Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thin Is Great For People - Not for Canes

I have a wolf update for you. So I remade my wolf cane. This time I gave up on the play dough and filled with a background. Now I decided to keep the cane thin like last time. This made the cane much easier to make but not easier to reduce. I was really feeling optimistic since the reduction of the previous wolf went pretty well. Well not so much this time. I packed the cane with scrap clay as before but it just didn't go well. In the picture you can see all the sections of cane that have the gray scrap clay coming through. There was 10 ounces of clay in the original cane and I ended up with 3 ounces of usable cane. Oh the waste. Oh well. It is what it is. At least I have enough for my Red Riding Hood cane.

Monday, January 2, 2012

First Lesson for 2012 - Don't Be Stupid

Happy New Year everyone. As we tend to do each year I came up with some new resolutions. One seems to be the same every year - lose some weight. Another for me are to update this blog. I really need to update the slide show that appears on the right. My flickr pictures are all old so I need some work there.
I have a lot of ideas for canes this year. I thought I'd do some with a fairy tale theme. I love the new show on ABC "Once Upon a Time". So I have a preliminary sketch and I dive into the clay. (This also keeps my hands away from the food!) I spend most of the first day of 2012 working on a section of the cane. It is of a wolf that I hope to work into the larger "Red Riding Hood" cane. Trying to figure out how to do this I decide to keep the cane very shallow. It is between 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. This allows me to cut into the clay using an exacto blade. Everything is going fine. I build the cane.
Then I get stupid. I really don't know exactly how this segment is going to fit into the whole cane so I have this brilliant idea to use the play dough technique. If you haven't tried this before, this is where you wrap the cane with play dough, reduce the cane and then remove the excess clay. I stupidly thought I would be able to fill in the reduced wolf with the selected background color later. You can see the play dough is the orange around the wolf. The cane measure 9 X 4 X 1/2 inches. I pack the entire clay with scrap clay. This is necessary because of the shallow depth of the cane. (at least it is necessary for me)
The good news is that I learned that I can reduce a cane this shallow but the bad news is that I learned that it will be too hard to repack the reduced cane later. The play dough did work great so I will keep that in mind for future projects. I may try baking the wolf pieces and see if I can slice off the baked clay. I have a little bit of the cane still encased in scrap clay that I should be able to slice off, soak off the play dough and then use for something.
I have to start the cane over but I did learn some lessons today. Stay tuned and I hope to post more about my Red Riding Hood cane.