Monday, June 27, 2016

Nature Serves As Inspiration for Polymer Clay Cane and Jewelry

gioia fabbri::Photo Credit::Unsplash

I am taking an online class Polymer Clay Cane Design Boot Camp by artist Heather Powers.  The canes are made with polymer clay.  A cane is a log or cylinder of clay that has a design running through it.  Each slice of the cane - the cross-section - contains the design. Canes can be made of any design.  The cane can be round, square, triangular, or any other regular shape.  Our first cane is a flower cane which is made up of geometric patterns--triangles and circles.  We are learning how to take a single slice of the cane and decorate a bead with the veneer of slices.  This is a technique called "millefiori", which means "a thousand flowers". 
Photo Credit:Keith Misner:Unsplash

I will be thrilled to master those techniques, but the class is also designed to get us to think about how to go from a picture to a cane.   The first step is to find a simple geometric pattern. 

Photo Credit::Beto Galetto::Unsplash

Every image is simply a series of shapes and planes. You just need to learn how to decode those shapes and figure out how to make those shapes of clay in the form of a tube. 

Photo Credit::Tim Gouw::Unsplash
That is easy enough. Just step outside and look around. Nature is filled with inspiration. At the beach, there are the waves, sky, buildings, and even beach umbrellas.

Long Geometric Necklace by BayMoonDesign
This is an example of a polymer clay bead with a geometric pattern that I used in a necklace. I didn't make this bead, but I would love to be able to make beads like this one. Taking this class gives me appreciation for those who can make beads like this one.  Perhaps some day!


  1. Nice! You will LOvE Heathers teaching! You'll be making your own canes in no time!

  2. "Nature is filled with inspiration" ~ my thoughts exactly. I loved your blog post. Beautiful necklace, I have no doubt that you can make poly beads like the one you used for your focal, and even prettier! Give it a try and take some pictures, I'd love to see your results!

    Love, Laura xo

    1. I am happy to report that I did in fact make some beads. They turned out well for the first attempt. I hope to share them in my next blog.

  3. How fun! The necklace is so pretty and earthy.

  4. I look forward to seeing what you make in class!

    1. I made some beads and they turned out well. I have to confess I nearly didn't even try. My initial reaction to the project-- I can't do this and I am not even going to try!