Order your Profile Face Cane Tutorial Profile Face Cane Tutorial What people are saying about this tutorial. "Super easy to understand and great pictorials to watch and follow off your computer." "Fabulous tutorial. The video is awesome and very easy to follow, I am looking forward to making these. " "This tutorial and video are very detailed and easy to follow. The graphics in the printed instuctions are excellent. Alice your video adds visually to the printed directions beautifully. Either way you win with this tutorial. Fast and easy transaction. Thank you Alice" "Great tutorial and great service - I would recommend this tutorial to anyone wanting to learn face caning - very detailed pdf and video. Would purchase again."

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A Great Clay Day with Chrissie Baker

Chrissie Baker Alice Stroppel 2014

 

How lucky am I? Yet another day of playing with clay in my studio and this time with Chrissie Baker my internet clay buddy all the way from the UK. We made profile face canes and then created our bracelets.

Chrissie Baker Alice Stroppel profile Bracelets 2014

 

It was so  much fun, thank you Chrissie for wanting to spend the last day of your time in Florida with me. I hope you go home and get to work playing with clay. Canes can be fun, right?

And thank you too for this fun and funky crocheted vase your friend made, I love it. I’m thinking of adding some equally fun and funky pc flowers.

See you again soon Chrissie, I hope, if not in person, then here on the www.

gift from Chrissie Baker to Alice Stroppel

Disaster Averted – Mixed Media – Polymer Clay Table

polymer clay table top - Alice Stroppel

 

I’ve been working on the polymer clay cane mapped top of my little table off and on for days. Right now I’m not able to work days in a row, but can only get to my studio 3 or 4 days a week. So getting this piece finish it taking awhile.

I thought I might not share with you what happened, you know, admitting to a huge mistake and all, but then I decided that you might benefit from my lesson learned. Besides, (laughing) I was able to save it so I don’t look to stupid.

I’d already baked the top once with only the girls on the glass. See last post. I finished the background and cane slices and places it on the table top to see how it looked. I added some more cane circles and then baked it again.

top in progress - Alice Stroppel

 

I added my dot, dot, dot cane around two edges of the baked piece and then a row of black and white check. The reason I only did two ends was because my glass wasn’t big enough to do the other two sides.

I baked it again and I was very happy with the way it was coming along. Then…..DISASTER….I can’t show you pictures, because I had to work quickly to try and save the piece and all my work.

Here’s what happened. I removed the baked top from the glass and put it on a large ceramic tile that I work on. I thought, great, this is just the right size to finish the edges. I added more dot, dot, dot cane and checkered canes to the remaining two edges. I finished off with a larger dot, dot, dot cane.

Fabulous, now to bake it and see how it fits the top. I had planned to figure out the very edges once I could really see how much room I had left.

I considered using an extruded piece that I could bake and then glue in place. I received a new CZeXtruder from Kimberly Idalski and want to try it out on the edge. I’ll be posting more about using the new extruder in another post.

Well………..I put it in the oven, baked it the normal time, the buzzer went off, I opened the oven and the piece was a total mess! YIKES!

Buckling in the center and a couple of other places and so drastically the blonde girl had cracked right in two across the middle of her face and neck.  Circled in white in the picture below, this is after the fix and I’m still amazed a how well it turned out.

Alice Stroppel table close up

I won’t repeat what I thought and said in the minutes that followed……. but I was able to save the entire piece and honestly I still can’t believe it. I wish I had pictures of the before.

Here’s what I did to save the piece. At first I just used a towel to press the bulging clay gently back down. It seemed to help but it wasn’t enough and the pressure wasn’t even. The tile was still extremely hot. I used another tile the same size to place on top of the piece to apply even pressure. I first placed a piece of paper on top of the design, I didn’t want the second tile to create a shine.

I remove the tiles from the oven tray and onto a cooler surface, not a cold one, just cooler. When I had completely cooled I removed the top tile and paper and it had pretty much gone back into the original shape. You can imagine how relieved I was. I’ve ruined many things in my day, but this was the biggest, most time invested piece that I “almost” lost.

I glued it down quickly to my table top. The blonde girl was actually in three pieces, but I put her back together like a puzzle and glued all the pieces in place. You can barely see hair  line cracks and that my friends is the ONLY way you can tell the was a near disaster.

Now, there are two things that may have cause the buckling. At first I thought it might have been because I moved the rack up one level, I wanted to bake another piece at the same time and that put the whole thing closer to the top of the oven, you know, heat rises. And that may well have contributed, but this morning I really think the main problem is that it was on the large tile. I actually had the tile at an angle in a broiler pan and air could get underneath it. But the tile was very hot and I think the glass must not get as hot or maybe not hold the heat as well.

Alicestroppeltabletop1w

I bake in a regular home oven, by the way.

Whatever the reason, I will stick to baking my cane mapped pieces on glass and I won’t move away from the center of my oven.

Here’s the finished top, whew is all I can say. I’m still not sure about the very edges and I want to add more slices to the leg etc. More when I can….

Old Things New Again – WIP

Table with polymerThis is a silly little table that my husband and I used as a telephone table when we were first married. Most of you can relate to a telephone table, but some of you may not remember a time when you had an actual phone connected to the wall.

We had a cord that could reach all the way into the living room. That was the only way you could talk for more than 5 minutes, I could cook, fold clothes, and watch the kids playing.

When we moved to our new house we didn’t need the table anymore. My Mother, Father, sister and brother-in-law bought a three story victorian house together and they had tons of room. The table went to stay with them and now it’s come back to live with me.

I’ve painted it lots of fun colors and have covered the bottom shelf in polymer clay with one of my faces and some of my colorful canes.  I’m starting to work on the top when I have time and I’ll also be adding bits of PC on the legs.

Table with polymer - Alice Stroppel

It’s a piece that has been touched by every member of my family at one time or the other. No hurry on this piece it’s just something that will capture a lovely memory in time and link it to the present.

 

Claying with Kathe

Kathe Keck

My friend Kathe Keck came to see me a couple of weeks ago and we made face canes. I told her she was my test model for a full face cane class. We had a great time, she went home with a face and I learned a bunch about what I need to stress when I teach it next. Stay tuned for dates and places. (sometime in 2014)

Kathe’s moving to the West Coast and I’m glad she could come play with clay before she left, I’m going to miss her. But luckily, I’ve been invited to visit, so l’m looking forward to a trip in 2014. Fix up my room Kathe, I’m almost on my way.

It was all about the Face, Friends and Fun

Florida Gulf Coast Polymer Clay GuildI was at the Florida Gulf Coast Polymer Clay Guild in Palmetto teaching my profile face cane and everyone did a really great job. I can’t wait to see what they make with these canes. They can use this short video to make hair canes and this video to attach everything to a bracelet blank after it’s baked.

But these funky faces aren’t just for bracelets, I’ve used them on all kinds of things.

Cocktail Shaker

 

A cocktail shaker, or

Salt and Pepper - Alice Stroppel

salt and pepper skakers, or

Canister - Alice Stroppel

a canister, just to name a few.

I always have the best time at this guild, they’re fun and really enjoy the clay. And they always have the greatest pot luck! Thanks ladies and a special thank you to Sydney Carter for asking me and making the arrangements.

Everyone was delighted to the Premo clay for this project donated by Polyform. That you Iris Weiss.

 

profile face cane class - alice stroppel

 

Next week I’m teaching at the West Coast Polymer Clay Guild in New Port Richey, FL. It’s a great class to teach and I’m looking forward to seeing friends I made at Orlando Clay Fandango and making new ones. And making more great faces……..

 

 

 

A Visit to My Studio – SEFPCG

Mary, Andree, Sue, Lori, Earnestine, Alice, Niki, not shown, Ruby and Audrey

I was so excited to welcome some of the members from the South East Florida Polymer Clay Guild to my studio. We spent two days playing with clay and enjoying each other’s company. Thank you all for coming……

I’m sorry to say that I did not  take any pictures on the first day and Ruby and Audrey had already left by the time I remembered my camera. This time I was lucky to get in the picture because my husband happened to drift through the studio and I enlisted his help, a bit blurry, but hey!

Oh and our wonder dog Ceasar is shown at the bottom of the picture, okay, “kind of ” shown, really blurry…but he was so happy for the company.

We made face canes and then we made Flamingos. Not everyone wanted to make bracelets, so we have Lori’s punk candle ring and Andree’s sculpt to go on a mirror frame. Lori’s needs some feathers and Andree’s needs some skinny legs, they’ll finish up at home. Everyone else is going to be sporting a funky new bracelet. I think everyone did a fabulous job and enjoyed working with Ultralight.

Thanks so much to Mary Marzano for all the time she put into organizing the weekend. I’m not sure who had more fun, me or everyone else, I think maybe me!

To find out more about this guild, when they meet and where, visit the SEGPCG website or join them on Facebook.

The group came on a great weekend. It was downtown Sebring’s second Friday event and my good friend Janet King was the featured artist at Highlands Art League’s Yellow House reception. So we all met at the hotel and went to Janet’s reception then back to the hotel for dinner. There was Jazz on the circle and all the shops were open downtown. The next day was the Roaring 20′s craft show downtown, but we were busy in my studio with clay.

Janet F. King

Janet’s work is incredibly beautiful and I’m lucky to own a piece or two. Once you see her work, you’ll want to own a painting of her’s too.

If you’re in Sebring, be sure to take the time to visit  the Yellow House, if not, visit Janet on her website at Janet King Watercolors. com 

Three Girlfriend – Polymer Clay Slide

I have been taking pictures and videos of several items that I have waiting in line to go in my Etsy shop. I’ve decided that taking 5 pictures of something so that my customers can see the item from all angles is so time consuming. It’s why I put off adding things. My solution, we’ll seee how it works, is to take short little videos to show what they look like in 3d.

Creative Journey Studios and OAPCG Fandango

I’ll be hopping a plane in a few weeks to fly to Atlanta and get to spend some time with friends at Creative Journey Studios and a couple of days with a good friend from forever in another little Georgia town

First stop is in Buford, Ga and two classes at Creative Journey Studios. I can’t wait to get back there to see how the gallery has grown. When I was there last year it was just beginning and not everyone had sent their work for display and sale, mine wasn’t even there. So I’m excited to have the chance to spend some time there with Ellen Prophater, Sue Sutherland, and Patricia DiBona.

I’ll be teaching Pen and Ink on Polymer Clay and my Profile Face Cane. Grab a friend and come take one class or both, we’re going to have a great time.

If you need to jump into spring, you might want to seriously consider a trip to this charming little Georgia town. If you want to be inspired by polymer clay artists’ work all in one place, Creative Journey Studios is the ticket. Just take a look at the list of artists that have work that you will see up close and personal and possibly own. What a treat it’s going to be.

Judy Belcher, Jana Roberts Benzon, Leslie Blackford, Carol Blackburn, Kim Cavender, Louise Fischer Cozzi, Heather Cobb, Patricia DiBona, Ann Dillon, Lisa Dunn, Julie Eakes, Christi Friesen, Natalia Garcia de Leaniz, Sue Gentry, Linda Gilcher, Lindly Haunani, Ginny Henley, Stacy Hogue, Lou A. Huppke, Susan Hyde, Debbie Jackson. Jeanette Kandray, Kim Korringa, Judy Kuskin, Sharon Kyser, Loretta Lam, Ron Lehocky, Peggy Martin, Sandra McCaw, Barbara McGuire, Laurie Mika, Ann & Karen Mitchelll, Harvey Moriarty, Mari O’Dell, Mary Pratt, Ellen Prophater, Laurie Prophater, LaTrecia Raffety, Ponsawan Sila, Jan Stephens, Meta Strick, Debra Svitil, Alice Stroppel, Bettina Welker, Melanie West, Lori Wilkes, Elise Winters, Karen Woods

Amazing isn’t it?

Then….I’m off to cental Florida for Orlando Area Polymer Clay Guild’s annual Fandango. I’ll be demonstrating and just hanging out to talk with everyone and show some of my methods.

Today, I’m working on some bracelets like the one above, because I need a donation for the fabulous auction they have each year. Speaking of seeing some of your favorite artists’ from around the country and the world. President Charlene and others from OAPCG have a long list of donated work that attendees can truely buy sometimes for a song. Okay maybe you have to pay, but it’s tons of fun and just getting to see the work is a treat.

Take a look at last year’s auction bounty. I think there is still time to register, but hurry!

I hope to see you somewhere, sometime.

My Stroppel Cane is Older Than I Thought

In April of 2010, I was experimenting with a different kind of face cane and made 13 bracelets from it. I’ve sold several of them and have but a few left. I started photographing this one to put in my etsy Shop to sell. It has a flower that looks like a poinsettia so I thought it would be perfect for the season and I’d better get it posted.

When I looked through the lens, what did I see but a Stroppel cane that I used for a collar and a hat band. I started to laugh because my memory is so bad. At least about dates and when I did what. I knew I’d been making Stroppel canes for quite awhile, but didn’t realize it’s been almost 2 years.

If you look close at the bottom of the bracelet, you can see the date. Now I’m thinking I’ll keep this one, I have another one that is even more Christmasy. I hope this made you laugh, it sure made me glad that I date things.


I did list another pen and ink face bracelet that I finished last week. It’s in my Etsy Shop.

Trade With Julie Eakes

I had to share this trade with you. Julie and I met for the first time a couple of months ago and we decided to trade our creations.

This pendant  is an amazing piece of art. Not only did Julie make this incredible face cane she constructed the kaleidoscope canes she’s used for the frame.  I’m thrilled to have this wonderful piece but also to have gotten to know Julie and see her work on this piece.  You can see more of Julie’s work on her blog Julie Eakes. Her most recent cane is a beautiful portrait of her grandmother.

This is my part of the trade, the picture shows all side of the bracelet. Once again I think I got the better part of the trade. Thank you Julie