I promised to show more kaleidoscope designs from the master cane from previous posts but I didn’t have time to photograph the ones I made for the Synergy 3 conference and a workshop I taught in Mississippi and now they’ve been sold. Eventually there will be more but I’ve moved on to other things so you’ll have to wait. I’m taking a break from kaleidoscopes because (1) I will be teaching 9 days of kaleidoscope caning in April and I want to approach them with a fresh eye and (2) I just need a break. My favorite things to do with polymer clay are to experiment and teach; production for sale is way down on the list.
Meanwhile, I’m using slices of the cane in a different way. These “Impressionists’ Garden” beads and pendants are fun to make because the process is so relaxed compared to making kaleidoscopes. Instead of focusing on matching components of the design precisely I can focus on elements of design such as line, shape, balance, composition, rhythm and harmony as I wander through gardens of my imagination. The arrangements of parts aren’t always successful, but I love the process.
The artistic challenge is to create an arrangement of parts that is pleasing to the eye, one that has a feeling of unity rather than appearing to be a random scattering of parts. The technical challenge is to create a perfectly even surface before the bead is baked and sanded. If some of the elements are higher than others they will be sanded away. I consider the two beads above to have good overall composition. The one on the left has a pinwheel like arrangement of parts that works well compositionally and creates a feeling of energy. The one on the right is more static, but I like the way the vertical section up the middle separates the surface into two parts, each of them having their own balance.