Saturday, April 24, 2010

Polymer Clay Cane Reduction Disaster

I'm a little frazzled, I've had two strange men peeking in my windows all day today.

The painters are painting the window trim, the front and back porches and the 2nd floor deck. Every time I turned around I had one or both peering at me through the window. I spend most of the day hiding out in my studio or the basement. When I got hungry or thirsty I would press up against the wall and slither down the hall to the kitchen. I'm a very private person, I do not like people looking at me... I would have never made it as a goldfish. This will most likely go on for a couple more days.... my cats and I are not happy campers. Every time I sit down a furry critter.. or two... lands in my lap. Normally my cats are not lap sitters.

It rained off and on all day today.... didn't stop the painters, they just kept painting. I went out and asked how they could paint in the rain and they said "No problem, when it rains heavy we paint on the inside of the porch and when it lets up we paint on the outside". Seems strange to me, I was under the impression you needed dry weather to paint, silly me... I have visions of waking up in the morning to puddles of paint all around the house. They also kept painting an hour or more after it got dark. I went out and asked about that too but they assured me they could see just fine.

Okay now to my cane disaster story.

I spent a couple days building what I thought would be a lovely butterfly cane with flowers in her wings. I assembled the cane... as you can see in the photo... Now I must tell you canes are not my thing, most all of the canes I make are fairly small, about 1 to 2 inches across and 1 1/2" high. There in lies the problem, this one grew to 4" x 5" and was only 1 1/2" high... so when I tried to reduce it I could not get the center to move. I got it down to 2" x 3" before I sliced it open and it was a total failure. It was a big disappointment and I forgot to take a photo... you'll have to take my word for it, it was badly distorted and didn't look like a butterfly at all. I haven't given up on the idea, I will try again with a more manageable size.

Click on the photos for a close look.

I chopped it up and made these... they look kinds like sting rays...
I also made several mirror image tiles.... and lots of what I call "rattlers" cause to me the resemble rattle snake rattlers. The one in the center has little flutterbys going up a chute...
I used a couple other "rattlers" to make a reversible pendant adorned with a bail made of coiled wire and freshwater pearls then completed the necklace with matching wire links.

This is the front view:

This is the side view
and here is the back view.
My muse is into purple lately, here are a couple more purple canes.
I made more mirror image tiles and beads from the disaster cane but I haven't sanded them yet. I"ll post photos when they are looking their best.


  1. Lemonade from lemons. Gotta love 'em. Some cool tranformations you created there.

  2. I don't think it was a failure at all. I would cll this a happy accident :D If you need some help with the monster cane reduction drop me a line. I know a few non well kept secrets for that.

  3. As far as your painters in the rain; check the paint as it dries - if it "blisters" don't mess with the blisters - they should "go down" after drying for a day or so. BUT you need to check after about 24 hours and if the paint is blisterless but you can scratch it off easily, call them back to repaint!

    This from my paint-selling husband...

  4. Beej, go to the window, fling it open and shout in their faces, "WHAT??? I owe you money???" They will dutifully go back to painting and not look at you anymore. :D Or... maybe they are secret clayer wanna bes?

  5. Your butterfly cane was really beautiful and I can imagine your disappointment but you have transformed it into some different beauties.

  6. Busy busy busy! Amazing, that's what you are.

    I love the sting ray look, as well as the purple cane. The pendant is oo-la-la!! You're so good.

  7. Absolutely love what your 'failure' transformed into!! Ditto on calling it a 'happy accident'! :) Beautiful stuff!!

  8. Thank you all for the kind words. Now I'm trying to work of the courage to try the butterfly again. Wish me luck.

    Thanks for the paint advice Gilly... and thank hubby for me too. So far so good, no blisters. They had planned to finish the rest yesterday and today but it's been raining again and they decided to wait... thank goodness.