Millefiori cane work appeals to my love of patterns (textiles, quilts, baroque music!) and the chameleon qualities of this material invite explorations into the symmetry and diversity of organic forms like pods, anemones and flowers. Each piece I make is one of a kind. For me, polymer clay is three-dimensional color.
Polymer clay is a relatively new material. It started as an industrial product in the mid 20th century and took flight as an art medium with the publication of The New Clay by Nan Roche in 1992. The versatility of the polymer is amazing. The artist can mix the primaries to any color under the sun, then the clay can be painted, printed with silk screens, textured, sculpted, bent, carved, sanded, and polished. It becomes wall art, jewelry, vessels, sculptures, mobiles, art book covers and a myriad of household decorations. An international community of artists now explores new designs, and it’s amazing to watch the development.
I am a caner. Polymer clay canes are made using the same techniques that glassmakers have used for centuries. Clay is rolled into cylinders, which are then combined or reshaped to create elements to make more complicated designs. The process is fascinating because there are endless possibilities. Here’s one cane in the making.