Thursday, August 16, 2007

Santa Cane reduced

Well I finally finished reducing the Santa Cane. Overall I'm happy with him. One pleasant surprise from all this was that I could make him a short fat santa or a tall skinny santa just by changing the way I reduce him. Here's a photo. Most of the cane is spoken for by friends.

Here are some lessons learned:

  • I don't think I'll do such a large rectangular cane again. It was a very difficult reduction, one of the harder ones that I've done. I would put Santa in the centre of a circular shape next time. It may be that I didn't make the cane thick enough, I only had about 1.5 inches of thickness. I'm not done with caning yet, so maybe I'll learn something else next time.

  • I have a tendency to over-reduce canes. All of a sudden I had a fair bit of 1 inch tall cane and very little taller stuff. For me, 90% of the effort in reducing a cane is starting the reduction. I have to stop reducing canes in front of the TV.

  • I probably will not tackle such a complicated cane using the metallic (silver, gold, copper) coloured clays. The metallics seem to be very soft compared to the rest of the clay. Even though Santa is also metallic, he's not as metallic as the surrounding green metallic. It's always a problem reducing the centre relative to the outside of the clay, but this one seemed to be worse than usual.

  • I love how the beard came out. I did this by layering translucent, pearl, and white and running it through the pasta machine several times.

  • Details such as pointy hats shouldn't be placed near the edge of the cane. I completely lost the point in the hat. But, he's still cute and I don't mind.

  • One thing people won't notice, is that in order to avoid mica shift cut lines in the green background, I traced the santa shape onto a solid block of background colour, then cut out the santa shape from the centre on out. This turned out to be pretty easy to do and to put the santa back into the background I only had to stretch the background a bit. If this isn't clear, and people want a better explanation, let me know.

I've made an ornament and a magnet with him. Here's a photo of the almost complete ornament but the magnet didn't photograph well at all so you'll just have to pretend. I had a really hard time photographing the ornament but once I filled it with water, it was much easier to photograph. The background clutter is fairly typical of my workspace no matter how hard I try to keep it tidy.

I've been also working on a replica of the wedding cake that my mother made for my sister. I should have that done today or tomorrow and will post it then.



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