I am often asked about the cane making procedure, and how I price my work.
Canes are started by conditioning the clay, which can be very time consuming on the harder clays. On average I can condition about 1lb of clay an hour. Once the clay is conditioned I need to make any skinner blends that will be used in the cane. These take about 10 minutes per ounce to create. The next step is to create the elements and shapes that will be in the cane. I let each of these elements rest at least 30 minutes before moving on. Most elements are covered in a thin layer of black, white or another outlining color. Once this is all completed and the canes/rods have rested I begin building the final cane. All of the different elements are placed together carefully, making sure there are no air bubbles trapped in between them. Once everything is in place I compress the cane to connect all the elements firmly together.
When I create a cane I put in a lot of time and care to make sure the pattern that runs through the cane is consistant. On the feather and wing canes I typically spend several hours creating the canes, and end up with an 8-12 oz cane, usually with a 1 1/2-3" face. The Quilt, Illusion and Celtic Canes usually take from 5-10 hours to create, and weigh from 1-3 lbs with a 2-4" face. The picture canes, such as the tropical fish canes, Take at least 30 hours to create and weigh at least 7-10 lbs, with at least a 6" face when completed. After the canes rest for 24 hours or more I reduce the canes and package them. About 15-20% of the canes end up being turned into scrap blocks once the reduction process is completed.
I price my canework according to the time it takes to create the cane, and the total number of finished canes that are produced. On average my canes are priced at $2.50-$5.00 an ounce. I try to keep the prices as reasonable as possible, while still making enough profit to be able to continue running my business!
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