With much of my spare time being taken up with selling my house and buying the new one over the past couple of months, I didn't have a lot of time to work on clay. So I started off making bumbles' stripy body and head and then put him down for a few days. I then made a large bulls eye cane to make up his wings but had to leave it at that - for about 2 months.
The last couple of days I got back to Bumbles, finished his wings, the cane background and then reduced him.
I can now give you a big cane tip: Do NOT make a cane over several months! The bit of cane you were working on in the beginning, will be much firmer than the bit that you have just worked with and when you reduce your cane, you will find it shifts (reduces) at different rates.
Probably no surprise to many of you but for me, I usually finish my cane within a couple of days so the whole cane has a similar softness/firmness and I haven't encountered this problem before. When I came to reduce Mr Bumbles today, parts of him shifted at different rates and I lost about 40% of the cane to distortion.
I won't be making that costly mistake again! Watch this space for what I do with all that scrap...