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]

Catching Up or What I’ve Been Up To

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted here on Polymer Clay Etc. and so much has happened. All good, exciting and fun.  You might have seen these images and heard all this before on Facebook etc. but this is for my friends who aren’t on those other social media sites.

First of all I had a private Pen and Ink workshop with Mary Jane Reinhart and she created a great bracelet that day. You should see the work she’s doing now, fabulous! Plus she’s so much fun, I love having her in the Studio.

Mary Jane Reinhart

eye - Mary Jane Reinhart

I was over the moon when I received the newest addition of Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine,  just before I left town for a retreat.

Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine 

Laurie Prophater wrote a wonderful article about a challenge she proposed to Meisha Barbee, Julie Eakes and me when they were all staying at my house and playing at Studio 215 while Meisha was teaching. (Read about the fun we had here.) I’m thrilled to be published along with these talented women. Thank you Laurie for thinking of such a enjoyable project.

Next I met up with several claying friends in Denver, Syndee Holt, Julie Eakes, Meisha Barbee, Libby Mills, and Emily Levine, we had a great time.  Crazy but oh so much fun!

syndee, Julie, Meisha


Then it was on to the retreat where we exchanged bowls. 25 incredible bowls came home with me and this exchange started me on my bird obsession. I posted about my bird bowls and my larger bird wall piece here.

I came home with many wonderful things from an auction we have every year and I purchased some lovely pieces from my friends to sell at Studio 215 with more to come. I can wait to share some of them with you. I’ll be posting them on my Studio 215 blog and on my Studio 215 Facebook page. If you’d like to see what I’m up to at the Studio, sign up to receive a notice each time I post, my newsletter, and like my Facebook page.

I can be found on Instagram , Twitter,  and Tumbr too. Whew.

Last week I was featured by Cynthia Tinapple on Polymer Clay Daily  and that is always treat and a compliment. Thank you Cynthia.

I was featured with my newest face that I created for the auction at the retreat. I was flattered that there was many bids on it.

Alice Stroppel Face 8-15

I made this cool graphic using an app called Canva. My friend Meredith Arnold shared this with me and I can’t stop using it. Very cool, thanks Meredith.

Here’s another graphic made with Canva showing off my newest bird weed pot prototypes that I worked on while on retreat. I hope to get more of these done showcasing different critters and characters. I’m smiling and that is always my goal, to create things that make me smile.

Alice Stroppel bird weed pots

The beginning of September brought more laughter and fun at Studio 215 when several of my favorite people came to take a Profile Face cane class with me. We had a great time for sure.

Polymer clay face cane studio215--9-3-15

Dottie, Kathryn, Barbara, AnnaMarie, Majel, and Mary Jane are new converts to polymer and I believe they aren’t getting away without clay sticking in they brains. They’re having as much fun as I did with I first started, but they’re lucky to have others to share the experience. Thanks, ya’ll are making me so happy to see you having so much fun and making such cool things.

Then to top it all off, Kathryn Obidzinski has been my apprentice for several months now and before I went on retreat she started a palette knife polymer clay self portrait. I think she created a wonderful piece. I know she had fun, learned a lot and I hope I can reel her in to explore polymer clay a bit more.



I’m spending the rest of the day prepping for the Houston Polymer Clay Guild’s Lone Star Retreat. I’ll be teaching along with Randee Ketzel and Sarah Shriver. Next month it’s Sandy Camp in San Diego. Just too much fun!!!


Thanks for stopping in, Alice



Polymer Clay Mermaid Using Profile Face Cane

Polymer Clay Mermaid

Polymer Clay Mermaid

See what happens when I start thinking about merchandise for galleries on the beach. I was mixing colors and making canes for leaves and plants for my flamingos and started thinking about my  fish mosaic.

I ended up with a mermaid……………..

When I mix my colors, I try to mix them with the same amount of grey to get my base color and then add white and skinner blends. I am looking at the book Color Inspirations and am interested in play with the “mud” idea too. But for now I’m mixing grays with my color blends to get a muted result.

Then I make different canes using the mixes and Skinner blends. When I’m ready to work on a project, I have canes that blend and go together nicely.

Polymer Clay Mermaid Close Up

Polymer Clay Mermaid Close Up

I used the coral Skinner blend in each of the canes. Sometimes as the main body of the cane and sometimes as accents. Her hat was leftover bits of mixed color and Skinner blend. It didn’t make a very big cane and I only got six slices off of it, but I only needed four to make her a smashing hat. I used the other two slices on a fish bracelet I’ll show you in the next post.

Watch my video Don’t Waste That Little Bit of Skinner Blend to learn how I use even scraps of Skinner blends to make usable canes.

I used the same method to build this mermaid as I do for my fish mosaic except I’m layering the canes instead of butting them up next to each other. It’s less labor intensive, but doesn’t create the same level of sophistication as the mosaic work. It just depends on what effect you are trying to achieve and how much time you want to spend.

To see how I do my mosaics, just sign up for my newsletter and watch a video for free.

I love these blue bottles and I’m quickly running out of them. Here’s one I did for a fund raiser at Highlands Art League. It made $135 for the league. I was delighted as there was some incredible art work auctioned off that evening from some very talented artists.

Polymer Clay Wine Bottle

Polymer Clay Wine Bottle