13 lb.cane (LONG post & update)

13 lb.cane (LONG post & update)

Post by Saraja » Mon, 02 Feb 1998 04:00:00

 Dear group
     you're making me blush! but since you ask for it.....and so nicely
I'll tell it again...but don't quote if you reply----too many lines!
UPDATE:(For those that have seen it before, I'm putting the update info
 at the beginning, so they don't have to wade through the verbage.)
 since I posted this last year, several things have happened.
The catalog company went through all their product and reordered, (and
I STILL have lots of cane left!)  but they are now going out of
if any of you get things from Quilts and Other Comforts, they're still
filling orders till the end of March, I think, but order soon!
The cane that I have left is showing some interesting changes...the
blue, which was a half and half mix of blue and white, has gone quite
chalky looking when sliced, and the 2 inch square cane slices flake
when cutting or bending, unless you really warm them up, and even then
its very different from its original  pliable state. And I now have a
slicer, which is even better than the Nu-Blade for large canes, tho
I like the Nu-blade better for little (less than 1") canes.
And I used a slice of the 13lb. cane  in the Tshirt project, which
Skinner has kindly scanned  and posted on her website---it could be like

Where's Waldo...can YOU find the slice of orange poppies on the blue
background? Judith did the corner quiltblocks on the shirt, by the way.
And the PolyInformer ran the saga along with some black and white
copies of the slices I sent along....it loses a lot in black and white,
think.             Here's the 13 lb. Cane Saga...
A couple of months ago,  my husband Bryan (we work together) and
I got the O.K. from a catalogue company for an order of polymer clay
buttons, needlecases, and thimbles, ( and also for  a beautiful
 Quilter's Angel & Pin, that is made by Sandra Beach). We had been
 working on interesting the company in our items for over a year
 (these things take time !) and now it was time for the actual labor--
thus  begins The Saga Of Our 13 Pound Cane.
 Having agreed to make 150 cards of six buttons each...all EXACTLY
 alike...I was committed to making a MUCH larger cane than I was used
to doing. My former canes were usually 4, perhaps 5, lbs each, for the
REALLY detailed faces, etc,  with the diameter of a dinner plate, and a
 depth of  about 5 inches.  And less massive canes were started around
the size of a soft drink can, tho not as tall. For this one, I knew I
had to
make the cane for all three items all at once, as the chances of being
able to repeat it perfectly were not good...     I had recently started
working with CFC, as well as my old fave FIMO, and we  decided to
use the CFC for this mammoth project....Just the thought of kneading
 up the clays made us cringe, and the CFC was a very pleasant
 surprise. ALL the  colours had to custom blended, and done in one
day, to keep the texture of the  various colours from becoming too
different from each other. So, Bryan, he of the Big Warm Hands,
 kneaded them up...and didn't even need to use the food processor!
He just cut slabs (like cheese) straight from the block, and ran them
 thru the pasta roller. It took FAR less time then FIMO or even Cernit.
As he did this, I laid the cane componants out,  putting them together
a bit differently than usual---normally, I look straight down on the
 as it grows, putting the bits together like pieces of a child's puzzle,
 then flip it to its side for reduction. This time,  the cane would be
taller than I am, so it was built on its side, laying out  L O N G
snakes, triangles, etc...then  building the flower and leaves...it was
as thick as my arm! I whacked it in half, lengthwise, then put one half
aside, the other half then was cut down the center, making two half
circular canes. These I then layered onto the uncut piece of cane, to
build a bouquet, adding more clay to bring it all back to round cane
 shape. This was wrapped in a  #1( pasta roller) sheet of clay the same
 colour as the background  (and yes, we had run out and needed to prep
MORE!)  We now had a 4 ft. length of cane, with a diameter of about
 8 inches. ..that we had to reduce before it got too hard!  We let it
(and us)
 rest for an hour or two, then began reducing, using all four of our
going up and down the length of this huge thing...it was rather like
Very Rude Things to an elephant's trunk.  When we got it to about 6ft.
we whacked it in half again, and worked on each section  one at a
repeating this as it got longer...and longer....until we had it reduced
to a 1
inch diameter!
 We alternated between the slow squeezy-pully business, and rolling the
cane carefully on a conference table---never too long or too hard in one

direction....and eventually....there it was. With my heart in my mouth,

I looked at all the cut ends---and it had reduced beautifully, with a
minimum of distortion. In fact, we started out with 15 lbs of clay, and
when I had chopped off the less desirable  ends, there was thir*** lbs.

of usable cane! We had 2 lbs. of leftover  "schmutz" clay, which is
 perfectly good for something else, and four hands worth of very ***y
 fingers. I wrapped all the cane lengths in Handiwrap(TM)  and set them
aside for another day's work.
     Later, when I cut the canes, I found that I had enough for the
& thimble sets, 1000 buttons....and enough left over for doing it all
should  they need more! And incidently, I used Donna Cato's new blade
when slicing all those buttons, and it really was a great help! No more
 bowed slices!
                       the end


13 lb.cane (LONG post & update)

Post by J L VanDonkelaa » Mon, 02 Feb 1998 04:00:00

>  Dear group
>      you're making me blush! but since you ask for it.....and so nicely
> too!  (snipped for brevity)

Where's Waldo...can YOU find the slice of orange poppies on the blue

> background?

I have the T shirt and the poster!    Is your cane on the bottom 1/3 of the
picture,  about 4 canes above the horse in the middle of the bottom row??

There are some really fantastic canes on the t shirt.   All of them, in
fact!!!   Glad I have it---can't bring myself to wear it though--it might
get dirty!    HORRORS!

Truly great story, thanks for sharing again.

Jan V


13 lb.cane (LONG post & update)

Post by Peggy & Bo » Mon, 02 Feb 1998 04:00:00

Thank you Sarajane!!
It was worth it to read it again.

So, was I right folks........is that a saga or what?

peg polymer


13 lb.cane (LONG post & update)

Post by MJBU » Mon, 02 Feb 1998 04:00:00

Wow !
Too bad you couldn't of camcorded that.  Did you at least take picture during
all the diffrent stages?  

Mj   Billings Montana   ~Don't Worry  Be Happy~       I am on AOL.  
So PLEASE... if you want to respond to one of my post,  please click the
''e-mail author''  or  ''cc author''  button.  Not all of the post gets on my
news group window.   Thanks so much


13 lb.cane (LONG post & update)

Post by ANT K » Thu, 05 Feb 1998 04:00:00

Man, I can't even imagine making a cane like that!!  I'm pretty new to***,
most of mine being VERY small.  I give you a LOT of credit!!
Karen in western NY and now it may snow