Posted by: cassymuronaka | December 30, 2010

Fiddling with polymer clay cane ends

When I definitely should have been doing other things a day or two before Christmas, I wandered into my studio and began fiddling around with polymer clay cane ends, and started making beads. After going in there, I found myself more or less barricaded against the family inside for an evening.

Like Sisyphus having to roll that rock up the hill over and over in Hell, I had just cleaned up this room yet again, this time over a three-day period. But I then promptly trashed it yet again by using it as a storeroom before Christmas day, when my relatives were scheduled to arrive.

Earlier that day, I had run all over the house, picking up anything that lacked an immediate home. I had no interest in thoroughly sorting through anything; I just wanted it out of my mother’s line of sight.

The studio floor is strewn with bags of wrapping paper, tissue, bows and unwrapped presents. Even the dogs can’t navigate their way in and through the piles. Tonight, the animal who recently took a banana peel kind of slip on papers lying on the floor of it proceeded to lie resentfully in the doorway while I worked on my beads, occasionally staring at me accusingly.

The foundation of the beads I ending up making were culled from the ends of a couple of what I called black “Glow Canes.” And these originally had been constructed for one of the classes I had been scheduled to teach at the fiasco once known as the Evolution of Polymer Clay (EoPC). If you are new to polymer and don’t know what that is, it’s just as well. It never happened, and anyone who was involved with it probably still has scars that ache when it rains.

My cane pile isn’t as large as it once was, because I gave a lot of old canes away a few years ago, for guild demonstration use at a county fair. And I’ve steadily been grinding others up into scrap clay in the last two years. Some of these still date from the Cro-Magnon age of my learning curve in polymer clay.

I’ve also used up a lot of the scrap clay when I occasionally work on the endless “Cassy” name cane that I began at a Sandy Camp two years ago. It’s already about three inches deep and five inches wide, and it is threatening to turn into one of those “the cane that ate Chicago” stories already. I’ve already made one ridiculous 13-pound cane, so I’m keeping a sharper eye on this one.

It’s not that spectacular, so I don’t know why I keep working on it, but every now and then I throw another wrap of scrap clay around it.

The beads I made a few nights ago aren’t so bad, though. It’s amazing how beads made with imprecise canes or cane ends cane look okay when you start covering them with teeny tiny little slices of cane that were made considerably more carefully.

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