Saturday, August 3, 2013

Trying my hand at this thing called tutorials.

I hope the pictures and my explanations are sufficient. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. This is just a random cane I came up with one day when I wanted to play with my extruder after it had been modified to make it easier to use. I took a lot of pictures. I usually err on the side of too many details, so, yeah.

Here's a picture of how I had my extruder modified so it's easier for me to use:

I asked a friend of mine to do it for me so I didn't hurt myself. But there's a hole drilled into the caulk gun for the finger grip to sit in and the end of the extruder is resting in the opening at the end. I had this caulk gun sitting at home not being used, so it didn't cost me a cent to do! But I know you can pick them up for just a few dollars at the hardware store and squeezing the handle of the caulk gun to move the disk down and push on the extruder is TONS easier that trying to do it by my weak little self. I only did one project with my extruder before having this done and I had nothing but problems, so I love this!! I found it on a polymer clay site, but I can't find the link to share and give credit to that person...I'm sorry!!

Anyway, I'm rambling. LOL

Like I said, this was a random cane I made. I don't make canes on a regular basis, but I was waiting for something to bake and wanted to make something else, so I started playing around.

I took 3 colors and conditioned some of each one on the thickest setting of my pasta machine. I have an Atlas with motor. Then, I cut out 9 circles with my smallest circle cutter of each color.

Here's a picture of the last color I cut:

I decided at the last minute to try turning this into a tutorial, so I already had the other 2 colors cut and put the extra put away.

Here's a picture of the stacks I made:

I made 3 stacks of 9 each. I used a pink, yellow and a kind of turquoise, but it's muted and I like it.

After that, I had to reduce the stacks to insert them into the extruder:

Here's a picture of the disk I used to extrude the clay:

I didn't want the strings to be too thin. I think that disk did a good job.
Here's a shot of the extruder and the clay.

 I laid them out on my mat and cut off the extra long tails and laid them on the stack and made three piles total:

 Then I mushed them all together and rolled them into a log:

 Next, I wrapped the log in black clay that I rolled out probably on a 3 or 4. Guess I should have taken note of the thickness! The log itself is about an inch in diameter.

 Then, I cut it into 4 equal pieces and put it together to form a cane and reduced it:

 I also decided to make it a square. Kind of looks like window panes!

 Before slicing it to make beads I put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes and actually let it rest for a couple of hours.
I ended up making 4 beads with 2 holes and a pendant. I took 2 slices, rolled them out thin and covered a base bead.

Again, I hope I did ok with my first tutorial. Let me know what you think and ask any questions. Don't be shy!!


  1. Hey, I think you did pretty darn good for a first time, like the pattern too :) Peace and blessings, Terri

  2. Thank you! Because the tute was clearly written and photographed it was not an issue for this one, but perhaps in the future you might consider a plainer work surface so that the clay and whatever you want us to learn from each photograph is all we see. Again, thank you. I'll be looking for more.


    1. Thanks. I know i need something else. Unfortunately, that placemat is all I have to work on right now and I wasn't thinking. lol

  3. I wasn't exactly sure what a cane was and felt silly asking. =) Now I know.

  4. Great job, also looks like a good way to utilize scrap. Thanx <3

    1. Thanks! That's a good idea too! :)