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.

I cannot remember a time in my life that I wasn't interested in looking at art, talking about art and the making of art. In 1990 I earned a Phd in art history at the University of Maryland. My first experiences with polymer clay were in 1992, but I consider my real work with the medium to date from 1999.