Thursday, January 21, 2010

The "Cane Mutiny"

There I was, ready to honor my pledge to only make polymer clay canes once a week. Then, Marble Man decided he was going to watch the UNC basketball game last night. "Great!", I thought. "I'll go to my studio and get some work done."

Well, I sat down, and the pasta machine was right there, ready to go. I made a skinner blend with black and terra cotta. I wanted to do something "different" - most of the blends I've seen have been white and some other color. The sheet was quite nice, and I set about to make a leaf cane.

Turns out, I make questionable choices late at night, when I'm getting tired. This was a seriously ugly leaf. But, I'd gone ahead and made it, so I'll use it.

Anyone who knows me, understands I'm a perverse creature. Tell me to do something one way, and I'll do it however I want. Up until now, I've had great success creating beauty from the clay. Each time I set up the first triangle set of elements for a kaleidoscope cane, I do that internal shudder at the sheer ugliness of the composition. Then, there's that magical moment when I see the final thing and I think, "Huh! That's really quite nice".

When I woke up this morning, I saw that ugly leaf from last night's session, and wondered if it's even possible to make a truly ugly cane. I pulled together the weirdest collection of elements and colors to see if I could do it.

Yup - that's an ugly start! I started pinching and dividing, and... Wow!

I love how that hideous leaf is now a quiet striped area. Now I know that it really is impossible to screw this technique up. Maybe I should end each day by doing one of these to finish on a beautiful note.

copyright 2009 Shibori Girl


Gabriela said...

Hello Kate,

OMG! You have become the Queen of Clay! These designs are absolutely fabulous!

~ Gabriela ~

High Desert Design Council said...


Snap said...

I think you are in LOVE!

Stephanie said...

I beg to differ....I think the leaf was wonderful


the resulting sandwiched piece is pure magic!!

Christine said...

That is gorgeous! There is always beauty in something that might seem ugly...just have to pinch to find it:) Nice to see you really getting into clay Kate! (Oh, by the way I'm Christine, Ms. slacker blogger, remember me?) I hope all is going well for you!

lori vliegen said...

way to hang in there, you perverse creature, you!! it looks like you've created another masterpiece! hugs, :))

SweetbriarStudio (Christie) said...

You are truly a miracle worker! ...and a very puny girl :)

Laura said...

Hi Kate!

I haven't said hello in a million have you been?

I lurk but haven't commented in forever. Hey---that 'ugly leaf' turned out GREAT in the final product. I find those designs so fascinating.

That was what actually reminded me, "Go see what Kate is up to"----I saw a special on artisinal candy making. They were rolling the colored canes in to shapes really similar to the miliefore (sp?) bead thingies. The candy makers were pulling long strands into canes and then shaping them into abstract strawberry log shapes, then cutting off individual 'beads' of candy.

Anyway, it made me think of you. I love making candy, but it's a real bugger to shape if you're rolling it. The results are phenomenal if it goes well, but candy making is a SCIENCE, I tell ya! I was thinking it might be right up your alley.

All right, I'm off! I've missed you----hope life is going well! Come say hello when you get the chance.

Astrid Maclean said...

Your work is just amazing, my mouth hangs open! Truly beautiful stuff!