What to Make: Using Leaf Canes

I have been making stuff with polymer clay for a long time. I started with clay to make the beads for my jewellerymaking hobby and kept going until I had boxes of beads and canes. At some point I got selling the beads and canes themselves and now, here we are.

polymer clay leaf canes

At the 20+ year point I still make stuff that is new to me or at least not *common* and that’s this stack of canes, lots of leaves. A customer requested a bunch of leaf designs that were a bit of a jump from my normal thing. I tend to make a pretty basic leaf cane over and over – I have a video about it, a tutorial, it gets used on a lot of my beads – but this was a chance to challenge myself to make some more interesting stuff. Leafy beads. Leafy sculpture. Leafy art. We’ll see what I get up to but here’s a few bits to start!

This is going to be a series of posts about what the canes and beads I make and sell can be used for. You can see the other posts here.

What Happens When You Have Spare Brain Power

bowls made with coiled electrical wire

I’m tremendously privileged – I haven’t gotten sick and my income didn’t completely disappear in the last 12 months – but one of the side effects of having a greatly simplified life is having a little more time and processing power to try stuff. In my case, that’s been tackling some of the Idea Bunny List. What’s that list? It is the never ending, rapidly reproducing, list of ideas I’d like to take a try at but absolutely don’t need to. There’s random crafts, recipes, weird garden hacks, complex programming… all sorts of things.

bowls made with coiled electrical wire

On there, is finding something that uses the scrap wire my partner generates on his side of the shop. He installs electronics, primarily into vehicles, and all of the parts come with wires. Mostly they’re extras and they come in every colour. He recycles 100s of pounds of this stuff a year. I snagged some to play with and looked up some instructions and videos for simple coil basket making. And then I coiled some bowl-baskets. They’re pretty neat. The smaller is about 6 or 7 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep. The larger is around 12 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep. They’re not lightweight.

bowls made with coiled electrical wire

Also, plain black, white, and red wire are rare birds since they’re default electrical colours for EVERYTHING. So working out designs without those for contrast is odd. It’s like a giant puzzle. I’m happy I took a try though!