Polymer Clay Canes for Beginners

27 videos, step by step, beginner cane workshop beginner Cane Tutorial What people are saying about this tutorial. jennifer rose Just finished this first workshop on how to make canes, and I must say I learned so much. This is exactly what I have been looking for, someone who could explain cane making in a step by step that process that I could replicate. I watched the videos, went into my studio and began to create all of the canes Alice showed. I finally have results I can be proud of, and I say thank you so much for doing this workshop. My only question now is when do we get more workshops. If you are only going to take one online class let it be this workshop. Thank you Alice for your hard work, and your dedication to helping others learn the joys of polymer clay.

Online Workshops with Alice Stroppel


[caption id="attachment_102" align="aligncenter" width="100" caption="Member IPCA"]Member IPCA[/caption]

Food Processor – A Polymer Clay Tool?

I know that I’m late to this party and that almost everyone owns one or at least knows about using a food processor to condition old hard clay. I’ve never bought one because I don’t use one of the harder clays. Plus I couldn’t justify spending the money for a new one.

But honestly even my clay that is years old, clay that I bought online, is still in pretty good shape. I looked for some to test in my “new” food processor and really couldn’t find any. The clay that has always given me a problem is clay I or a student of mine has purchased in a hobby or craft store. My belief is that they store it in a hot warehouse and it bakes a little bit. So make sure when you purchase clay in the store, you check each package to see if it has some give and feels pliable.

But I have digressed……I wanted to share this “find” with those of you who may be new to pc. If you have clay that is hard to condition for whatever reason, conditioning it in a food processor will do the job. Just remember that once it’s been used for clay, it shouldn’t be used for food ever again.

I’m really glad I waited and didn’t buy a new one because this one is the king of food processors, probably one of the first ones made. Looks like one I had in the 70s. This baby weights a ton, the motor must be strong enough to run my treadmill. Nothing will tax this monster, no matter how hard the clay.

A lady was selling it during our town’s monthly garage sale. Anyone can come and set up on the side walks and sometimes you can find….well….great garage sale stuff. I don’t go very often, maybe I should.

Anyway she had a price of  $15.00 marked down to $10 and before I could say anything she said she did not want to take this thing home with her anymore and I could have it for $5. I laughed and was glad to give it a home. What a deal!

My husband carried it to the car for me so I never picked it up until I tried to move it around my studio later. What a riot, I could hardly lift it, the motor must weight 10 pounds.

Sometimes the smallest thing can make for a happy day.

Old Polymer Clay Mistake, But I Love Her Anyway!

Inspired by Circus de Soleil

Inspired by Cirque du Soleil

I was asked this week about experiences I’ve had while sculpting. I scanned my studio and really looked at things that I haven’t paid much attention to in quite sometime. I found several things that I couldn’t give away to anyone, like most of the things I make then, because of some giant mistake. What I like to call “significant learning experiences”. :)

I’ve always been entranced by Cirque du Soleil and was trying to create my own character. She doesn’t stand straight up but lays side ways balancing on her tip toes and hands. She can face either way.

She has fabric pants and a green bobble earring on her forehead. A fabric hat with fabulous feathers sits on top of her head. She has glass eyes.

I was really happy with how she was coming along, then I placed her in the oven for the last time, I burnt her face. She was so brown, not a nice brown that I would have been happy with, but a burnt brown. I don’t remember exactly what I did, but there’s no mistaking that she stayed to long in the oven. Like staying to long at the fair…….

I think that might have been when I began to cover everything I did with aluminum foil. Watch my video about baking polymer clay to see what I mean.

 Inspired by Cirque du Soleil

Inspired by Cirque du Soleil

I decided that I had invested way too much time and energy in her and I wanted to save her. I painted her face gold and called it a day.  Not the greatest solution, but I’m happy I didn’t pitch her in the trash. I certainly learned a significant lesson that time.

So if you make a mistake, like we all do, remember, it’s significant. And don’t throw them all away, it’s fun to take a look later.

Strange Oven Week in Polymer Clay

This week has been fabulous and frustrating. So humid all my canes just stuck together like they were magnets and now it’s cool and breezy outside. I like that, the cool part that is.

Good news, I finished my order. Bad news, something was wrong with my oven and several of them had spots on their faces when I took them out. The spots were all the way through and I couldn’t sand them away.


I had quite a bit of time invested in these girls and used lots of canes in the process. In the middle of the night I thought, okay, what can I do with these girls? Freckles are okay on the cheeks, but not down by the chin. I took my Pigma Micron pen and gave a couple of them mask with a bit of hanging fringe. I liked them.


If you want to use the Pigma Micron pens, just be sure to heat set them. The ink will rub right off if you don’t. Either use a heat gun, or pop them back into the oven for a few minutes.

I cleaned the pan I’ve used for years to bake my clay and I hope that that was the problem with the spotting. I also checked the temperature with a gauge, just to be sure.

I have an order in for blue and orange wine stoppers for a University of Florida fan in the oven now and should find out how all my cleaning and checking worked. I’ll let you know.

I still have a several more girls with spots but I’ll have to figure something else out for them as they are the full face girls and I’m not sure the hanging fringe will work. After Christmas maybe I’ll think of something.

Later …I just checked the wine stoppers and they are just fine, no spots. So I guess the lesson for me today is to clean your pan. Don’t know what was on it that could have made spots, but whatever it was, it’s gone now.

Baking Polymer Clay – Video

I was loading my baking pan the other day and thought that there may be some fairly new clayers out there that might be helped by seeing how I bake my clay. The following video involves a standard oven and a toaster oven. I have never baked my clay in a convection oven, but I know many clayers do. If you want information about convection ovens, you’ll have to do a search. Don’t worry there is lots of information out there.

In the film I mention several colors of clay that tend to burn and what I do to prevent that happening. I failed to mention translucent clay, so mentally add that to the list while you are watching.

Just to remind you, don’t forget to use your timer, you do not, seriously do not, want to burn the clay. Trust me, I know from experience. Don’t forget to use a tile, it helps to distribute the heat.

Be sure and check out my other videos. Enjoy!