Saturday, January 26, 2008

Arabesque Canes on DVD

I recently had the opportunity to watch the new polymer clay DVD from abba dabba Productions, Arabesque Canes, by Jana Roberts Benzon. Kaleidoscope-style canes are really popular and a lot of fun to make and, if you've been feeling a little intimidated by them, Jana's DVD is one of the closest things to an intensive hands-on workshop that you'll find. She offers clear, concise instruction and covers every step of the process in great detail. The exact amount of clay you'll need, the simple tools that make the construction of the cane much easier, great tips on how to pack your cane to prevent distortion, and Jana's unique reduction method - it's all covered here in more than two hours of quality instruction.

One of the things I enjoy most in any book or DVD are the little tips and tricks that are often unique to the artist or author and Jana has included lots of these, as well. I really enjoyed seeing her process and approach to building an intricate cane design. After viewing the DVD, I think it would be fairly easy for even beginning clayers to change up the colors and individual components of the cane to make something of their own design. Jana has shared her process in such a way that it can be adapted to each individuals own personal style and that's definitely a sign of a good teacher.

With Jana's blessing, I'd like to pass along this word of caution . . . In the past, I normally used a stiff blade and flexed it to cut curves in clay just as Jana does at one point in her DVD. But, a few months ago, one of mine literally exploded and broke into many jagged little pieces that flew across the room and over my head. Luckily, no one was injured but I did almost pee my pants. As much as I like the control of a stiff blade, I highly recommend that you bend only the flexible ones.

Congratulations, Jana, on your wonderful new DVD! I have a feeling there's going to be lots of beautiful "arabesque" canes popping up in the claying world!

Here's one more piece of lovely eye candy from Jana for your viewing enjoyment. And, don't forget that if you're planning to place a pre-order of the Krafty Lady art moulds for Synergy and take advantage of the opportunity to buy below retail cost and with zero shipping that I'll need your list by this Tuesday.


Raven's Clay said...

Hi Kim! I have to agree with you on Jana's new DVD. She's a great teacher, as well as a great person... and (stating the obvious) a great artist. Brava to Jana!

I'm looking forward to seeing you at Synergy, my dear... In just a couple/few weeks! Yippeeeee! Are you ready yet? I'm not - by a long shot. Yikes! Lol

RG Creations said...

This will be one dvd that I'll have to get this year. Such a talented artist!