Eakes’ extruded mosaic

Julie Eakes combined four pounds of extruded polymer clay into one remarkable 5.5″ by 8″ by 2″ mosaic face cane. Calculating colors and preparing each cane is a painstaking task that took Julie three weeks.

Julie says her inspiration came from those photo mosaics that are made up of other little pictures. She adds that, “My brother worked with Chuck Close years ago and I was lucky enough to meet him then. I have a painting that my brother did of me using dots. I have the picture my brother did (which was inspired by Chuck) so maybe subconsciously I was inspired by Chuck.”

Julie is letting the cane rest while she considers her next step. Should she reduce it? How small should she go? It will be fascinating to watch.

  • reply Eva ,


    • reply sandra ,

      WOW! A bit mind boggling, really. The proportions of the cane bring to mind watching Kathleen Amt reduce one of her Alice in Wonderland canes years ago at Shrinemont. The cane was round and the size of a dinner plate, but no more than 1″ high. You must have been there, Cynthia! Do keep us posted on the progress.

      • reply Lisa Heller ,

        ONLY three weeks? I couldn’t do that in three months. It is above and beyond incredible. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

        • reply Maureen Carlson ,

          Great, Julie! Would love to see this in person – in all of its sizes. But, in this age of digital photography and the universal coverage that the web gives us, we all get to have the best of both worlds. We get to see it life-sized and, with a click or two on the screen,reduced.

          One of the things that Heather Campbell ( http://www.purpledoorart.com/gallery9.htm ) has done is take really great photos of her large pieces and then make them available as frameable posters. I think this piece might be a candidate for that process. That way if you “lose” it in the process you’ll still have it. And you can potentially make more money from selling the posters and cards than from the original artwork. Technology does have its benefits!

          Keep us posted on how it goes.

          • reply Kate ,

            Absolutely AMAZING. I have been toying with the idea of doing something like this (I think I might start with something more basic than a self portrait though). This has inspired me to give it a try! Thanks for sharing I always enjoy your posts!

            • reply Kimberly Arden ,

              I am 100% impressed!

              • reply Randee M Ketzel ,

                I absolutely agree with the comment about taking several shots first before touching this again–and frankly, it’s so perfect in its present form, I personally would be inclined to leave this be–the dimensionality of it is the charm; as a work of art it stands on its own. (And we all know that the hardest trick in polymer clay is knowing when to stop)

                • reply Julie Picarello ,

                  Excuse me while I realign my jaw…I think it may have come unhinged when it dropped open and hit the desk. As one who is firmly in the “cane challenged” camp, I am awed and entertained by Julie’s skillful implementation of her dotted inspiration. Fun, fun, fun!

                  • reply Janie Zetsch ,

                    I saw this yesterday on her blog and I am stil in awe. Her cane talent is just amazing. Maureen Carlson has some good ideas. I would also like to see it made into some form of wall art. And I’m also wanting to see how it reduces. Although, with her talent, I’m sure it will come out wonderful!

                    • reply Marcie ,

                      A cane like this might be a great excuse for the horizontal cane slicer that Wes was selling. The Cain n Able or something like that. Also one of the reducing tools.

                      Actually Cynthia promised more on using a microwave to heat the inside and that might be another option, if you can get the details.

                      • reply Pam ,

                        Chuck Close has been a favorite artist of mine forever. Your work is astounding.

                        • reply Dede Leupold ,

                          Hope that we will get to see the process of reducing it! It reminds me of color wash quilts. I once, that was enough, did a similar thing using a cross stitch pattern.

                          • reply Kay Olson ,

                            Mosaics have always facinated me, this is talent beyond that of the “Old World” mosaic artists.

                            • reply Jeannie ,

                              Three weeks, three months. I’d never be able to pull this off in 3 years even. This is fancinating.

                              • reply Carol Simmons ,

                                Once again your work is incredible. I understand your concerns about reducing it. I’m hoping to bring a new kind of cane slicer to Synergy (made by my friend’s brother). It is patterned after one made by Michael Grove years ago to slice the incredible canework Michael and RuthAnn did. I own that one and use it all the time. I think you should wait to decide what to do with your cane until you see it. Can you bring the cane?

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