Thursday, January 14, 2010

A caning primer, week 2 of canes

Hi Everyone,

One of my regular visitors, Lea, asked about caning. She wanted to know what it was and what reductions were. So, as a courtesy to Lea, this week's caning blog entry tackles the idea of canes. Since the rest of my caning blog entries will likely focus on my canes, I thought it would be nice to offer some exceptional caners' work.

Caning is the process of making a log of cane colours into a picture that you can slice through so that the pattern repeats itself through each slice. It's a lot like what you would do with the holiday themed sugar cookies that we get in the stores.

The easiest canes are the jelly roll canes and the layered canes. This tutorial from Polymer Clay Central, even shows you how to make a jelly roll cane without a pasta machine.

Speaking of Polymer Clay Central, they were one of my first sources of inspiration for caning, with over 30 tutorials on line for canes and a whole host of other projects. Another great site that I just discovered while researching the topic is Craft Stew's compilation of caning tutorials. Some of the canes on this site are repeats of the Polymer Clay Central site, but there are others.

There are many other caning sites around. In Canada, our own Wanda Shum does a spectacular job on canes and it's always a treat to get one of her cane slices in the mail. I've already written a few times about Louise's caning ability. One person I haven't mentioned previously very much is Adria who I get to see every year in Morrisburg. The large butterfly cane pictured here is one of her creations. Click on her link to see how delicate these become. I've written before about 2 Good Claymates. They have some tutorials on caning if you look at their sidebar. While you're at it, take a look at some of their new buttons. I'm sure that there are many other Canadian caners but these are the ones I thought of off the top of my head.

While looking to write this article I browsed a lot on the web. I found this cute little cane tutorial by Kim Korringa Designs on how to do fish here. I think the bodies of the fish would lend themselves very nicely to monsters.

Once you master the caning basics, it then becomes time to move onto bigger and better things. It's important to note that not all canes start out as large as the ones below. Most of mine would be in the 2 inch wide by 2 thick wide by 2 inch tall size. Some smaller, some larger. But I like these examples because they're fun to look at and not something you'd normally see in class.

Here are some examples of very large canes.

Bead Goodies posts an interesting tutorial on how to make what she calls a medium size cane (it's only 1.5 lbs) and reduce it in under 4 hours here. Please do click on her tutorial as she offers some contrasting opinions on how to reduce canes.

A very pretty cane cane that is 3 lbs before reduction is shown here at Kay's Creations. She's got some wonderful clay on her Flickr site. I love her Steam Punk Bottles of Hope and some of her canes are so cute.

For a truly absolutely deserving of reverence cane that is on the large size, check out Julie Eakes' cane here. She used an extruder and it took her 3 weeks to build. I cannot even fathom how to plan this thing. She does some amazing face canes which you can see in a slideshow here. Beautiful!

The reason that this blog entry is almost a week late is that I've spent a lot of time looking for one of my favourite videos on reducing canes and couldn't remember where to find it. Many google searches later and here it is. Kathy Gose shows how to reduce her cane in a slightly unconventional way here.

One of the most precise caners that I know of is Canin' Able. He's got a Flickr site that has some amazing photographs. I've copied a picture of how he does some of his reducing. This particular cane is over 7 lbs. You can read the details of this particular cane reduction here. You can also see some of the tools that he uses for his clay hobby on his Flickr website so take some time to browse there.

The last site that I want to mention for a tutorial and giant cane is Silly Millies. She does whimsical cartoon canes where the distortion adds to the character of the canes. I think she was the first commercial caner that I became aware of. You can see her YouTube videos here where she talks about reducing a cane and here.

If your canes come out terrible you can always post them to the Flickr Group Millefiori Gone Wrong. I just recently added my Poor Little Bear cane to the album.

It's literally taken me hours to write this posting. I'd get so far and then have to dash off into my clay room and play for a few minutes. I wouldn't get terribly much done, but it sure was distracting trying to write this.

Hope this is a good intro. There were so many entries that I could have posted here and it was hard to narrow it down to just a few photos and websites.

I've already got Week 3 lined up with a cane that I made while writing this entry. Week 4 will be my One World One Heart project and Week 5 is actually a discovery that I had tonight while playing around a bit.



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