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]

My Polymer Clay Work Featured on Your Daily Muse News

Your Daily Muse News

Your Daily Muse News

I was honored today to be featured on Your Daily Muse News. Tina, the owner emailed me to ask if I would like to be featured and I am delighted to be the first interview on this new site. The blog showcases some very talented artists and I’m delighted to be in their company. Read my interview here. Thank you, Tina!

Bill Nelson and His Super Sculpey Characters

Bill Nelson's Characters

Bill Nelson's Characters

I don’t normally post  on this blog features from my other blog, The Figurative Artbeat. But because Bill Nelson is working mainly in Super Sculpey when he sculpts his fabulous characters, I just want to be sure you have a chance to see his work. Take a look at my post about him on The Figurative Artbeat.

First Sales Made for Tutorial – Profile Face Cane

Profile Face coverThanks to all of you that ordered my first face cane tutorial. I’d love to hear from you after you watch the video and make your first cane.

The Profile Face Cane Tutorial is for sale in my Etsy Store.

crazy daisy … crazy day Featured My Polymer Clay Faces

A big Thank You to Petra from crazy daisy … crazy day for featuring my work on her blog. I love her earthy colors and her Cooper Leaves are wonderful. She is a member of Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy and her work is for sale in her Etsy Shop.

Cooper Leaves

Cooper Leaves

Profile Face Cane Tutorial Ready for Purchase

Profile Face cover

My Profile Face Cane Tutorial is ready for you to purchase and begin to make your own fabulous faces.

The instructions include –

7 pages of detailed step by step instruction with drawings, photos and patterns.

A 40 minute video showing exactly how to do each step.

Video front cover

You can place your order through Etsy

go to my shop


you’ll see the front cover of the Instruction Booklet listed there for sale.

You will receive an email from me within  24 hours.
(except on Thanksgiving and Christmas days.)

Thank you in advance!

A Polymer Clay Figure Inspired by Kathleen Dustin’s Class

Flying Mermaid

Flying Mermaid

I have been working all week on my tutorial for the profile face cane, but haven’t finished the editing of the video yet. But the filming and the pdf are finished.

I have been having blogging withdrawals, I haven’t made anything new to post because of the tutorial.

While on breaks,  I have been talking with some people on Facebook about the class we took with Kathleen Dustin. I thought I’d post this flying mermaid that I made after her class. I really enjoyed the techniques she taught us and I would like to try again. I know, just another thing to put on my Wanna Do list.

This mermaid flies above my head when I am working on my computer. Unlike her human friends, she wears her bathing cap when she is flying….it keeps her hair from frizzing in the air.

Flying Mermaid Tail

Flying Mermaid Tail

I had a thing for mermaids back then, and I guess I still do kind of. But back to work on the face cane tutorial.

Polymer Clay Bracelet Saved

Redheaded Cuff Bracelet

Redheaded Cuff Bracelet

I’m posting this bracelet again today and pictures of the bracelet side because I had a problem and figured out how to fix it and wanted to share with you.



The center of the two heart shapes are made with a translucent clay mix. Sometimes a translucent clay will darken during curing. Sometimes it doesn’t. Go figure.

This time both centers darkened. and when I took pictures to put in my Etsy  store, I could really see how bad they looked. There were little burn spots in the translucent centers, I guess they are burn spots. But whatever they are, they weren’t nice.

I didn’t want to sell this bracelet that way, but I also didn’t want to trash it either. The rest of the bracelet was just fine.

Redheaded Bracelet side

Redheaded Bracelet side

I used my Micron Pigma pen, 01 nib, to make a grid on the hearts. I’ve used the pens for years on everything from wood to cloth. I’ve been signing my claywork with them for a long time now.

If you have been reading my posts, you’ll know I’ve been playing around with Zentangles, so I thought to use one of the patterns here.

I think it added another element to the design, it saved my bracelet and gave me a bunch of ideas for new things.

I must finish things I’ve started before starting another project based on another new idea.

I must finish things I’ve started before starting another project based on another new idea.

I must finish things I’ve started before starting another project based on another new idea.

I must finish things I’ve started before starting another project based on another new idea.

I feel like I should have a blackboard and write this 100 times.

Dora’s Zentangle Polymer Clay Picture

Dora's Zentangle picture from polymer clay

Dora's Zentangle picture from polymer clay

As promised, Dora from Dora’s Explorations posted a tutorial for her canes that make up her Zentangle picture shown above. We have both been having fun with the Zentangle canes. I love what she’s done.  View her tutorial here.

Here’s yet another cuff bracelet I made with my zentangle canes today.

The Girl and Zen

The Girl and Zen

The Girl and Zen from the side

The Girl and Zen from the side

And here’s another Redheaded girl with a bright green background.

Redhead Polymer Clay Cuff Bracelet

Redhead Polymer Clay Cuff Bracelet

I know you don’t believe me, but I am almost finished with my profile face cane tutorial. It should be ready sometime next week. It’s going to be in pdf form as well as a full video showing  you step by step how to construct a profile face cane. It will be available on my Etsy site. If you are signed up for  my newsletter, you will know as soon as I have it ready. If not, stop back often or sign up for the RSS feed.

Have a wonderful week-end everyone.

Process vs Product by Suzanne Ivester

When I opened my International Polymer Clay Association newsletter this morning, our president  Suzanne Ivester greeted us with a timely article about selling our work. She brings up some very interesting points. She made me look at the process a bit differently and I think you will enjoy reading what she has to say.

If you are already a member of IPCA, perhaps you’ve already read Suzanne’s article, let me know what you think. If you aren’t a member, you might consider joining this wonderful supportive group. Visit the IPCA website and take a look at all they do for our clay community.

With Suzanne’s permission, I’ve printed her article below.

Suzanne Ivester - President - International Polymer Clay Association

Suzanne Ivester - President - International Polymer Clay Association

Process vs Product

by Suzanne Ivester

I meet often with a group of friends to clay and share our ideas, hopes and frustrations. None of us is what we consider a “professional” artist, but occasionally we all offer our work for sale.

When we talk about pricing and selling, we often lament “Don’t they (the customers) understand how much work goes into each piece?” Then we click our tongues and shake our heads in solidarity as undervalued artists, united in dismay at the ignorance of the shopping public.

But is this fair? And is it helpful? Maybe there’s another point of view to consider.

The Value of  Process

As my friends and I work/play together (and, to a lesser extent, when each of us works alone), we revel in the process. We develop and share techniques, testing them by trial and error. Our focus is not on the finished product. In fact, most of what we create ends up in bags of “loose parts,” to be completed or discarded later. This activity has tremendous value to us–educational, recreational, social–but it can’t be translated into dollars or Euros, except insofar as it helps us to gain skills that will enable us to make products that have monetary value.

A piece of my artwork represents to me the history of the process of its making. I know that it took me three hours, I burned my hand taking it out of the oven, and I tried four different surface finishes before I was satisfied. But do potential buyers know these things, or care? And should they care?

The Value of a Product

When I approach buying, for example, a piece of jewelry, my primary focus is on the product I’ll receive in exchange for my money. Is it beautiful? Does it fit comfortably? Will it be durable? Does it reflect my personal style and complement my wardrobe?

In judging the product’s value to me, I may also consider some process issues. If the item is handmade, are the design and construction superior enough  to similar manufactured goods to warrant a higher price? Was an artisan in a developing country exploited in its production? Will the hand-crafting process of this piece provide me with interesting information to share with those who compliment me on it?

Resolving the Dilemma

In my opinion, while an artist may be concerned mostly with his or her process, the primary focus of a buyer will always be the product.

Therefore, an artist intending to sell pieces of art must concern him/herself with the finished product as it will be viewed by an objective person.

A few simple rules may be derived from this conclusion.

  1. A  difficult or time-consuming technique won’t necessarily result in a more valuable product than a simple technique that the artist has fully mastered and can use creatively.
  2. The elements and principles of good design are flexible enough to inform artistic decisions based on comfort and fashion.
  3. A clever artist will develop a narrative about his/her process that will enhance the value of the product by providing a “conversation-piece” factor. This narrative may be shared via demonstration, conversation, or merchandising.


Let me know your thoughts on what Suzanne has written. Leave a comment. And take a look at my series on selling your work and how Suzanne’s thoughts add another layer.

Part 1 Selling Your Polymer Clay Artwork
Part 2 Pricing Polymer Clay Artwork to Sell Wholesale
Part 3 Mermaid Bracelet Listed on Etsy
Part 4 Inventory Lists for Your Polymer Clay
Part 5 Display Cards for Polymer Clay Pins and Necklaces
Part 6 Creating Tags for Your Polymer Clay Creations

Etsy Bound Bracelets, Card Cases and Bottle Stoppers

Polymer Clay bangle braceletA funny thing happened. I was so happy that the shop I stopped in while I was in Tampa wanted to buy some of my pieces. So happy I shared it with you. Now I have to tell you that I emailed the shop and haven’t heard a word since.

Polymer Clay bottle stopper front

polymer clay bottle stopper  back

Because of that shop, I realized that there were so many other possibilities out there that I wasn’t looking at. So It’s okay!

I began to look at dress boutiques and other speciality shops. I found quite a few and have emailed several. I’ve heard back from one, but she only carries local artists. she still was a bit interested and asked for some time to think about it.

As you can see, I am still stuck on Zentangle canes. I really have had fun with them.

Polymer Clay business card holder

I did my emailing on Friday and this week end was Halloween, so I’m not discouraged yet. Besides, I still have the whole United States and Canada left….and I’ve started receiving commission checks from Julia’s Art Gallery on Pine Island.  I told you about that trip in September.

Blue Skinner Blend polymer Clay braceletSo all of these items are now listed in my Etsy Shop with more to come. Life is sweet.