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(Gertsch Feather Cane)

This cane contains a variation I created while I was learning how to make Susan Bradshaw's version of a Peacock Feather Cane in a class she taught for members of the South Bay Polymer Clay Guild.
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Peacock Feather Cane - The "Eye"


For the Peacock Feather "Eye":

  • 0.5 ounces Color A (Purple/Ultramarine Blue - 1/1 mix)
  • 1/2 " wide strip of Ultramarine Blue (#1 setting on Atlas pasta machine)
  • 0.75 ounces Color B (Turquoise/White - 3/2 mix)
  • Chop Stick or Wooden Pencil
  • Pasta Machine or something to roll with<
  • Tissue blade or something to slice with
  • Brayer (optional) to flatten with
  • Clean work surface

Note:  1/1 mix means I use equal parts of the colors to create the mixed color, 3/2 mix means I use 3 parts of the first color to 2 parts of the second color.

Step 1: 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 above.

When I blend the clay colors, I run the Skinner blend through at the #3 setting (on my nine setting Atlas pasta machine) - that's medium thick - because I'm only using a very small amount of clay (it's easier for me to control a larger sheet).

Step 2: Your blended sheet of clay should look similar to this after you are through.  


Step 3: 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 above 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.

Step 4: Starting at the DARK end of the blended sheet as shown on side A, begin rolling into a jelly roll as shown on side B.

Step 5: Continue rolling until you run out of the darker clay and you've wrapped the spiral log with one complete revolution of the Turquoise/White mix and then STOP.

Step 6: 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 and STOP.

Step 7: 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.

Step 8: Flip your cane over (if it isn't already) so it looks like the picture on the left. Pick up your pencil or chopstick and lay it centered on the half where the Skinner blend is folded back and forth. See the picture on the right. 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.

Step 9: Now, begin folding the turquoise mix back and forth ONLY in the depression you just created with the chop stick or pencil. This is a picture 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!   :)

Step 10: 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 on the Next Page Link for the next part of making the Peacock Feather Cane!

Next Page - Peacock Feather Cane Part 2

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