First I cut lots of slices from the different canes I wanted to make up the pattern - and yes my lovely husband did make me a cane slicing jig!
The wooden strip pushes along so you can cut a slice using a blade against the metal edges. I stuck a metal ruler under it so I could make slices the same thickness but actually for the fabric I wanted them about 0.5mm so I just nudged it gently every time. My slices are now of even thickness instead of being wedge shaped! Thank you Richy!
Once I had a fair few slices of canes I started to add them to a very well conditioned sheet of purple clay. Being Kato clay I was worried I wouldn't be able in embed the slices easily if the clay firmed up. I put a section on and then gently rolled it in several directions so that the surface was fairly smooth.
Embedding slices to decorate the 'fabric'
I cut more slices and embedded them and yet more! Once I had a piece large enough I was ready to cover the handles (I'll share that in depth another time).
Here is a covered cake fork, ready to be baked
When I was covering the handle of about the 3rd fork the clay startede to crack a little at the sides. Oh dear! I got round this by gently rolling the piece I had cut to cover the handle a few times. Not enough to change it's thickness or shape just enough to reawaken the clay the enough to be smoothed round the handle.
Sanded them with several grades of wet and dry sandpaper up to 1200 grit by hand and then buffed them on a linen tea towel (the best thing I have found so far although I read today fleece was good so will try that next time). They look amazing! The photos don't really do them justice. I am now a believer in sanding and buffing (something I hadn't really done before the last couple of weeks).
A cake fork
The whole set!
The don't really look at all how I imagined and I still have a lot of that paisley cane, so much for all my careful planning! But I am really pleased with them. They are smooth and shiney (but not too shiney) and I like the way the pattern worked out. If my sister in law doesn't completely adore them I shall kidnap them back!