I’m still covering eggs but I’m about ready to move on to something else. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with creating different patterns from the same cane. By varying the way I cut and align the cane slices I’ve been able to produce several distinctively different patterns from each cane. It didn’t occur to me to try this until after I had played extensively with creating patterns for flat surfaces. (I wrote about this in my previous post.)
I produced some additional variations by varying the number of cane slices I used to cover the egg. The differences in the patterns are particularly noticeable at the ends of the eggs where they become radial kaleidoscope designs. In the image below, one design has 6 sections and the other has eight. (The eggs below are the same as those pictured on the left.)
For me, playing and experimenting are pretty much the same thing. As I play with one idea, I often come up with ideas for new directions. The nice thing about not being tied to a production schedule is having the time to follow those new ideas wherever they might lead. (I justify this by calling it “class development.”) My science background probably explains my need to make some kind of orderly sense from the results and my desire to share that understanding with other people.
I achieved about a half-dozen distinct variations from a given cane without doing a lot of extra cutting and piecing. Beyond that, the effort became tedious. The differences were more obvious with the larger cane designs. The two images below show the sides and tops of four eggs. Notice how markedly these “medium” eggs vary in shape!
The hardest part of the entire process is matching the cane slices on the tops and bottoms of the eggs because there are so many pieces to line up. I have yet to achieve the degree of precision I’ve been aiming for. (This pretty much guarantees I’ll go back to covering eggs at some point.)
I’ve covered about 30 eggs now and I’ve learned that the results are the best when the slices are as thin as possible. (These are about 1 mm thick.) The thicker the slices, the more opportunity there is for distortion during their application.
It also helps to place the slices between sheets of cardstock or paper for 15 minutes or so before applying them to the egg. This reduces their stickiness and makes them easier to handle. They can be applied directly on the shell and will adhere with light pressure.
I use an index card rather than a blade to lift the slices from my work surface because it makes it easier to transfer the slices to the egg. If the slices stick to my fingers I dust their top surfaces with cornstarch before I lift them from my work surface.