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


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Double Trouble – Fish Bracelet

Double trouble -Alice Stroppel

I ordered some brass bangle blanks to play around with. I really like the way the bangles look even though I mostly use the cuff blanks. I like the cuffs because they fit most people even when ordering online, the bangles really have to be tried on in person to be sure.

But here’s the fun part, at least to me. I moved the cane mapped fish I was working on from a flat to be framed piece to a cuff bracelet. and really liked the way it looked. Here’s it is.

 Green Fish - Alice Stroppel

So when my order for the bangles came in, (I ordered 2), I thought how cool would it be to put the fish on the two bracelets. I made two fish and cut them down the middle and placed each piece on different bangles.

Double Trouble3 Alice Stroppel

Double Trouble 1 Alice Stroppel

When the bracelet is worn the fish spin around and become a mix and match, just like those Cracker Jack prizes when the bodies, heads and feet of characters could be mixed and matched, remember? It made me laugh.

Double trouble 2 Alice StroppelNow to do it with my faces.

Stroppel Cane Necklace and Bracelet

I was messing around with a large Stroppel Cane a couple of weeks ago and came up with this idea. This is actually my second one like this because I wanted to make a simple necklace to match. They are both simple and quick to make but the possibilities are endless.

I left the black surfaces lumpy-bumpy just because, but those surfaces could be smooth or covered any way your imagination takes you.

I used a square cutter to cut the hole in the middle but had to go back and trim again with my blade because the cutters aren’t sharp enough. I used my blade to trim around the outside. Of course you can use oval, circle or square cutters.


Tomorrow I’ll share the new camera phone light box set up I just ordered. Actually you can use it with a regular camera too. Very cool.

Pretty in Peacock


A grand peacock came to live in my studio today. I’m telling you I really like the way this process is working for me. Making bracelets this way is a blast.

This peacock is quite  big and showy. I haven’t wore him out yet, he wasn’t finished when I went to dinner last night. I did wear the toucan though and everyone noticed it. It makes me happy to be able to share my polymer clay creations with people. They are always so amazed at what polymer clay can do, if they even know what it is to begin with. I feel like an ambassador for PC.

It allows for so many interesting shapes and spur of the moment design decisions that result in some pretty amazing results.The peacock just asked to be wrapped around onto itself. It is an interesting design that doesn’t really have an uninteresting side. I took many more pictures of it just because you can’t fully see it from just a couple of shots.

On this side, you can’t really tell what it might be, just a colorful something.

Still having fun here! Today, I think I’ll try a fish using this method.  Just can’t stay away from them.

“Curiouser and Curiouser” Said Alice. Bangles – A Flamingo and A Toucan

I’ve been working with Ultralight a lot lately, using it as a core for many of my larger bracelets and beads. I used it as a core for my Woman in the Moon and she’s easy to wear.

I didn’t use it as a core for this flamingo, I was experimenting with Super Sculpey as the core as it’s a bit easier to sculpt with than the very soft Ultralight.  It’s heavier for sure and I won’t use it again as the core for bracelets this thick.


I’ve started a series of bangles using this method and I’m really jazzed about them. Right now I’m working on streamlining the process and learning the tricks of working successfully with the softer clay. It’s so much fun and I want to be able to teach others how to create their own characters. There is no limit to what we can come up with, here’s a toucan.


The Woman in the Moon, and why not I ask you.

I’ve been working on so many different things and I’ll have more to share another day. For now I wanted to show you my Woman in the Moon. I was so happy to see so many woman heading towards the United State Congress and wanted to honor that in a small way.

So why not a woman in the moon, why does it have to be a man? Or better yet, why not both? Here is my woman in the moon, she’s a framed piece and a bracelet at the same time.

Here she is as a bracelet. I’ve made her out of Ultralight so she’s not so heavy. But she another example of my “out there” brain.

Kopila Basnet and the Ladies of Samunnat

“The planet doesn’t need more ‘successful’ people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who will live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these needs have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.”

– David Orr in Earth in Mind

Dear Readers,

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the world and don’t know how to help. Things sometimes feel so much bigger than me and so far from my life I can’t imagine anything I can do would make a difference.

I want you to meet an amazing person, Kopila Basnet, who has entered the polymer clay world in a large way. By large, I mean the impact her guidance has made on the lives of the Samunnat Ladies of Nepal. Kopila has three daughters and has been trained in law and worked in the media and government organisations. She is the Program Coordinator of Samunnat and also provides much of the legal assistance in property and, less often, criminal cases.

I asked Kopila to share her story and she was kind enough send me the following;


 I am Kopila living in Eastern part of Nepal it is called Jhapa. We have started Samunnat for some very good  reasons. I want to add that we started Samunnat because I was working in one anti-corruption project as a journalist where I saw the corruption in our government office that made people suffer. I got some relief that I could at least publish the corruption news where people would aware of the fact.

After the anti-corruption project I joined another anti-trafficking project in Jhapa. I got to know that our district is only 17 kilometers away from India so it is the one border among 20 border to India where the most girls were trafficked.

When girls were rescued I heard their story why and how they were trafficked and even when I was in the project they come for their rights but they do not have financial support.  So we start to think about giving them skill and the legal support. Now I love to spent my time with our Bahiniharu (little sisters) and do some new design.  I love polymer creative work. We are very grateful to Wendy Didi who have given this wonderful polymer world friends.

When we were in initial stage in Samunnat we were just few members but now we have extended and have strong belief that one day Samunnat could be the platform for the vulnerable women and they will be united for their rights.

My wish is may our ladies could be independent, strong and empowered. That they know their rights.

The first basic requirement is resources which is their skills and ability to earn a living and be independent. As long as my dear friends wear our jewelry you can think you have purchased a right thing and thank yourself for the right choice.



and from the Sammunat website:

About  “A Colourful Journey” and the Sammunat Nepal project

Sammunat Nepal grew from the desire of a group of Nepalese friends to help the many women they met whose lives have been damaged by violence. These people live in the troubled Jhapa district of Eastern Nepal. The friends were aware of the many women who are the victims of domestic violence, physical and psychological abuse or who had been trafficked into India for work in the tragically burgeoning sex industry there.

Most of these women are extremely vulnerable to further violence and exploitation. Simply providing financial assistance is only a short term and ultimately short-sighted solution. Instead, Sammunat Nepal seeks to work with the women to provide:

  • Legal assistance for no charge or at affordable fees;
  • Training in advocacy and about human rights;
  • Specific income-generating skill training (as shown on “A Colorful Journey” web site);
  • Counselling for the women as required; and
  • Support as the women re-establish themselves and their families in new communities. Particularly important as they are sometimes unwelcome in their home towns.



I’ve been so touched by these woman and their stories, I encourage you to read about them and their individual journeys. A recent post by Wendy Moore titled A typical day – getting to know us will surely brighten your day. I love that each of these women are smiling the most beautiful smiles.

“When our life was covered with darkness we always look at others life and want life the same as them. Now we are living with brightness and people are surprised and curious about what made this change.”

I want to be a part of that change, if only in a small way, I hope you will to. There are several ways you can help these ladies. You can buy their jewelry from this Etsy Shop or you can donate as much or as little as you want right from your Paypal account. It is amazing how quickly $5.00 here and $20.00 there turns into $1,000s. I know from my friend and theirs, Wendy Moore, that they would love to sell you their jewelry but will be delight to know you care in anyway. Find your way to their paypal button here A Colorful Journey blog.

These beautiful bracelets are just one of the products that these ladies of Samunnat are producing for sale. I just received my second set of bracelets from this Etsy Shop and they are lovelier in person than they are in a picture. I can’t think of a better purchase for myself or a friend, can you?


 The pattern on the bracelets was taught to the ladies by Cynthia Tinapple during her trip to Nepal. You can read about that trip in this A Colorful Journey blog post You’ll experience a bit of the excitement the woman felt to be given a skill that could aid them on their road to independence.
Many people in the polymer clay community have been generous with donations of all kinds.
 Carol Simmons and Craig Brodahl, Rob and Wilma Yost from Polymer Clay Express,  and the attendees of Shrinemont.
I’ve added the Craftcult widget for their shop on the right side of my blog so you’ll always be able to find them.
I wanted to mention that Wendy Moore sent me the opening quote.  “Wendy is an Australian woman living in eastern Nepal. A brain injury rehabilitation therapist in Australia, she is currently working as an artist. She is leader of the Samunnat cheer squad and provides some specific skills training and a sounding board!” We’ve been exchanging emails and I’m so happy to call her friend.
The quote by David Orr was posted on a website that I know I will be going back to visit again and again. Here’s the link to marianne elliot. Thanks Wendy!

Shisha Bracelets From the Women of Samunnat Nepal

Look what came in the mail yesterday! This beautiful set of Shisha bracelets made by talented women of Samunnat Nepal.

I’ve been following the women of Samunnat Nepal ever since Cynthia Tinapple said she was going to visit the women there to share her polymer patterns.

I found out about Cynthia’s trip at a retreat we were both attending. We had a slide exchange and her slide was made from the polymer patterned “cloth” she was planning on teaching the women of Samunnat Nepal.


You can see they go together so well. What you can’t see is the reflection from the tiny little mirrors embedded in the pattern.

I wanted these bracelets because they go with Cynthia’s slide and I watched as she worked on one of the pattern sheets.  And because it all means something to me, as Maureen Carlson always reminds me, everything has a story. So these pieces have a story with a beginning and a middle with the ending nowhere in site. The women of Samunnat Nepal are writing the rest of their story.

The main reason I wanted to own this bracelet set is because all the proceeds go back to the women and I wanted to support their efforts. You can read more about these beautiful women on  A Colourful Journey website. It is the website “for Nepali women who have survived domestic violence and are developing ways to generate an income for themselves and their families. These women are affiliated with the non-religious, non-profit, non-political Samunnat Nepal project.”

Sometimes  we polymer clay artists think that because we make polymer clay jewelry, we don’t want to buy others polymer clay jewelry, but I would encourage you to think about lending your support to these ladies and empowering their escape from violence. You won’t be sorry for a second, these bracelets will make you smile from the minute you open the package. And every time you look at them you will know you helped in a small way.

You can own your very own Shisha Bracelet, just visit Samunnat Shop on Etsy. Tell ’em Alice sent you. If nothing else, mark their shop as a favorite so your circle can get a chance to take a look.

Oh and by the way, they have other wonderful pieces of jewelry and are adding more all the time.

My hat is off to all those involved in bringing this project to life. Wendy Moore, Cynthia TinappleWendy BasnetGenevieve Williamson and the women of Samunnat Nepal. A big thank you to you all.

Thank you Randee M. Ketzel

Bracelets by Randee M Ketzel

Bracelets by Randee M Ketzel - Owner Alice Stroppel

Look what came in the mail today!!!!! These beautiful crazy wonderful bracelet from Randee M. Ketzel and they are actually mine now!

Seriously, where else but in the polymer clay community would you find such generosity? Randee M. Ketzel better known as RMKDesign was one of the first to try the Stroppel cane. Her efforts were nothing short of extremely cool!!!!

I commented on the photos on her Flickr site and she said this to me, “Alice, I love this!! So fun to do–and finally I’m not feeling guilty about all my failed canes anymore–you’ve given them purpose. If I can ever return the favor, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

Weeeelllll I said, “uhmmmmm let’s see…..I should ask for everyone’s first born creation from their first SC….yeah that’s it. Just think what a collection I could have, man……. the vision. lol”

She asked for my address and I said, “oh no I couldn’t” as I sent it to her. And today, in the mail, two babies came to live at my house.

They are beautiful and funky and very cool. They are some of the very first pieces made after I posted my video. Thank you Randee, I’ll treasure these forever. Plus…..I’ll wear the heck out of them along with telling the story. I always say the story is as important as the rest.

Randee, I can’t tell you how happy these made me. Thank you again.

Polymer Clay Daily and New Polymer Clay Face Bracelets

I just want to take the time to thank Cynthia Tinapple from Polymer Clay Daily once again for another feature about the Stroppel cane. This morning she linked to several polymer clay artists that have been experimenting with the technique and I have to say that I am truly delighted by the results. Thanks to everyone who is playing and posting about the Stroppel cane, it’s been so much fun!

Now on to what I’ve been playing with……new profile face bangles.

New bangles

I’ve been working on these new bangles in between having so much fun with the Stroppel cane. In fact the one on the bottom of the pile is one I was working on while on retreat and it has some Stroppel cane on it. But in my head I saw this style bracelet made with my face canes and a couple of other ways I haven’t been able to out of my head and into clay yet.

These are just the prototypes, still working on perfecting the process. But I’ll have some up for sale on Etsy before the week is out.  I’m working on more ideas, so be sure to check back and see what mischief I’ve been up to.

I just noticed how much purple is in each of these, well, I like purple and I guess it shows. And lime green……….

This is a view of the backs. These bracelets really make a wonderful canvas for just about anything you want to create. I’m having fun again, but when don’t I have fun when clay is involved?

Thanks to Laurie Prophater and her inspiration bracelet that I’m so lucky to own from our trade.  It was the shape that just made my head start to whirl. It was the first time I’d held one like it in my hands and had the free time to ponder. Retreats are a very good thing, gets your imagination jumping.

Laurie’s blog is  Ornamental Elements or you can visit Laurie’s Etsy site.

Bunches of Polymer Clay Bangles



I know, I’ve gone crazy. Okay I was already  crazy, I’ve gone over the edge then, the “how many of those things are you going to make?” edge. Well I’ve made so many over the last week that I lost count. I’ve given some away, sold some and claimed some for myself.

The rest of these are going to The Creative Native Gallery in Tampa and Highlands Art League here in Sebring.  I don’t think I can sell them easily in my Etsy shop, each one needs to be tried on and each one is a different unique shape. I am having a blast with these guys.