Jump to content

Making bowls with clay canes


Recommended Posts

I am fascinated with making bowls out of pottery canes.  I seem to be doing a good job of making the canes but no matter how much I compress, roll, very slowly dry in a damp box..they crack between the slices of canes, where I had eliminated all the seams before the drying process began.  HELP!!!!!!!!!

I would prefer not to do agate ware, but just canes, making the inside and outsides of my the same decorative design.

Thank you.

Bobbi

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your reply!  Not sure I know to post a picture to this reply but I'll try.  If not I can send them to your website.  Here is the process:  

I- The first and third bowls were made flat on a template of each of the bowls so that I use my pony roller (with cloth between the canes and the roller) to roll both the inside and outside well and eliminate the seams, which I did.  

Each slices of cane and the trims on the tops, were slipped and scored between every single seam.  The pieces were then gently slid into ceramic slump molds and re-pressed with the pony roller. Before I put damp paper towels on each bowl and wrapped them really well in plastic, there weren't any seams showing.

The pink one went into a damp box for a few weeks but even though it didn't crack while it was drying, now that it is dry, it is forming very small cracks. although I have still kept it in plastic...out of fear!!!!

2- The middle and bigger bowl as made by placing each cane slice into the interior surface of a large plastic bowl.  As with the first two, I kept the affixed pieces damp under damp paper towels and plastic as I assembled it.  Also with slipping and scoring between each slice of cane.  

3-  I learned a tough lesson the hard way...each of the bowls had a trim (to keep the areas of attachment along the top rim from cracking) but the trim went to the top of each mold and sometimes a little over the top.  Therefore, some of the cracks seem to have occurred when the bowls shrank but not all of the top released from the rim of the mold:(:(

4-  I have been, literally, drying them for weeks so they wouldn't crack (which they did!!) and I released the top edges of the trim so they wouldn't continue to crack (which they did
!!!) and I am about to start on some more, but I know it isn't worth it until I can find out how to prevent this cracking!  The canes have been living in the damp box for weeks before being sliced and used.

5- They are all large bowls and I'm beginning to think that is one of the problems, also.  I am so happy to get some help from you!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used the same clay, "Little Loafers" for the white and for the clay I mixed with the Mason Stains.

I make the canes by rolling the colored clay very thin, and between each layer of colored or white clay, I brush some water or some thin slip.  I try to role them as tightly as possible and then bang then on the table to further get out air bubbles and meld the layers, then I roll the canes to make them longer and continue to "squish" them.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Neil, yes I mean the kind of rolls of colored clay, like they make with polymer clay.  Each slice that gets applied to my bowls is about 1/4" thick.  I have taken pictures of the bowls and the cracks.  Can I send them to your email address or do I still need to figure out how to upload them to here? :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, BobbiS said:

Neil, yes I mean the kind of rolls of colored clay, like they make with polymer clay.  Each slice that gets applied to my bowls is about 1/4" thick.  I have taken pictures of the bowls and the cracks.  Can I send them to your email address or do I still need to figure out how to upload them to here? :)

Here would be best. At the bottom of the window where you type you'll see 'choose files' that will allow you to select the files you want to upload from your computer. If the files are too large, try emailing them to yourself, as there is usually an option to resize them when you email them. If you just can't get them to work, I'll message you here with my email address that you can send them to and I'll post them for you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@BobbiS you can also log into the forum through the web browser on your cell phone. If it’s a newer model, you should be able to resize and upload an image straight from your phone. You’ll be prompted to select a file size, similar to the way you would if you were sending it in an email. I’ve been working on a tutorial for uploading photos. I’ll see if I can get it finished tonight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the cracks are happening between the canes, not within each cane, correct? How wet are the pieces when you join them- still soft? Are they all at the same moisture level? It's important that they're at the similar moisture level, as they'll shrink differently if they're not.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a look at Dorothy Feibleman's work and process. Starting at about 2 min 30 seconds in the link below. Feibleman extrudes her canes but the important bit is she makes a slab from the canes and gently rolls then compresses the slab of canes then drapes the slab onto the form. I'm also wondering if your canes are damp enough, even dampness but wetter clay sticks together better than if it's on the dry side. 

YouTube wouldn't allow embedding the video, link is here

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Min, thank you for your reply.  I have watched Dorothy Feibleman's YouTube videos and have certainly learned from them.  I have made 2 of my bowls by first making a slab of them and rolling over them on the front and the back, to meld the seams, before putting them into a slump mold.

I'm beginning to think that my pieces are too big to be able to dry evenly, even though I put damp paper towels across the rim, wrap them in plastic and then put them in a "Damp Box."  The smaller ones have fared much better.

I  think you have a good point about trying to work with damper canes, although I do keep the parts I've already placed under damp cloths and plastic, while I am working on other parts the bowls.  So much to learn!!!  but I am fascinated by the technique so...onward!!!!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2021 at 8:42 PM, Rockhopper said:

How are your canes made ?  Are you using the same clay body throughout, and adding stains and/or oxides to get different colors - or are you combining different clays ?

The clay body is the same throughout other than adding Mason Stains to make the colored clay.  I used "Little Loafers" for the first batches of colored clays and white clay.  I am about to use a different white clay body, which is also the clay body I used to make the new colored clays.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.