Thursday, September 20, 2007

I dub thee, Marla's Method!

Hi All,

In one of my previous posts I mentioned that I had been lucky to attend a class by Marla Frankenburg. I've also mentioned that I was trying to figure out how to reduce my snowflake cane.

While Marla was walking around the class I asked her if she had any advice on how to reduce stubby triangle canes (which is what you get with the snowflake cane). She thought about it for about 30 seconds and suggested that I use something flat to help out with the reducing. She'd never tried it but thought it might work.

I'm pleased to announce that I've tried it a few times and last night had the opportunity to teach it to Barb and Karen with terrific success.

And, because one of the great things about clayers is the constant tribute to others who inspire us, I'm happy to thank her and to name this Marla's Method. It's a limited technique for now because it only really applies to triangle canes that are too short to reduce easily using the typical pull and stretch method, but I'm sure people can adapt it (maybe to a hexagonal cane to keep the edges?).

Here it is:
Position your clay triangle against the edge of your tile (for whatever reason the photos make it look like I've got a beveled tile, but I don't).

Use a glass coaster or some other flat stiff piece and position it against the side of the triangle (see images).

Push down with your hands (in the photo there's only one hand, but that's because I was using the other to take the photo) and give it a bit of a wiggle as you push.

After a few seconds, remove the coaster, and rotate the triangle such that the surface in contact with the bottom is in contact with the coaster and the surface that was in contact with the coaster is now free (on the left in the photos). Repeat and rotate.

You're likely stronger pushing with one of your hands than the other, so every so often pick the cane up and rotate it 180. For example, in this series of photos the cane face that's showing in the photos would now become the cane face away from the photo (clear?). You'll see what I mean when you try it out.

Eventually the triangle cane will be long enough that you can start to use the stretch and pull method for typical triangle canes. What's really cool about it is that none of us had very much end distortion at all.

And that's it - the Marla Method!

Oh, and by the way, the blue is translucent tinted with Pinata Ink. Don't do that! The Pinata ink starts to bleed in the cane and all the sharp edges become somewhat blurred. I'm leaving them as experiments to see how long it takes to generate just a pure blue cane.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Sandy.. can't wait to take your class at SOPCG next week.
I, too, was fortunate to take Marla's class and am in awe of her talents, personality and caring/sharing nature.