More Simmons’ canes

Simmons New Mexico cane

Carol Simmons built this William Morris inspired cane here in New Mexico to add a new color way to her line of designs. I watched her construct the original extravagant cane that was about 6″ across by 2″ deep. Reducing the cane took a couple of hours with one or two 3-second trips to the microwave. She had only a miniscule amount of waste.

From this one cane, Carol generated at least 16 kaleidoscope patterns which will be turned into many, many beads. It’s a fascinating process that will soon be featured in a new color book by Maggie Maggio and Lindly Haunani.

New Mexico is a “target-rich” environment which means I won’t have to do much computer research this week. I’ll just pick up my camera and shoot. Even the sunsets are Skinner blends.

  • reply Patricia Kramer ,

    Wow!! this is fantastic! Simmons is a treasure, Thank you.

    • reply Bettina Welker ,

      OH! MY! GOSH! I guess this cane is the best I’ve ever seen – wow, this is outstanding canework. Speechless

      • reply Kim ,

        That is simply AMAZING! Glad I didn’t have to reduce that cane! 😀

        • reply Ronna Sarvas Weltman ,

          Carol is taking complex caning to a new place that is graceful and wildly engaging. I can’t stop looking at this cane. Absolutely lovely — totally hit the sweet spot on so many different levels. Bravo, Carol!

          • reply Alisa R. ,

            My WORD! That’s just awesome. I’m drawn to the Wm.Morris-esque design and the colorway.

            Microwave? Now I’m curious as well as wowed.

            • reply Barb ,

              OMG!! Too incredible for words! I hope we don’t get a speeding ticket ;o) see you soon!

              • reply Janet Pitcher ,

                Beautiful cane. I love the colors and the complex designs. I can’t wait to see more. I truly appreciate how difficult that is 🙂 Mine are usually around 6″ – 8″ square and up to 6″ tall. I want to know more about the microwave too.

                • reply Julie Picarello ,

                  I just looked up the definition of ASTOUND: “to overwhelm with amazement; astonish greatly; shock with wonder or surprise”. I’m afraid I must let the dictionary speak for me…this post has left me wordless!

                  • reply Amanda ,

                    Wow- that is just amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!

                    • reply Linda Roberts ,

                      This is simply stunning! So impressive – I’m blown away.

                      • reply Ed ,

                        I will never understand how caning is done on this scale or detail, my mind just doesn’t wrap it’s self around it. I have seen it at a work shop with Jana Roberts-Benzon If you ever have a chance to take a class or watch a demo how they do this, do it. Its like watching a slight of hand magic show.


                        PS. A day with out PCD is never complete.

                        • reply Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor ,

                          Wow! That cane is incredible!! Just like Linda, I’m blown away!

                          • reply Jean Melton ,

                            well, everyone has used up all the amazing descriptions for this remarkable cane…all I can say is ditto ditto ditto. I LOVE that cane!!!!

                            • reply Lisa Heller ,

                              Its even more incredible when you look at it upside-down at a distance of a few feet. There is a beautiful face with a wonderful triangular hat. The half-flower is on her forehead.

                              • reply Dora ,

                                I’m speechless and drooling all over my keyboard, LOL!!!

                                • reply Sherry Bailey ,

                                  I think my brain is exploding. I want some of that cane!!! Things like this make me more than humble — they make me jealous! ;^)

                                  • reply Julie Anstaett ,

                                    Well, what else is there to say? Jean’s right…all the adjectives have been used. I’ll just say that this kind of talent and genius comes along very seldom, and when it does it’s mind-boggling. The work that went into this kind of art is brilliant…and, yes, I am also extremely jealous! Bravo!

                                    • reply Lisa Clarke ,

                                      That triangle cane is positively breathtaking!

                                      • reply Lisa Gatz ,

                                        That cane almost made me fall out of my chair! WoW!!

                                        • reply Chifonie ,

                                          This cane is such a lovely and ENORMOUS work !! and artful, delicate and extraordinary !!
                                          chapeau bas !

                                          • reply Kate Clawson ,

                                            Totally amazing, I have a book on W. Morris designs and have been wondering how that could be translated with PC, now I see and it’s unbelievably fantastic!

                                            • reply mary tempesta ,

                                              Out-of-this-world cane!
                                              Please explian someone how the microwave oven comes into the picture?? I thought it was forbidden for polymer clay

                                              • reply Carol Simmons ,

                                                Ah, the microwave… I guess I had better elaborate before everyone starts experimenting. First of all, I work with the old Fimo Classic. I don’t know if it would work (or be necessary) with any other brand of clay.

                                                I have found that if the center of the cane remains stiff while the edges start “moving” in the *early stages* of reducing the cane, it sometimes helps to put the cane in the microwave (on its face) and heat it for just *a few* seconds. Microwave ovens heat from the center out, while your hands warm the clay from the outside in. My theory is that warming the center *ever so slightly* results in a more even temperature throughout the cane, which causes the cane to elongate more evenly uder the pressure of your hands.

                                                I’m not recommending this for general use. I think it works with my canes because the width-to-depth ratio is so large.

                                                Thanks for all the compliments on my cane!


                                                • reply Birnco’s riot of color at Polymer Clay Daily ,

                                                  […] gives a few more clues about reducing her cane with help from the microwave. Scroll way down in the comments on her post and you’ll see her response. Print This […]

                                                  • reply Bettina Mertz ,

                                                    A hundred canes in one – I am speechless, it’s amazing!

                                                    • reply Natalia Moiseenko ,

                                                      Amazing. Simply amazing!!! It’s a masterpiece

                                                      • reply Randee M Ketzel ,

                                                        Just bloody astounding work…and I truly admire how you worked out the heat/movement issues with your out-of-the-box thinking.

                                                        • reply Alisa R. ,

                                                          Carol, thank you for explaining. That makes perfect sense; what a stroke of genius!
                                                          I did try experimenting with PC submerged in water in the microwave according to directions I found. I’m sure time and temp matter greatly.

                                                          Hoping I can make a cane as beautiful as yours someday! ^_^

                                                          • reply Shane ,

                                                            I wanna make one of these! But…but…so much preperation! Carol, you have outdone yourself, this is fantastic and I don’t have the patience to achieve anything close but…I want it bad! I do believe it’s the best cane I’ve ever seen!

                                                            • reply fric_de_mentol ,

                                                              This is really gorgeous! 🙂

                                                              • reply Polymer eggs, snakes and more at Polymer Clay Daily ,

                                                                […] at her studio in Ft. Collins, Colorado this Saturday. Here are earlier posts about Carol’s kaleidoscope-cane works and award-winning […]

                                                                • reply NataNei ,

                                                                  As all responders above – I am totally speechless in front of this Piece of Polymer Art!

                                                                  • reply Kaleidoscope Design Intensive | Carol Simmons Designs ,

                                                                    […] triangular cane looks familiar, it is probably because you saw the post about reducing this cane on Polymer Clay Daily a couple of years ago.  Sometime soon I’ll be posting pictures of some of the other pendants […]

                                                                    • reply Andy ,

                                                                      This is really beautifull, nobody in Czech republic makes something like you. Please continue, don´t stop, nice inspiration from my maternity leave:-)

                                                                      • reply Dixie Ann ,

                                                                        The cane is absolutely gorgeous! I too was stunned after seeing it.
                                                                        If I could only be 100th that good I would be happy. You truly are a
                                                                        great artist!

                                                                        • reply Kaleidoscope Design Intensive — Carol Simmons Designs ,

                                                                          […] triangular cane looks familiar, it is probably because you saw the post about reducing this cane on Polymer Clay Daily a couple of years ago.  Sometime soon I’ll be posting pictures of some of the other pendants […]

                                                                          • reply Pam Elliott ,

                                                                            am just getting started buying supply’s and reading as much as I cam

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