City Zen Cane: early caning

City Zen Cane (aka Ford/Forlano), Earrings, circa 1996

Early in their collaborations, the team of Steven Ford and David Forlano worked under the name City Zen Cane.  Here are a few early examples of their work which illustrate why this name was so apropos and which provide a window into the nature of their collaboration. The earrings seen above show some of their most sophisticated cane work.  David made all the blends, Steven turned the blends into Shibori and Tube canes.  Finally David assembled the pin out of cane slices like a complex puzzle.

The duo also created many pictorial mosaic canes. As illustrated in the studio photo, David made color blocks.  They often used as many as 100 different blocks with varied hues and tints.  Steven reduced the blocks to the size of french fries.  Then David assembled the cane design from that palette.  After that, Steven reduced the large pictorial cane to it’s final scale.


For many years,  City Zen Cane was distinguished for their use of flat cane slices as seen above, with intricate patterns.  In 1997, they began to manipulate the cane slices in a new way.  The shell necklace pictured above was made up of canes created by David and then pinched and assembled by Steven.

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