Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ask A Smoosher: Reducing Canes

Janine asks...
I make canes and I do pretty good with them but distortion is soooooo frustrating. Anyone have a trick or two for combating distortion in their canes?

Distortion is always something of an issue. I try to minimise it by reducing slowly and as evenly as possible, using a squeeze and stretch kind of movement as opposed to rolling. So really I am trying to elongate the cane, not make it smaller if that makes sense, it does get smaller but that is not the focus of my brain and movements.

I have 2 ways to reduce canes that I find it works.
1) I reduce canes by squeezing and pulling. Then after I am done, I simply roll it lightly on the table.
2) I roll the canes out but I rotate them as I roll along. So if I roll one upwards I will roll again downwards toward the table, if that makes sense.

I like to let my canes rest for a while after making them so that the clay has a chance to become the same temperature all the way through. The elements will move at the same ratio[hopefully] if they start at the same temperature.
I like the squeezing and pulling method of reduction; if I roll to much I get more distortion.

I like to put my canes in the refrigerator for awhile, especially when using Premo clay. I reduce the ends first, then gently roll the center portion to match the same dimension as the ends.

1 Smooshing Thoughts:

Desert Rubble said...

I don't work with canes but I know the Polymer Clay Smooshers know what they're talking about! Some good advice on cane reduction.