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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Face Patterns For Pen and Ink on Polymer Clay

Face Patterns

Face Patterns

These are some of the sample items I made for my class last weekend and I think they are a good mix of styles from the same group of patterns. The face on the bracelet in the middle is the same face that is one the figure in blue surrounded with black and white canes.

If you are a student in my P&I class the patterns in pdf form are emailed to you after class, usually the next day. If you can’t make it to the South East anytime soon, you may want to consider my tutorial and these patterns. Both are for sale in my Etsy shop.

Now that I’ve started coloring on clay, and  I kind of feel like I’m 10 and have all these wonderful coloring book pages in front of me and all the colors to go with it. I just can’t stop.

Fun with Faces!

Pen and Ink on Polymer Clay class - June 2011

Carole, Ellyn, Charlene, Sydney, Tyra, Marty, Terri, Vicky, Pat, Karen

It was a hot day in Central Florida, but we had enough fun to make up for it. This was a great group  of woman who created some fabulous work. I’m always inspired by the diversity of the pieces. Even though we all start at the same place we end up with such different creations, it’s a joy to witness.

Most of these shape were created with Barbara McGuire’s Antique Door Plate stamps. You can purchase them from me, just leave a comment on this post if you’re interested.

Here are the works of art in the order of the stairs ….. pendants first.



Carole wanted a blue surround and made quick work of putting together blue canes for her soulful girl. Love her eyes.



Ellyn and I are on the same wave length, I love mermaids and this one is going to be such fun to wear.



Charlene freehanded this cool ribbon cat and step away from the rest of the group with a gold surround for her face. Charlene is President of the Orlando Area Polymer Clay Guild that sponsors the Fandango retreat. You should think about attending next year.



Okay, so Sydney just kept adding until hers is now too big to wear and is going to grace the front of a journal. A mixture of canes and ink and markers, can you tell which is which? Can’t wait to see the finished piece.  Sydney is involved in the Florida Gulf coast Polymer Clay Guild, if you live in that area you should check it out.



Tyra created her own drawing of this interesting mythical character and we were all impressed. Lots of wonderful detail.



Marty kept saying she couldn’t draw and didn’t like her pendant at first, but by the end of the class she walked out with it around her neck. I think she was mistaken about the drawing part.

Marty is owner of Beads, F.O.B., Inc. in Sarasota. If you’re over that way stop in and tell her and Karen I said hi.

I don’t have a pendant picture for Terri. Terri, if you have a picture send it to me….. please.



Vicky created these fabulous faces on her own shapes. I just love the colors and her imagination. Vicky has a website with more of her beautiful work displayed.



Pat outlined her face in red, a great accent against the black. Fun! Love those lips.



Now Karen’s face is right up my alley too. It’s strange and funky, and yes very cool, I love that.



Terri created this sweet girl and used her imagination to cover a mistake in coloring. I know she’s going to love wearing this bracelet.



Carole combined the pen and ink with a hair cane to come up with this unique bracelet. There is three different faces, it’s really cool.



Ellyn has three faces on her bracelet as well. I love the softness of this face and the coloring of the hair. She emailed me the next day saying she wore it home and it made her smile. YES!!! that’s my goal, so mission accomplished.

Ellyn works at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, check out what they have to offer.

Not everyone finished their bracelets in class but will finished them at home I hope. Send me pictures everyone.

Thanks to Sydney for taking pictures of everyone work, I had to borrow some of hers. She also has an album she created. Take a look.

A Video – Pen and Ink on Polymer Clay

I’m busy making samples for my classes and drew the faces in the video to go with Barbara McQuire’s stamps. Yesterday I wanted to see they might look on a bracelet.

I decided to show you this new bracelet in a video because it’s hard to capture the look in still photos. The face patterns will be available for purchase next week sometime. I’ll post more about them when I’ve added them to my Etsy Shop.

I’m excited to tell you that I’ll be teaching two 1 day workshops at Mount Dora Center for the Arts in Mount Dora, FL  in October 15th, Pen and Ink and November 12th, Cane Mapping, details to come.

I’ve Strayed – Cats, Red Hood and Pen and Ink

Red Hood

This morning I started to do samples of what we are going to be doing in class on Saturday but I ended up drawing a grown up Red Ridding Hood. Grown up you might ask, well the story goes that the wolf died and she lived to grow up right? So here she is, with a silver frame ready for the eye pin and a chain.

Okay so the truth is the hood just showed up by itself and I colored it red. I use photos or pictures as my guides, but I don’t sketch out my work ahead of time. I just dive right in and begin and correct as I go letting the piece create itself.

That’s why I like working with polymer clay as a base and my pen and ink technique, I can easily correct most lines and sometimes colors. I do most of the black work first and add color at the end, then reapply black here and there.

I probably would benefit from more planning including sketching the ideas in my head instead of just making notes, but then I’m not so sure how things like the red hood would ever happen. But it’s something to consider.

International Polymer Clay Association’s Polymergence editor Suzanne Ivester wrote a wonderful article in this month’s newsletter entitled All About Sketching! It’s an interesting read, you’ll enjoy it.

Cat polymer clay, pen and ink

This cat just called to me, no explanations, no excuses. I’m going to post this and get back to my original plan..samples…step by step samples.

Preparing for Pen and Ink on Polymer Clay Class

polymer clay blanks for pen and ink

I have my work cut out for me for the next few days, I’m going to lay out the steps for my class on pen and ink on polymer clay.  I have been busy making blanks from white pc in all different shapes as well as covering bracelet blanks with white.  The more I do the better I like it and the more ideas jump into my head.

I haven’t been so busy that I haven’t had time to enjoy the lake and our beautiful oak trees. I love swimming and playing with our dog, but I love sitting and watching my guys play too.

Down by the lake

On Going Polymer Clay Cane Mapping Experiment

Single fish - polymer clay cane mapping

I’m trying other ways to display the fish that I shared with you the other day. I still like the black background so I decided to see how a lone fish would look in a square frame. I can see a group of these on the wall. I like this as well as the larger grouping.

Still, nothing is permanent yet, plus I used very small glue dots to hold the pieces in place. They are used in scrapbooking and it only takes one or two to hold each item and I can easily remove the polymer piece if I want to. They will mess up your background though so keep that in mind.

This is a 9″ x 9″ frame and the fish is only about  3  1/2″ from lips to tail, so you could use several in a grouping.

For a Friend – A Butterfly

Butterfly PinThis butterfly is for a friend, in appreciation. I started by  making just the character in the middle and then decided to try some wing stamps by Barbara McGuire that I brought home from my visit to Woman Creative in GA. Well once I added the wings she got quite large.

I decided to place it in a frame so that she can hang it on the wall or wear it if she’s brave enough. (It’s big, really!) I hope she likes it.

Polymer Clay Fish Decisions

Underwater polymer clay picture

This is kind of my finished fish piece. Kind of…..I’m still playing with it and not sure I like everything about it and might do something different with the flower stems. The metal leaf was left over from the fish and I thought I try it as stems. It wasn’t what I had in mind and I’m not sure I won’t try my original idea after all.

I haven’t glued the pieces down yet, I had a black background in mind, but now I’m not so sure. I don’t want to try to do the background in polymer, so if I want a different background I have to think of something else. I’m not much of a painter, but I’m thinking of painting a lighter background on board. Plus I’m still arranging and rearranging each piece and wondering if I need more fish.

I might have to let this percolate for awhile, but hopefully not too long. I like to finish projects and get them either out the door on the way to a new home, or among my many polymer clay keepers.

Anyway, it was fun and if nothing else I’ve added metal foils to my cane mapping techniques and I’m ready to see what else I can do with it besides fish………love fish but……. well you understand I’m sure.

More Shiny Fish for WIP

Fish with bling 2

I’ve been working on more fish and some other fantasy flowers for my WIP but it’s not finished yet, so I thought I’d share these fish today.

I find that I am using more and more of those little canes I made from scraps of other canes like the ones I show you in my video Don’t Waste That Little Bit of Skinner Blend. In fact while I’m doing these fish, I am making more little canes to use. It’s just plain fun because nothing has to be perfect and you kind of create as you go.

I usually create that way, just begin and see what come from it. Some days I like to just mix colors and have them ready for making a series of canes that coordinate. Other days I like to make skinner blends for the same reason. It makes creating a project so much easier, working flows easily when you have canes made up but also when you have bits of left over colors from your canes so you can make quick little matching canes to accent a piece.

I’ll try to post a picture of the flowers tomorrow. Hopefully I can finish the whole picture by then, maybe!

Cane Mapping Mosaics With a Little Bling

mosaic bling

These fish with their own bling are a part of a WIP, but I wanted to share them with you today because I am excited about how they look.

It’s one of those slap myself on the forehead moments…ever since I attended a class with Kathleen Dustin, I’ve had every color of  Gilding Material, gold leaf, variegated blue leaf, red variegated and silver too. This class was years ago maybe 2005, can’t remember. Anyway I made a few thing using the techniques I learned in her class and then move to other things.

This metal leaf has just been patiently waiting for me to remember it. Today, 6? years later I incorporated it in these cane mapped mosaic fish. You can learn the basic mosaic technique by signing up for my newsletter in the upper right hand side of this page.

I’ve been framing some of the other fish that I’ve done for my classes and I wanted to create a large piece that contains several  fish and other subjects. So I’m not finished yet, this has exploded me into a whole different group of ideas.  Like I need anymore to add to the ones I haven’t gotten to yet. But maybe I’ll add some of these to the front of the list.

It’s so great to be able to share what I’m doing each day. I know there is someone out there checking in once in awhile, thanks……….