Archive for the ‘Polymer Clay Cane’ Category

New Canework

December 5, 2011

Isnt this just a beautiful piece of fabric and canework. This is one of Carol Simmons’ students work I do not know her name and I sure wish I did. So if you know who’s cane this is please let me know so I can add her  here. I loved the colors and one of the things learned in the recent Carol Simmons class was the use of colors in your creations.

I asked Carol what colors needed to be sheeted and began the journey with this cane. The biggest obstacle for me this week was the feeling that I did not want to duplicate the elements from this cane into mine.  That was the most challenging aspect of this whole week for me. I mean look at the wonderful caning she did this is one great cane.

And now my interpretation of the artwork and colors. First the component canes.

The layout which I know will be nothing like what the cane will end up being. I know the color aspect of the class stuck with me as when my son came in to look at one point he said he liked the colors YEA!

The cane before reducing. This one somehow ended up being way too tall let’s see what happens when I reduce.

Work at my 9-5 Monday then I am on claycation baby!

Thanksgiving Week Post

November 27, 2011

What a crazy week for me this week. Last Friday at work I was selected to be the TD Mascot and boy what that a mistake…..

After that my back was killing me so last weekend was spent in bed as well as Monday and Tuesday when I got home from work. Stinking pain makes you really realize how important health is.  On to Turkey day which was spent with friends and I am so grateful to have them in our lives they made the day perfect as hubby is not here it was nice to see them and the two turkeys named Tom and Tim. (No that is not a turkey that is Jenna and….forgot which one was hers Tom or Tim).

Sometime while we were at Thanksgiving dinner the heat went out in the house so Friday even though I had to go to work I just decorated, passed out the Black Friday Bags, and got the heck out of there. There was no way I could fix the heat and the neighbor was not home so I went to the local Home Depot and got two small heaters that you can plug-in. I will have hubby worry about the heat when he comes home in a couple of weeks it is warm and I am not holding a brick (what we were doing a few weeks ago when we lost power for days).Finally I have a manageable back ache, heat, and am ready to start building my next cane and guess what happens????

The neighbors were having their driveway re-paved when the truck accidentally ran into the pole which broke and had to be replaced. I was able to start yesterday but did not get far……Crazy schedule at work this week with the meeting, Christmas tree lighting at the Country Club, and working on Saturday but I plan on putting whatever time I have into it this week so I can get a sexy cane made. I look forward to giving you some shots next week hopefully of a completed cane.

What is on your clay table, or in your life that is preventing you from getting there???



Carol Simmons Class Starts Tomorrow!

October 2, 2011

All Packed and ready to go! As I used to say to my son one more wake up till Carol Simmons!

This is what approx 6.5  pounds of clay looks like sheeted out. I threw them in plastic protectors and am carrying it on with the 500 pound cardstock (it’s not that heavy but you get my drift). My carry on weighs 38 pounds because of the clay and thick cardstock. I sheeted more than I should have but I wanted to make sure I was ready for anything that came my way.

This is a wonderful opportunity and I hope to learn about Kaleidoscope caning from a master in the field. I have played around with the idea many times but never looked at it in the way she will teach me to look at it from now on.

This was one of the first I tried.

Then I tried one that I just love. It was from a shirt that I owned and I made the same pattern from the design.

I tried one with Kato clay and decided to make the change.

This is the image I have chosen to base my cane off of.

Then I saw this image and drooled all over the keyboard. I thought at first that I should not choose this one because I clearly was looking at the cane and not necessarily the colors me being the caner I am. Then I was not sure there were enough colors for a cane. But a funny thing happened while planning for the class Carol actually suggested this image and sent color swatch thingies with it. When I looked at the colors that way it seemed to me they were almost the same funny hunh?

In Search Of

July 3, 2011

The Art of Jewelry: Polymer Clay: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration (Lark Jewelry Books)

Friday night while watching Monk and making a Sandra McCaw cane from the book The Art of Jewelry Polymer Clay my pasta machine bit the dust. I could not figure it out it started making a noise and stopped rolling at the lowest two settings, but worked on the thinner ones. There was not way I was going to finish the cane until I got a new machine and ordering online was not an option for me since it would mean loosing almost a week of good claying with the Fourth of July weekend. I am just getting started now since I feel better and really want to tackle some of the things on my to do list.

So I looked at some of the local stores online to see what they had to offer. Every store had several of them available and I was thinking I was going to walk into one of them and have several to choose from. Boy was I wrong!

After four stores I was amazed at how many different coffee makers there are on the market to choose from. I was also amazed at the beer making choices available in each store.

So each store has some version of a beer making kit but none have pasta machines? What people make beer but not pasta? I seemed to block out the fact that I was not making any pasta here either even if I found one.

Recently on the list we were talking about how nice it would be to use your socks for dusting the floors while you walk from room to room. How was I to know that there was already a product available?

They sell this and not a pasta machine???

I was able to find some gold in my store hopping.

These peanut butter filled pretzels are great and a very hard item to find so naturally I had to get a few of them.

I found one of these in silver a few weeks ago while finishing shoping for my son’s vacation and thought how wonderful it would look covered in clay. The sticker price of $25.00 made it a no buy and yesterday I found this one ON SALE for $2.50 it was the only one they had so I had to snatch it up! All these finds and still no pasta machine what the heck?

Finally after going to the mall I was able to find one at the kitchen store. Again the major department stores have great selections online but not in the stores.

This falls under the do as I say not as I do category. Next time you need a pasta machine I recommend you check out Mona Kissel.

She will modify your existing machine or you can purchase one from her. Once hubby and son come home and my claytime is limited I think I am sending my machine to her for an upgrade :).

I Hate Sanding

May 17, 2011


This week we had a wonderful occasion on Saturday and my intention was to make a nice jewelry piece to wear to the event. I hate sanding and I really mean I hate it that is why I own tumblers that I use when I have time to. This week there was not enough time to throw the beads in the tumbler so I began sanding.

Of course I had to make sure that I didn’t sand my nails down ( you have done that too right?) but while focusing on not ruining the nails I ended up sanding my hand raw. This is a picture of said hand 4 days later.

My son is holding the picture of it on the day when I sanded it raw hostage on his phone until I beat him at Words With Friends which is a Scrabble game. So until I beat him (Or don’t let him win) this is all you get of my injury.

All in all I ended up with a lovely necklace and bracelet simple, elegant, and I got a lot of compliments on it.

And a shot of just the bracelet close up so you can hopefully see the detail in the cane.

I just love-making something for me!

Next week you can expect the next swap pics to be posted as the donation swap is now closed. Can not wait to see what they vote on for the next swap I am off to post the poll now. They never cease to amaze me with their choices.

Take care and have fun creating try to make something just for you!

Lucy 4-3-11

April 4, 2011


This week I have been working on finishing up a commissioned face cane for a local jewelry artist. She asked me if I could make something for her since she did not feel confident enough to produce one in clay herself. She had found this wonderful U Tube video by one of the polymer clay masters.

This is Cynthia Tinapple’s video tutorial on how she makes her face canes. I watched it and loved the idea instantly of course with a couple of twists. I did not feel comfortable making the white plug and adding the details rather I made the details and added the white. For me if I did it the way Cynthia did I would not get smooth even cuts and the cane would come out distorted looking before I even began reducing. I also told my client to give me examples of eyes and noses she liked since I would not copy the face Cynthia had used. Here are the drawings that were sent…..

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4.

She liked Photo 2 and I began building. I reduced the eye cane that I made last week for this.

Added some lips.

A nose.

Put the components together.

Added a little more white and squeezed just a little to work out any air.

See the dent in her forehead? I dropped it and since the Kato Pearl was too soft (YES I SAID TOO SOFT) I decided to wait a couple of days to reduce. Insert the Tom Petty Song about waiting being the hardest part.

I made a conscious decision to work the cane for at least a half an hour before beginning the reducing process. This was done by just banging the thing from all sides to warm the clay before reducing. This is her after working 35 minutes.

See how her lips are not working out? This happens when using different brands of clay or clay that is the same brand but not the same consistency. I knew at this time that I needed to reduce and prepare myself for the fact that she would not reduce evenly. So I began.

See how her lips do not want to come out and play?

Also check out my cane ends. The pieces with just the eyes and brows are the first cut. Then you will notice a little of the nose showing up, and finally the face with lips.

The client has really enjoyed the process she said it was like giving birth she is the one who named her Lucy and her birthday is today. As an artist I could not ask for anything more. Client is happy and loves her faces and she is having design ideas and let me tell you they are some good ideas! If you would like to see some of her other work it can be found here.

I am excited because I now have some cool face beads to donate to the beads swap which is due May 15th.

Enjoy your clay journey and if you ever need a face cane think of me!

The Eyes Have It

March 27, 2011


This week for me has been about transferring files on the computer so they are not lost forever, finishing the Rock Purse Swap, and making eyes.

I am working on a face cane and it must start with a sexy eye. How often in life do you get to make an eye out of clay??? You must start with a good eye tutorial and I think I have found the best one ever!

This is a realistic eye cane that is easily made once you follow the steps. My recent switch to Kato Clay will make this one even better than an attempt that was made a few years ago. I got a paper cut to the eye and when the local eye doctor took such great care of me I took eye tokens to the ladies in the office. They loved them! 

So here is my new Kato eye that just so happens was made in green as the tutorial.

And the finished eye not reduced fully…..

Tomorrow is a short day at work and I hope to build the face cane at that time.

You can expect swap pics in a couple of weeks since we had so many international participants this time we have to wait until they get their packages which takes a while.

Enjoy your artistic journey even if it is making an eye! I can not wait to see how the face turns out!

Ugly Cane Makes a Cute Flower

March 13, 2011

Is this my best flower cane? No but I was finally able to sit at the clay table and I will take what I can get lol. Spring is almost here and I felt like making a flower cane. So when I was finally able to sit at my claytable I opened the drawer where I store my conditioned Kato and I found this cane that was a mistake I made while working on a color exercise from the Color Inspirations book by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio.

Instead of making a new flower I decided to use what I had to make a new flower. I have learned in the past that a cane that you may not like by itself takes on new life when combined or reduced in a new way. So I started reducing and combining and came up with this.

Add a little silver fill in and viola you get a sexy flower cane.

Once reduced I was able to make some beads, a new ring ball for my interchangeable ring, and some Pandora style beads.

The only setback was the time it took to put the individual cane slices on the beads. Then I remembered that if I cut them and left them the way they were it was easier to apply on the bead then if I had laid them out on the table.

One of the other things I was surprised at was how little cane waste I had.

Once I have more time to sit and play I really think I will be happy with the decision to move to Kato Clay. I love the way it works and with the clay softener and the food processor it is so easy to condition the clay now. I wish I  would have made this decision a long time ago.

Even though you may not have a lot of time to devote to your art it is so nice to sit down at the clay table and create even if it is using up old canes that you have messed up on. From an ugly cane you can get a beautiful flower if you have the time and patience!

Get up and go clay!

OMG Kato

October 17, 2010

This is an experiment that I did last year to see what would/could be done. As you can see there was no real caning involved in this but rather the focus was to see how many ways the cane could be combined to make different ones!

I loved this experiment and wanted to try it again. One of the things on my to do list has been to try it but to do it with Kato. This week was time! I took all the Kato I had in the house and decided to use it for this project. So I am using clay that has been sitting UNDER my table for at least two years because I had the conditioning fear.

I am having technical difficulties with my camera again this week so any pics this week are from my phone, and all of the ones I took while making this with my camera can not be accessed. Freeken technology biting me in the butt again this week but at least this time they are on the bleeping camera I just can’t get to them!

I have heard of two ways to condition Kato and one of them is to pound the heck out of it with a hammer. So I spent an entire evening pounding the heck out of it with a hammer.

Two of the colors did well but the others did not they were very crumbly when I went to run them through the pasta machine. I then decided that I would throw them in the food processor ( I have one dedicated to clay). After another evening this time spent processing and adding diluent to the clay it was soft and pliable. I laid it out on my surface rolled with the roller and then ran through the pasta machine. INSERT ROLLED PIC HERE WITH PROCESSED IN THE BACKGROUND    Agghhhh

I then took the clay I had and tried to make some different looking canes with my limited colors and clay. I was very impressed at the crispness of the lines in the simple jelly roll and bull’s-eyes. This led to me mumbling to myself about how great this was going to be once finished if the lines in the stinking jelly were sexy.


 I then began assembling the cane remembering what I learned from last time. Air and or space is not your friend. Sounds crazy but if I say any daylight I removed the cane and inserted a log to fill. NO AIR OR SPACE. It makes sense that if there is any air then clay is going to go to that empty space and cause distortion no matter how small the space is. So I took my time and inserted the smallest of logs to fill in.

I then started to reduce. I will not go into the reduction but let others teach you (links at the end of the tutorial) not only about reduction but building as well. The first link is the first Kali cane I ever tried.

I began reducing and it got so big I ended up with two halves. One of the other things that happened to me while reducing is that the middle did not move for a while so I had a lot of ends that looked good but were missing detail. One of the things I was so impressed at was the crispness of the Kato look at these lines they look so nice!

Once combined the cane looks amazing! I am saving the final cane for December as I have decided to include this in the upcoming swap. But here is an end piece combined that still looks amazing. Under it you can see the cane with all the parts there and if you look real close you can see the distortion and missing elements.

 I can not wait to show you how the swap items turned out and even more I can not wait for the swap participants to get part of this wonderful experiment!

Have fun claying and any Kato tips you may have would really be appreciated. I have so many questions in mind.


New Books

September 10, 2010

Super boring day at work one day last week and I always get myself into trouble when I have one of those.

I made some great book purchases and some bad jersey purchases.

Super boring day at work one day last week and I always get myself into trouble when I have one of those.

I made some great book purchases and some bad jersey purchases.

Finally I have the book Art & Fear for my personal library. I must tell you all if you do not have this book go and get it cuz it’s a good one.

My Local Library has a program where if it is in one of the adjoining libraries you just request it and when it shows up at the local one they shoot me an e-mail and I go pick it up. I recommend the try before you buy program because you just never know when you will buy a klunker. When I tried it last year I liked it so much that I paid over 4.00 in late fees because I just did not want to take it back. Stupid I know because I could have paid for the thing already but hey we all make bad choices every once in a while.

Other book purchases were Polymer Clay Color Inspirations by Lindy Haunani and Maggie Maggio. I had heard from a lot of people that this was like a workbook in color and have wanted to try it since I spent my summer two years ago mixing colors…..well now is my chance. This one is going to Dallas with me.

I also purchased The Art of Jewelry Polymer Clay and Making Beautiful Beads these were to replace books that someone borrowed and just never gave back.

So that was my good part of the shopping spree.

The jersies I really do not want to talk about except to say that it involved me closing my bankcard and filing dispute papers.

Going to Dallas for some much needed F’s leaving hubby and son at home……..





I will check in with you guys when I get back and I am sure I will have some Dallas musings along with my clay mixing antics.

Enjoy your days and I can not wait to dig into my books and see what comes out of them!