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Citrus and the Fine Art of Caning

01/23/2009

I had not intended for this to become a polymer clay blog. Funny, that- it’s certainly not the only craft I’ve been up to, simply the only one I’ve produced anything consistently postworthy from. And while the rest is getting there, to the point of interesting, all I’ve got for now is clay. And clay. And more clay.

<img src="http://pics.livejournal.com/corvustristis/pic/003ag27h/s320x240" alt="I
I <3 James

What else would you expect from a girl who got a pasta machine for Giftmas?

Seeing as I’ve been working with a pasta machine, I haven’t been doing my usual sculpture. I’ve been working on some caning.

Citrus
Citrus

Caning is a technique by which you use snakes and sheets of clay to make a design that’s consistent in one plane- that is to say, the design runs all the way through your chunk of clay in one direction. Then you squish it down to the size you want, cut slices off, and use themon … well, just about anything. A lot of great examples can be found at Polymer Clay Central if you browse around enough; I’ve been sticking largely to hair accessories and bracelets for this, my initial attempt at caning with a pasta machine.

Simple
Simple

If this cane looks familiar, that’s because it is. I’ve made it in orange before, by hand. Using a pasta machine cut the time invested down to a third of what it used to be, which is no small thing when you consider some of my caning attempts since pasta machine acquisition have taken me multiple hours. Another point in favor of the machine: it makes my canes neater and more uniform, and gives me the confidence to try much, much more complex pieces.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. The thing about caning is, even if you start with a relatively small amount of clay, you end up with a LOT of slices to use. I’ve not even started to show you where all my lemons and limes are going.

Bangle
Bangle

This was a thrift store bangle, cheap metal meant to be worn en masse, which I covered in clay and then in cane slices. I like!

Lemon and Lime
Lemon and Lime

Even that is not the end of it, but it is the end of what I’ll show you today. More soon!

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