This is my post birthday weekend and today was a full day with 2 meetings, one of which was with the Houston Polymer Clay Guild where we had The Ms. Carol Simmons as our guest speaker. She gave us a very interesting (and very visual) lecture on making Polymer Master Canes and turning them into infinite design possibilities.
Ms. Simmons has been working with Polymer for over 20 years and I am impressed at how she never runs out of ideas, in making the ordinary very extraordinary. The kaleidoscope canes posted in her website makes me drool and seeing them in person was just ooo-aaaah! So, how do you make Polymer Canes? Here are my take home thoughts:
1. Know what colors you want to work by having an inspiration piece (such as your own artwork, painting or maybe a fabric pattern that you like). This is my weakness that keeps me from doing polymer canes: I am color challenged.
2. Do your skinner blend and be patient with it. There are many books and tutorials out there that talk about making skinner blends. Polymer artists have developed their own techniques in making color blends and who knows, your “accidental color blend” might be a good one after all.
3. Make several canes that you can use to create a variety of designs. These small canes should be the same length so that it would all run the entire length of the master cane. This is my other weakness. I am a hoarder and I usually skimp on my clay whereas Ms. Carol (and other artists) start working with big canes, maybe 3″ in width that she gradually reduces.
4. Have a good quality polymer clay slicer or a very very very sharp blade and razor sharp accuracy. I realized that this is very important to have equal thickness with minimal or negligible distortion of the design.
5. Have fun playing with the cut canes by laying them side by side, upside down, inside out or whatever way you fancy to do.
The beads shown above were a collaboration of Ms. Carol Simmons and Ms. Rebecca Watkins of Artybecca who is known for etching on polymer clay beads. Oh, I love the visual and tactile stimulation that these beads evoke. They are big and chunky but very lightweight.
My dream is to be able to attend her 6-day Simmons Master Cane Workshop and do hands-on training but for now, I’m back to my clay table and tools. Oh, I bought one of her kaleidoscope pendants which was my husbands “secret” birthday gift to me. Thank you, love!
Thank you, Ms. Carol for your time, signing the business card and your patience in taking selfie shots with me. It was great to meet you too!
How did your weekend go so far?