Lately, I’ve had a lot of comments on these two kaleidoscope designs on my Facebook page. People particularly like the colors I used. Both of these designs came from the same master cane, a cane I call “Farewell to Spring” because I made it when the spring flowers were giving way to summer ones. Today, in mid-March I might have called it “Dreaming of Spring.”
As with the Chinese embroidery, the color inspiration for the master cane was a textile; in this case this needlepoint pillow designed by Elian McCready. The design, called “Fruit Drops,” appears in “The Ehrman Needlepoint Book,” by Hugh Ehrman. I love looking at needlepoint books for both design ideas and color inspiration. An added benefit is that the shading of objects in needlepoint designs is simplified, which makes them readily translated into polymer clay canework.
This is the master cane I created (actually, these are slices of the cane components arranged on a piece of glass to represent the cane design, which is why there are discontinuities in the design). When I translate my color inspiration into canework I often increase the range of light/dark contrast as I did here so that the design components continue to be “readable” after the cane has been reduced.
I appropriated a couple of the images in the pillow (the blue-green leaves and the cherries) for in my cane design but I switched some of the colors around. I made the cherries in my cane the color of the darkest part of the central peach on the pillow, and used the colors of the cherries on the pillow for flowers in my cane.
These are some of the kaleidoscope pendants I created from the master cane. The color balance in the kaleidoscope designs differs from pendant to pendant depending upon which area of the master cane was used in the pendants.
Nevertheless, they are color coordinated because they share the same overall pallet.
I love your canework. Thanks for sharing your color inspiration. Smiles
Thank you, Sue.
The cane is marvelous. How long does it take to make one master cane?
This one took about 3 days.
Carol, Your canework is stunning & I love your needlework inspiration idea!
They make me feel energized!
When you assemble a master cane, what are the dimensions you recommend initially??? I find I typically assemble less cane than I really want to have…. 🙂
Sorry for the delayed reply. I purposely keep my canes fairly small so that I will run out of cane before I get tired of it. You can see the largest one I ever made at http://polymerclaydaily.com/2008/11/14/more-simmons-canes/
I guess we get to only respond on the 12th of any given month!!! 🙂 Thank you for the link…that gives me some ideas…
I’m not sure what you mean, Jodie.
I sent my message on March 12, you responded on April 12, and I then saw it on May 12!!! (interesting, huh?) Have a great day!
I’m supposed to get notified when I get comments, but it doesn’t seem to happen consistently.
this is the most awesome cane I have ever seen, I stopped caning several years ago because my hands told me to but even if I had never stopped, and had continued 100 years, I could never have achieved what you do, Your work is both jaw-dropping and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your collection of favorite photos-
Thank you, Lisa. What a wonderful compliment. I’m trying to be super careful with my hands.
stunning color work.
Thank you so much, Lynn.
Aloha from Kauai Carol: I’m a ceramic artist infatuated with colored clay. I’ve never worked with polymer clay but I’m learning polymer techniques that I can use in ceramic pieces. I think I’m one of only a handful of ceramic artists that see the potential in doing this. I love your work! What’s the best way for me to learn from you? Unfortunately I can’t come to a workshop on the mainland. Do you have any tutorials on the internet? Or DVD’s?
I don’t have any tutorials or DVDs available; only my blog. You are the second ceramicist that contacted me. I’m trying to recall who the other one was so I can put you in touch with one another. I think I’ve also seen some extruded clay designs in the Penland Book of Ceramics.
I suggest you try some basic caning with polymer clay. There are lots of online tutorials on making various cane designs. Search under the topic of “caning” or “millefiori”. If you are like me, actually doing it will give you lots of ideas.
Thanks for the compliment!