92 days to go until the polymer clay cruise. I booked my flights today!!

I never really seem to get good results when I try to make kaleidoscope canes, so today I thought I’d work on the technique for a while, to see if I could get the hang of them. Gaaaah – other people make it seem so easy. They seem to just put a group of random cane-ends together and wow, a fantastic cane emerges. I realise now of course that their canes are far from random, and are deliberately designed to fit in with each other. The artists are no doubt able to visualise the end product, whereas I am just surprised (and usually disappointed!) when I cut into my own canes.

So today was about learning the hard way how to create kaleidoscope canes. First I tried a combination of petal canes and leaf canes (click into photo for a closer view):

kaleidoscope cane experiments

I thought that one was OK, but it lost the details of some of the canes when it was reduced. So I tried another one, but the two original petals were different sizes so that obviously got repeated around the pattern when I ‘mirrored’ the sections:

kaleidoscope cane experiments

Then I tried just mirroring a normal cane:

kaleidoscope cane experiments

Which didn’t do much for me (except that I like the chevron bits in the centre and edges of the square). Then I resorted to reading my joint-favourite polymer clay book (Judy Belcher’s “Polymer Clay Traditions”) which sent me closer to the right track, because I chose just a few simple canes which only used a few colours (click into photo for a closer look)…

kaleidoscope cane experiments

…and finally I made a kaledoscope cane that included flowers and leaves:

kaleidoscope experiments

As always it still needs some more work before I really get to understand the technique, but this is closer to what I was originally aiming for.

I hadn’t made anything that I would have been happy to put on a necklace, so I thought I would have a change of technique and would try to revisit the mica-shift technique that I have been working on over the last couple of weeks. And at last it has worked! I made a mica-shift pendant that retained all of the detail:

mica shift pendant - 2nd attempt

Here is the original pendant from day ’96’ compared to the new version. You can see that a lot of the detail of the design has disappeared on the original (photo on the left), and that I have managed to keep it in the new version:

mica shift experiment mica shift pendant - 2nd attempt