Building a millefiore cane

These are man made, pvc-based clays; they come in 40 different colors, or may be mixed similar to paint from primary colors. A cane, or log of clay, built in the same manner as glass pieces from Venice, Italy, is compressed layers of clay that form a design or illusion. (Note: in the following example, only slices of each stage of development are shown, the actual cane could be from four to 20 inches in length.

Concentric circles, in this case green, are made by wrapping tinted colors around a center. /bld_01a.jpg

This is then wrapped in a contrasting color, reduced in size by hand, and cut in several sections. /bld_01b.jpg

These sections are placed side by side, again wrapped in a contrasting color, reduced in size by stretching and compression, and finally cut in five sections lengthwise. /bld_01c.jpg

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They are then assembled around a flower center, in this case formed by concentric circles of blue tints, and reduced in size to compact the design to the various sizes of use. The cane is now ready to be sliced; each slice being the same since the design was stretched the full length. The entire process requiring about three hours; two of which were used to condition the clays, getting them ready for use!

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03-27-00