November 2002
Volume 3, Issue 11 
Peacock Feather Cane 
by Jean Sheppard

Jean's Photo Gallery
Adobe Acrobat version

 

Editor's Letter | Face Cane Packing | Faux Opal | Layered Illusions | Peacock Feather Cane | Storyteller Wreath | What's the Point | November Holiday Art | Email Us! | Home

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II would like to give credit and thanks to all of these wonderful artists (Linda Gertsch, Tom Jeffrey, and Susan Bradshaw) for their inspiration.  I would also like to extend great thanks to Sunni Bergeron, who converted my crude directions and pictures into a work of art and the polymer clay artists who tested the tutorial and provided valuable input:  Kellie Robinson, Tania McCulloch, Tonja Lenderman and Sunni Bergeron. If you would like to view some truly exquisite art created using the forerunner of the Feather cane, please consider visiting the web site of Grove and Grove.

 Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Supplies: 
  • 3 ounces Color A (Premo Purple) 
  • 3 ounces Color B (Premo Turquoise mixed with equal amount of Premo white) 
  • 1 ounce Color C (sheet) - I used a ratio of 3 parts purple to 1 part black 
  • 3.5 ounces Color D: 3 ounces Zinc Yellow mixed with 0.5 ounces of Raw Sienna 
  • 4 ounces Color E: 3 ounces Zinc Yellow mixed with 1 ounce Turquoise 
  • 2 ounces Color F: 1 ounce Zinc Yellow and 1 ounce Ultramarine Blue 
  • Pasta machine or something to roll with 
  • Tissue blade or something to slice with 
  • Brayer (optional) to flatten with 
  • Wax paper (optional) to lay the long sheet of clay on 
  • Clean work surface 
Step One:
Run Color A, B and ultramarine blue through your pasta machine at the thickest setting (that's #1 on my nine setting Atlas pasta machine). Cut and arrange the colors as shown in the picture.

 Blend the clay colors. Use the #3 setting (on my nine setting Atlas pasta machine) or medium thick.

 

Your blended sheet of clay should look similar to this. 
Step Two:
Set your pasta machine on medium thin (#5 on my Atlas). Insert the dark end of your Skinner blend into your pasta machine as shown and run it through to lengthen it some more. 

Then set your pasta machine on thin, but not the thinnest (#7 on my Atlas), insert the dark end and run through the pasta machine once more.

 

Click image for larger picture
Step Three:
Starting at the dark end of the blended sheet, begin to roll the blended sheet into a jelly roll. 
Click image for larger picture
Step Four:
Continue rolling until you run out of the darker clay and you've made one complete revolution of the Turquoise/White mix. 

Stop.

 

Click image for larger picture
Step Five:
At this point, turn the cane over and fold the sheet back onto itself. Wrap it halfway back around the log in the reverse direction.

 Stop.

 

Step Six:
Continue reversing back and forth on the same half of the log, making each wrap about 1/4 inch shorter than the last one as shown above.

 Stop when you have about 2-3 inches of the sheet remaining.

 

Click on image for larger picture
Step Seven:
Flip your cane over (if it isn't already) so it looks like the cane on the left side of the picture. 

Pick up your pencil or chopstick and lay it centered on the half where the Skinner blend is folded back and forth. See the cane on the right side of the picture. 

Now push!!! Squish the chopstick or pencil into the log until you have a nicely defined channel. It will flatten the log, but that's okay. 

Set your chopstick or pencil aside. 

Click image for larger picture
Step Eight: 
Now, begin folding the turquoise mix back and forth only in the depression you just created with the chop stick or pencil. 

See the photo of the completed log... it's rather squished at this point, as a result of pressing in the chop stick/pencil to create the indentation... but don't worry! :) 

Click image for larger picture
Step Nine: Roll the log (horror! You've been told not to roll canes, but please do this time!) on your work surface to smooth it back into a round log shape. 

Don't press too hard. You do not want to reduce this log, you only want to smooth it back into a round shape.

 

This is the rounded cane sliced. Notice how the dark area is slightly off center. Voila, you now have your "eye." Looks pretty cool, huh? 

Now set this cane aside to rest while we create the rest of the Peacock Feather.

 Click here to go to Part Two

Copyright 2002 Jean Sheppard

 

Editor's Letter | Face Cane Packing | Faux Opal | Layered Illusions | Peacock Feather Cane | Storyteller Wreath | What's the Point | November Holiday Art | Email Us! | Home

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