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]

A Pretty Picture?

Illustration -polymer clay

I started out yesterday to continue to list more items in my Etsy Shop, but ended up here instead. I had this idea…..I know, so what else is new? I’ve been wanting to make larger items to hang on the wall for quite some time. The clay part of this one is 8″x 10″

It was another one of my wild ideas that turned into The Most Fun. I find that when I let go of the goal of making something to sell, I enjoy myself so much it makes me laugh out loud and realize that I should Never, Ever, Worry about sales. There are many things that I would do differently, but I learned alot and had a ball.

But taking sales out of the equation is a hard thing to do since it’s what I’ve done all my life. And now is really no different, I have to sell things, it’s just the way it is.

I’ve always known that letting go is the best way to create, I just have to keep remembering it. This one was for me…..however, I was thinking about turning this into a greeting card…….(grinning here) ……….. what do ya’ think?

Polymer Clay Face Canes – The Beginning

My first face cane - Alice Stroppel

My first face cane - Alice Stroppel

I know…you’re wondering why on earth I would post this vase with these kind of scary looking faces on it. Well to tell the truth, they’ve grown on me and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. They remind me of the journey.

I made this first face cane over ten years ago. I didn’t put a date on this vase so I’m guessing. This vase still makes me laugh, in fact the better I get at making face canes, the more I laugh when I see these girls.

I thought they were wonderful. They didn’t turn out anything like I wanted. I wanted this cane to be beautiful, painterly, with gradual color change, but as you can see…………….but it didn’t matter, I actually took colored clay messed around with it and made this face that when I sliced through the cane, I got face after face. I was so excited. Are you kidding me? It was the coolest thing, I was hooked. Even though I was working somewhere else, I continued to work on my face canes.

My friends had to put up with me giving them things with very strange faces on them. My mother who loves beautiful angels was shocked I know, when I gave her a bracelet made of face beads. They were not beautiful angels, but yet another test face cane.  But bless her, she smiled and said thank you. So that’s why I made this first “pretty” faced angel for her. I think she’ll like this better and forgive me for giving her the others.

I also didn’t know very much about the clay.  The eyes are made with translucent clay and the rest of the face with regular. Today I know it’s better to try to use the same type of clay or a mixture of both.

As you can see by my post from the other day, I’ve been working on another face. Even though I’m very happy with the  way I finally figured out to make faces, and I really enjoy sharing the process in my Profile Face Cane Tutorial, I still want to make a face that is painterly, with more color. So I’m experimenting. I haven’t got it right yet, but when I do I’ll post pictures.

I’ll work on it for an hour or two, mixing colors and trying to figure out an easy way to do it so I can make another tutorial, then walk away for awhile.

In the middle of the night I woke up and started thinking about how I could accomplish the look  I was trying to achieve and another idea hit me for something not even related to the face. So yesterday I spent time playing with that idea before I forgot it. geez…….

But it’s all good, I’m where I’m suppose to be, doing what I’m suppose to be doing, taking as long as I need, it’s all fun and a great adventure. I ask you, what more could I ask for.

This week is my birthday week, there are parties planned and things to do. I’m thankful! Thank you for stopping by today!

Using Old Polymer Clay Canes

Ancient Mystery I

Ancient Mystery I

Here’s how this started! I was going to shoot a video to share about all the items I found while cleaning that I can use with my clay work.

But as always, I had to clean up my clay space before I could begin. There sat slices of canes that I used in my (not finished yet)  Polymer Clay Collage Project…. you’ll see a line of red squares across the bottom. Some were slices that I messed up and then there was this small little piece of cane left.

If you have been following this blog at all, you know me well enough to know that I do not like to make scrap clay. So, I layered the messed up slices with a layer of black #7 on the pasta machine. Then I sliced the remaining cane and added those slices with the  black layers in  between. Ending up with a new cane.

Why I didn’t start filming this for you, I don’t know, except that I didn’t know that it was going to come out this cool.

I sliced this cane into thin slices and added them to a sheet of black. Then placed the whole thing on my bracelet. It looks pretty good, I liked it anyway.

Then I had just a couple of slices left of this scrap cane (and I’m laughing here)! I didn’t want to scrap the rest of the cane I didn’t use because I liked it.

So I decide to play with what I had left. this next bracelet was the result and I like it way better than the first one.

Ancient Mystery II

Ancient Mystery II

I laid the left over slices out on a skinny strip of black and ran it through the pasta machine. It was ragged along the edges and I kind of liked that, so I put it on a layer of ecru clay and covered the bracelet form, added dots and there it was.

It was interesting and fun to experiment and the best part is I made something out of clay that was going to become a gray blob.

But..I still haven’t made the video with the found objects to use with clay. It will  have to wait now, I have a special request for more girl bracelets in my Etsy shop, so I better get moving.

I’ve listed the other two bracelets there, so cross your fingers that summer sales will happen.

Covering Glass With Polymer Clay

My First Covered Vase 2001

My First Covered Vase 2001

Color Vase 2

Color Vase 2

Someone asked me the other day how I came up with the fish mosaic technique. I thought about the progression that led me to create that first fish.

The Color Vase in this post was covered with polymer clay canes by me in 2001 and even listed on Glass Attic. It was my first polymer clay work to be shown on the internet and let me tell you,  I was thrilled.

It was when I still had my old business website, Talented Friends. The link is no longer active to say the least, but the listing is still there on Glass Attic under covering glass.

Color Vase 3

Color Vase 3

From this vase, I covered many other things and experimented with all sorts of techniques that I saw online or in books or classes.

Several years ago, while I was director of Highlands Art League, we were having  a members exhibit and I wanted to do something in PC. I decided I didn’t want to cover an entire vase, I just didn’t have the time. Plus I thought there had to be an easier way to create the designs with clay than trying to do it on the actual vase.

I wanted the design to be recognizable, and something that would lend itself to cane work. I drew out a fish shape on paper and taped it under a flat piece of glass. From there I created the fish vase below and displayed it in our members show along with the Color Vase and two other vases I had done over the years.

Fish Vase Art League

Fish Vase Art League

I stepped away from the art league late last year because of my husband’s health. I was home now and had time to actually grow my clay work and expand my horizons. I opened an Etsy shop and decided to try and make small things that I could sell in my Etsy shop and went to clip art for my general pattern for the fish and even a crab. One thing always leads to another as you can see by the cuff bracelet I did this week with the same technique.

This fish led me to share this technique with you. By signing up for my newsletter on the right hand side of the page,  you can view the 20 minute film showing the technique I used to achieved this design. I hope you decide to enter my contest too.

What I have discovered is that nothing replaces just getting your hands in the clay and letting the work evolve. One idea will lead to another. Be bold, experiment, enjoy the process. I know I do.

Group of Vase shown at Highlands Art League 2007

Group of Vases shown at Highlands Art League 2007

Etsy Artists Featured in Polymer Clay Chameleon Video

Eugena from Eugena’s Creations produces a video once a month that features the work of PCAOE’s members that she highlights on The Polymer Clay Chameleon. I was delighted when my Fantasy Fish Pin was featured and is now in the video below along with all the other wonderful pieces from other Etsy polymer clay artists.

Many thanks to Eugena and the work and time involved.

Polymer Clay Fish Mosaic

Happy 4th of July!

I’ve gone fishing again, but not in the lake.

Fish Vase Mosaic Front

Fish Vase Mosaic Front

I finished this fish mosaic as part of a video. He wraps around the vase, it’s difficult to take a really good picture. So  I’ve taken several.

Fish Vase Side Front

Fish Vase Side Front

The video isn’t quite finished but it will be soon. The rest of the day will be spent with friends and swimming in the lake. What else to do on a hot 4th of July?

Fish Vase Mosaic Side and Back

Fish Vase Mosaic Side and Back

This picture shows part of the tail on the front and part of the head as seen from the back side. That’s what’s so cool about these mosaics made this way. They are the same on the back as on the front.

Lots of ideas running around in my head. Not enough hours in the day. Isn’t life grand?

Face Cane Saved

Red Headed Vase

Red Headed Vase

This is an old face cane that I made several years ago. One of my first with my newest method. I really liked her except the area around her eyes was a different color. Yikes. Really was bad.

I decided to separate the areas with glasses. And it worked. She is still way red, like she was out in the Florida sun. But I was happy and it was one more step on my way to better face canes.

You never know how one mistake, a plan gone wrong, an almost throw away cane can be Ta Da…..Saved!

Red Headed Girl

Red Headed Girl

I still have more cane left, I think I’ll work on some outrageous glasses for the next girl.

I should have added making crazy girls from face canes to my list for the last post!