The students in my master cane workshops often choose to keep in touch through some kind of project after the workshop has ended. Most groups have shared slices of their canes and exchanged pictures of the kaleidoscopes they’ve made from them. Other groups have swapped finished pendants. One group even had a reunion workshop to do more caning.
The group that met in Racine this April (2013) decided they would swap small kaleidoscope beads made from their workshop canes. The beads could then be combined in bracelets to remind everyone of a wonderful week spent in each other’s company…
Donna Harryman (who suggested the swap) made 1” diameter lentil-shaped bead blanks with holes in them and mailed them out to all the swappers. This ensured the beads would be the same size and shape and have paired holes in the same positions for stringing.
I didn’t have any slices of my cane left so I had to make a new one. This presented an opportunity to try something new. First I used a new color palette inspired by Gauguin’s painting “Mountains on Tahiti” (below).
I decided to reduce part of the cane quite small so more of the design elements would fit on each 1″ bead. The picture below shows the different sizes. (This is the same cane I used for my lapel pins that you will read about that in a future post.)
The cane on the left is the size I usually use for my 2″ kaleidoscope pendants. The cane on the right was used for the 1″ Kaleidoscopes for the swap. Tiny triangular sections only 1/2″ high were cut, mirrored and combined to form the kaleidoscopes. After the 1″ beads were sanded and buffed, they looked like this.