Thursday, November 25, 2010

Poinsettia Cane Part 1

Hi Everyone,

Now that I've conquered my addiction to Frontierville I've gotten back to claying. Here's Part 1 of a 2 part series on how to make a Poinsettia cane my way. I made a cane similar to this a couple of years ago which you can see here. I ran out of that cane and decided to recreate it.

To make the cane you need a green leaf cane, a red leaf cane, a green and yellow jelly roll cane and a colour for packing. Below you can see the canes that I'm using. Since I use the big blocks of Kato I have no idea how much clay I used for each of them, but the plugs are somewhere between an inch and two inches tall and about the same width. It doesn't really matter, you want enough clay to reduce to about 10 sections of red that are about 2 inches long and some green clay that you'll also reduce to 2 inch long segments. You need more red than green.

I did a quick sketch on what I thought a poinsettia flower would look like and I used that as a starting point for some of the ideas on how many petals I wanted. The great thing about this cane is that there's no perfection involved - the leaves can be as irregular as you want.

I reduced the jelly roll cane to thin segments and then combined them together. Very similar to a lace cane in technique. This will be such a small portion of the cane that you don't have to worry about it.

Then I started arranging the red petals around the jelly roll portion. There's an element of randomness in my technique but if symmetry is what works for you, then by all means do that. I varied the cane sizes to small and larger since that's what happens with poinsettias. I didn't worry about realism too much.

It sometimes helps to step back and see what the cane looks like from a distance when you're arranging the cane portions.

I find I like to have my canes start at about 2 inches tall. They're easier to build when they're only that tall since the cane bits don't tend to flop over or misalign too much.

Here's what the cane looks like so far. It's about 2 inches tall and maybe 2 inches wide. The next step is to pack it. I'm going to use simple white clay for this - if I were to go with a pearl clay I'd get mica shift with the packing and I don't want that. While others do a great job with translucent clay and packing I'm not so great at it. The Kato translucent that I've got is quite a bit stiffer than the red and the green so that was another reason I don't plan to use it.

Total time invested in this cane so far is about 2 hours.

Next lesson is how I pack the cane.



1 comment:

Mortira said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing the results! I love watching canes come to life. This looks like it's going to be awesome!