After reading Arlene Harrison's post about her interpretation of my Exotic Bloom Cane, I hurried to edit all my photos from the Hearts & Roses Set. Arlene had said she'd been looking to try a rose cane. So I thought I'd share my favorite ...and the creation process of the decor pieces that stemmed from this cane - this one's for you Arlene! I do hope you'll give it a try!
Hearts & Roses Set
Unlike the Exotic Bloom this cane is not my own design. I have to give credit to Leigh Ross of Polymer Clay Central for this one. You can find her tutorial here. Thanks Leigh!
The two blends for the leaves and the rose petals. I use a white to green blend wrapped in dark green for the leaves. And a pink pearl to red blend wrapped in dark red for the rose.
Then following Leigh's tutorial, I reduce the rose petal blend, cut it in half, and then cut one half into 5 pieces and the other into 6.
I take one of the pieces (from the half cut into 6), flatten it like a teardrop and roll it up, forming a small spiral for the center of the rose. Then I add the remaining 5 pieces (now slightly flattened to a teardrop) in a pinwheel fashion around the center.
Now the 5 pieces (from the other half of the reduced blend) are formed into wedges and I fit them into the spaces between the first layer of petals.
Time to form the leaf: I add 5 veins, divide it in half, add the center vein, flip one side, and press it back together.
Next I reduce the leaf cane making it smaller at one end - that way I'll have leaves in two sizes in the finished cane.
Here I've added the leaves, gently but firmly pressing them into the small gaps between the last layer of petals.
Using the triangle method in Leigh's tutorial, I pack the cane. I really like this technique - the finished cane always has good detail.
The cane is wrapped in a thick sheet of black and I slice off the end to see how it turned out.
Here it is - time to reduce.
And now, to make the set. My first project with this new cane is a pen.
I begin by applying thick cane slices to a brass pen tube. The tube was scuffed up with 60 grit sandpaper to help the cane slices hold better.
I cover the tube and roll it smooth and it's off to the oven.
Baked and cooled. Now I pass it on to my brother Michael who will turn it on his lathe.
The finished pen - Michael did such a beautiful job!
Next I create the picture.
It starts with a cute metal frame found at the local Goodwill - one of my main sources for finding frames I can weather - I don't have to spend $20 on a frame I'm going to "destroy"!
Shaping the heart: It starts with a black flattened teardrop. Next I cut two thin slices off the cane and roll each one through my pasta machine on a thin setting (5 on my Atlas) to ensure consistent thickness.
I carefully blend the edges of the cane slices into the hearts.
Two rosy heart halves. And a very cluttered work table. I'm usually much more organized, but as Lazy Daze grew nearer, more and more stuff piled up on my table - you should have seen it the day before I left for NC!
Next I make a stack of stripes. Thin sheets of dark red and pink, with a red sheet sandwiched between.
I roll the sheets to remove air pockets and trim the uneven edges.
Next I roll it through my pasta machine, starting at the thickest setting and going down to three. Then I divide and stack, divide and stack...
...and divide and stack. I do this four times.
Finished and ready for slicing.
Now I shape the other half of the heart. I use black so when baked the reds and pinks on the striped half will be the same shade as the reds and pinks of the rose cane slices on the other half, which are also overlaid on black. If I'd used a lighter color this would have been apparent after baking when the colors become a bit transparent, and the reds and pinks would have been of different shades...Just a useful note!
Covering with stripes: I rolled the striped slice through my past machine on the fifth setting.
I trim the edges, making sure to leave enough overhang to cover all the black at the sides.
I go over the heart half reshaping it with my fingers, making it slightly domed in the middle. Then I put the two halves together.
The finished heart.
And the back.
I put the clay covered glass in the frame and lightly score around the opening. Then I place a small plastic bag over the surface of the clay so I'll be able to move the hearts around easily when finalizing the arrangement.
Now I remove the plastic bag and press the hearts into place.
Adding some little dents to the heart. These will hold little black polka dots.
I roll a thin snake of black and cut off tiny dots. I roll each one between my finger tips to make them round.
Each polka dot goes into one of the dents.
And I gently press them into place.
Another striped half.
Putting the halves together, starting at the point making sure both halves meet up.
And curling the tip.
Placing the heart and making more dents...
...for more tiny polka dots.
Yep, I roll every slice through - even the smallest!
A really tiny black heart with a rose.
Pressed into place.
I add little red dots around one half of this heart.
Starting at the top.
Now I make even smaller hearts, still forming them in two halves.
Adding some black dots and bumps to the background.
Finished! And off to the oven.
And here it is fresh from the oven. You can see that all the colors are the same shade even after baking.
Now I make the dish.
I begin by placing the cane slices on the outside of the dish, so when viewed from the inside, they will be smooth and glossy.
All the cane slices in place.
Next I cover the entire surface in black, making sure to remove all air pockets. Removing the air pockets proved to be very tedious but the end results were well worth it.
Smoothing the surface.
Three large hearts ready to be placed on the dish. These are so fun to make!
Each one is pressed into place on the sides of the dish.
I add several more smaller hearts.
All the hearts have been placed and here you can see the cane slices through the glass.
Next I cut thick slices from the striped stack. These will form a border for the edge of the dish.
Each thick slice is cut lengthwise into four thinner strips and pressed end to end, forming one long strip.
I roll to smooth the cut edges, rolling carefully so not to distort the stripes.
A striped snake.
Placing it on the edge of the dish - a little liquid clay on the edges helps it stay in place.
I trim both ends straight.
And carefully blend the seam together.
The finished edge.
Now I add the little polka dots.
Red around the black hearts.
And black on the red hearts.
Each one is placed in a pre-formed dent - it's more secure this way.
Adding black dots and dents to the surface.
Now I shape the feet. I want each one to be different. I start with two black balls and one red - all the same size. I wrap the rose cane slice over one of the black balls.
And wrap the striped sheet over the other.
Three mismatched feet.
Placing them evenly on the base. I used a small piece of glass that covered all the feet to press them slightly flat. Sorry no photos of this last part - my photographer was busy with other photographing. ;-)
Here it is after baking.
Now it's time to add a black wash to the picture and dish:
First I paint the entire surface of the piece with rubbing alcohol and let it evaporate. This removes any oils from the surface and keeps the paint from beading. I use Black Mars Galeria paint, painting thickly at the center of the hearts and blending it outward - but not too thick - just enough to add a bit of a shadow.
Painting the hearts on the dish (after painting with alcohol!).
I cover the background of both the picture and the dish in thinned paint.
One last spot to paint.
Now I apply finish to the pieces.
I use a matte finish by Delta Ceramcoat.
With the dish, I start at the base covering the entire surface evenly with the finish, being sure to pop all air pockets.
The finish always looks slightly whitish before it dries.
Once the feet are dry, I finish the edge.
Now it's all finished and just has to dry - it takes about two hours to dry for handling.
The finished picture.
And the dish.
I really enjoyed working with this new style and have more ideas building in my mind. You'll certainly be seeing more of these Hearts & Roses!