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Monday, January 2, 2017

Seams Matter - Master Kaleidoscope: Ivy 'iKandi Clay' Niles

                                            Photos Courtesy of Ivy Niles aka iKandi Clay
Have you ever made a cane that was beautiful, with Awesome color & design elements... but when you began joining your cane sections into the kaleidoscope it was 'wonky'? Sections didn't line up quite right so everything looked askew, a bit off? We should always begin making our elements for our cane using the same brand & type of clay for clay consistency. But IF you have done that and are still a bit off, chances are good you need to pay closer attention to your basic cane angles and then your cane seams.

Because clay is somewhat forgiving, many of us began claying just sort of 'winging it'. Build some elements, squish them into a triangle of sorts & cross your fingers as they are placed together. Hence, we all know about wonky canes. All true clay Masters share a common work habit, planning their cane elements from the onset to be a 3 or 10 or even 24 section kaleidoscope. We should begin with a template for the cane we plan to create. I have a complete selection of templates which I made from heavy poster board that I love, they take up no room at all. You can print any of the photos below & cut out just 1 section from each to make your templates. For kaleidoscopes with straight sides (squares, etc.) simply extend the lines outward & square your pattern off before creating your template.

                                                    3, 4 & 12 section kaleidoscope canes

                                                                   3, 4, 6, 8 & 24 sections

                                                                    3, 5 & 15 sections

                                                                    5 & 10 sections

                                                                     7 & 14 sections

Let's take a peek at Master Caner Ivy 'iKandi Clay' Niles process of building a master kaleidoscope cane. Pay special attention to the care given following the template & maintaining very clean and straight clay angles.

As you can see, she puts a lot of effort into clean lines. By putting extra care into the initial cane lines & angles, as you join the canes to form your kaleidoscope, your design elements will join Much cleaner. You will have a perfect professional kaleidoscope... no more 'wonky'! Now let's see some of Ivy's canes that she has posted in her Etsy store. Ivy couldn't have chosen a better name than iKandiClay, her kaleidoscopes are eye candy indeed!

I find that templates are an essential tool in my creative process. As Ivy has shown, they are important to achieve a genuinely professional kaleidoscope. I will be introducing several new techniques that also utilize templates, used in a very different fashion.  So, hit your studio and begin building your template library. Let's create something beautiful today!

ClayPlay Liz

PDF: Ivy 'iKandi Clay' Niles - Kaleidoscope Cane    Click here for pdf

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