We’ve come a long way, baby!

In St. Louis in 1981, the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts held a national convention. It was there that Esther Olson introduced her process for making miniature candies from FIMO®.  Today we would recognize these techniques as millefiore caning.  From that inconspicuous beginning, caning has evolved into extraordinary art, as seen in the work of accomplished artists like Sarah Shriver.

The inspiration for Esther’s techniques came from her experience working in a candy factory during the 1950’s.  As a result of the enthusiastic response she received at the convention, Esther published a manual called “That Incredible Fimo.”  While I have not been able to locate an extant edition of this manual, I did find a copy of her later booklet, “Fimo Sweets” published in 1983.  In this small 14 page booklet, Esther illustrated the construction of many cane designs including flowers and bull’s eyes.  Most astonishing are her illustrations for a complicated butterfly, a bow and a Santa face,  canes which she built using needlepoint charts.

Elise Winters is an art jewelry designer who has worked for the last ten years to promote polymer clay as a recognized medium for fine craft. Additional information can be found on the Mission page. You can see examples of her award-winning jewelry and learn more about her background at www.elisewinters.com Rachel Carren is an art historian and an artist who is devoted to recording polymer history, promoting polymer as a valued medium for fine craft and to the making of distinctive polymer jewelry. To learn more about her background and her unusual blend of skills see: www.rachelcarren.com