The Face

I have loved face canes ever since I saw Jamey D. Allen’s work in The New Clay by Nan Roche.  (The New Clay, Page 77 1991 Flower Valley Press edition.)
Face canes of humans are, I feel, the most difficult images to make. When one tries to make the cane image a realistic portrayal of a human face many problems arise. From the time we are born our minds are working overtime to achieve accurate facial recognition. An enormous part of the human brain is devoted to just this task. Think about trying to find a friend in a huge swarming mob of people. It’s like being able to find your baby penguin and penguin partner on snow with a million other penguins. But we can almost always succeed. It’s miraculous. It’s because of this ability that pulling a polymer clay cane with a face is so very difficult. Any distortion,(which is inevitable),or lack of symmetry results in the viewer being either amused or even repelled. Making realistic face canes is the easiest way to have my friends laugh or mock me that I know of.

The virus and the social distancing that goes with it led me to take a swing at making just such a difficult  cane. One can see that I made a pretty large cane in the hope that I could pull it off. (No pun intended). At the end of the pulling I ended up with around 15% of the cane that I was reasonably pleased with. The remainder of the cane ended up with all manner of mutant and just plain weird characteristics. Because of this I’ve decided to frame the good cabs in silver.

The museum frame design came from my daughter Casey. I don’t wear any jewelry or have any tattoos and I rarely even comb my hair. I have zero talent for jewelry design. Thank God Casey is amazing at it. I’m very proud of her and she has built a website to display and sell the work that we collaborate on and work I’ve done in the past that is unique. As the website grows it will be increasingly displaying work done by both Casey and myself. This first offering is called The Hope Cane for several, I hope, obvious reasons. We will continue to work together on difficult cane and silver designs.
Please visit us on line at
          Jon Stuart Anderson

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