time I'm generating a fair bit of light blue clay. It's a good thing that I like the blue palettes. If I get it right it'll also become part of the tutorial at the October class.

My other project in-progress is a miniature (4 inch tall) replica wedding cake for my Mom. She made my sister's wedding cake and I thought it would be nice for her to have a souvenir. However, I'm not looking forward to making 24 miniature calla lilies. I'll post photos along the way.

I've posted some links to some other clay bloggers on one of the side bars (I apologize if I've missed some). Their work is spectacular so feel free to click on their sites. It's a very easy way to get lost for a couple of hours. If anyone wants me to add links to their blogs, feel free to contact me and I'll add them.


Polka Dot Creations said...

I love your santa cane! I hope you'll share a picture of him reduced. I'm a caner, too, but I keep mine to relatively small repeating patterns. I have a lot of respect for people who cane make canes that actually look like an object or person!

KnitKnut said...

Hi Sandy,
Great start to your blog, I really liked the back to your ornament, I think it stands alone really well.

Cheers, Carolyn

Karen said...

Wow Snndy, those are terrific! You have such an eye for detail ... and obvious patience :) Much more than I ever would. Cudos all around. I really enjoyed reading all about them, and everything you learned. It certainly is an interesting process.
Love, Karen