At the PAA , we occasionally hear from readers with requests for specific images from our archival stash of “eye candy.” Recently one of those inquiries revealed a gap in our historical smorgasbord of offerings.
Some of the earliest polymer work done in the United States was related to the technique of caning, or constructing a pattern that remains intact through the length of a cylinder. Many polymer artists began with cane work. While some moved on, others became extremely skilled at creating and combining patterns. Sandra McCaw is one of the experts.
Some of the earliest polymer work done in the United States was related to the technique of caning, or constructing a pattern that continued intact throughout the length of a cylinder. In honor of the opening of the “Terra Nova: Polymer Art at the Crossroads” show at the Racine Art Museum, it seems fitting to focus on masterful cane work.
Today, the option to sand and polish cured polymer is taken for granted, but how did this actually happen? In a mid-1990’s class hand out, Nan Roche directly attributes sanding and buffing to Tory Hughes. According to Tory, it was the development of her imitative techniques that necessitated her interest. She writes:
Chains have been an integral part of metal work from ancient times. Various methods of linking metal rounds create different patterns and rhythms. With the advent of extruded polymer in the mid 1990’s, a process made far easier due to Carl Hornberger’s suggestions on adapting the traditional caulk gun, polymer artists such as Nan Roche were able to explore the concept of making polymer chains.