Palm Pattern I forgot to mention in my previous post that the Flame pattern is a variation of the Palm pattern (which is also called Fern), pictured above. I made this piece in my studio last month when I was showing my friend, Ann, how to do it. Palm is pretty (some say it looks like the top of a pineapple), but I'm sure you can see why I love Flame much movement. It sort of reminds me of kelp swaying back and forth with the swells of the ocean. I half expect a clown fish to come darting out of the paper. Plus, the name of the pattern, Flame, sounds like me.

There are four steps you go through to make Palm or Flame: stone, get gel, chevron, and then a final raking to complete to pattern (straight for Palm, a slight S-curve for Flame). Anytime you have multiple steps like this, it complicates things a bit because it takes a while to complete the full pattern. The longer your design sits on the bath, the more likely dust will become an issue--it settles on the top of your bath and causes little blank holes or specs on your final piece. But for me, I really enjoy doing step upon step upon step upon step. I find it relaxing as well as intensely personal. With so many steps, I have a lot invested in the pattern--mentally, physically, and emotionally. I guess one could compare it to kneading dough for bread or pasta. And what's better than homemade bread or pasta?