These polymer clay pendants are each made from one cane slice. The design at the top is based on a picture of 19th century floor tile pattern. The other design is based on part of a quilt pattern
I have described how to make a simple flower cane here. Here is a video of the process, including making beads. This bangle was worn by one of the actors in Jane Cafarella’s play about surrogacy – “e-baby” which was performed at Chapel off Chapel (Melbourne, Australia) in March 2015.
Check this link for an amazing (very short) video of the building of a Marilyn Monroe cane by Adina Pastelina.
I wrote about the impact of repetition, even using a very basic design here.
I took very simple canes – bulls-eyes, stripes, squares and a basic leaf, and packed these together to form a triangular cane (below left). This was reduced and cut 8 times to form the kaleidoscope cane (in the middle of picture below right). Thin slices are then used to cover a blank purse mirror – after first covering the metal with PVA glue (which is allowed to dry) I use liquid polymer clay for a strong bond.
My daughter has some favorite green shoes, which she wants to wear with greys and neutrals – she clearly needed a necklace to tie in the shoes.
I added some ground cumin and coarsely ground black pepper to the white polymer clay, to add a bit of interest. I mixed a color to match the shoes (kato clay: 2 yellow, 1 turquoise and a pinch of red). I created a skinner blend then made beads from different parts of the blend. For the shape, I rolled lentil beads, and once I had the lentil shape, simply squashed them with the top plate.
This ‘retro’ cane is popular – it looks great and it’s not as difficult as it looks, but you do need an extruder. The key to the look is the shape of the die you use in your extruder and your color scheme. As long as you stack a range of colors into the extruder, the design just happens. I extruded through a square – but I would imagine it would work well with other shapes such as triangle and hexagon. See Bettina Welker’s lovely cane made with the small circle shape.
I made this nude cane about 14 years ago, and I still use it occasionally in my work. These pictures show the end cut from the original cane before it was reduced, and different sizes once the cane was reduced – her body shape tends to change a little with every reduction! See the original drawing below. Sometimes, as on this pin, I used a slice of the nude cane then added slices of face and hair canes separately. I also made a cane which included all these elements. There were very few tutorials on the web at the time, and no youtube, so I worked out how to make this by trial and error. However, Cynthia Tinapple’s video of making a face cane is similar to the technique I used, although I shaped each piece separately then packed it together. You can see the shapes of some of the components in the big slice beside the drawing, as well as two of the pieces that went into it.
Canes can last for some time as long as they are not exposed to heat, but you need to be patient to make them usable without cracking. I put pressure around the sides of the cane with my hands, and very gradually try to reduce it – this can take some time with an old cane. Alternatively, if the cane is at the size I need, once it’s a little warmed up in my hands, I carefully cut a thin slice, place it between two pieces of baking paper and gently rub with my finger. The warmth and friction make it pliable enough to add to a bead – like this one below.