27 videos, step by step, beginner cane workshop
What people are saying about this tutorial.
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.
Here’s another idea I’ve had in the back of my mind. I just ordered the new Lark 500 Paper Objects and was inspired by Lydia Hirte‘s incredible work. She creates some fabulous Jewelry sculptures with paper.
I wanted see if I could do something similar in polymer clay. I really want to do a large scale piece for the wall using these thin pieces, but first I was experimenting to see how thin I could get the clay and what I could make it do. I used Premo and it really is amazing to work with. It bends and doesn’t crack at all.
This piece is incredibly light and it’s been so much fun to play with. It’s very bright I know and I’m not really a pink girl, but this certainly says, “Here I Am!” It would stand out on black for sure.
I’ve just spent a ton of money on quite a few frames and have way too many ideas. I’m already working on a giant 27 x 39 piece that I’m very excited about and will tell you more later. Let’s see which project wins out.
So here I am with the finished portrait. I’ve learned a couple of important thing about this process and I’ll share them with you. I had a great time doing this and I’ve managed to make an anniversary present for my husband. He actually liked it very much, reminds him of all the years we’ve been together, 44 years is a bunch.
I somehow lost track of my shades of gray and didn’t follow through with the right shade on the top right. By the time I got to the bottom and the arm I realized my mistake and didn’t have enough of the lighter shade mixed so… I just continued with the darker shade. It’s okay, I’m still happy with the over all outcome but lesson #1…mix enough clay. It was just hard for me because I had trouble mixing that much gray from perfectly good black and white new clay. I actually have enough scrap gray thank you very much! If it would have been any color, I could always used the left overs for something else.
I believe I might do it again just to see how different it will look if I actually follow the picture. Whaaat? follow the pattern, pheeew.. but this time it’s going to be a color.
Part of Lesson #2 I already knew, there will be places that you have to fill in. The lesson came in when I realized I was in a big hurry to finish it last night and didn’t take enough time to cover well at all. I had to spend that time this morning filling in anyway. So Lesson #2 is take your time. HA!
Part of the problem was it was hard to see, the paper picture on the back of the glass didn’t let light through and it was night time. ( cant’ think of any more excuses for this one)
I have this little light box that came in handy for finding the holes to fill in. I just placed the piece on top and filled away.
Here it is a little more than half way finished. First I lay out my clay following the picture and then stipple it with a knitting needle, my fingers are not very happy with me.
I think you might really enjoy giving this a try. It was pretty easy to do and not as time consuming as other techniques. You could do it with a drawing as well, or a photo of a landscape, it doesn’t have to be a portrait. And it doesn’t have to be a large wall piece.
I have way too many ideas, i just can’t get to them all fast enough. I laid out a wall piece for my older son Brad who is a Master Scuba instructor. It’s lots of my funky fish and I can’t wait to get started on it.
But before that I really wanted to try something new. After I posted my first large wall piece, Wall Flowers, almost everyone that saw it in person commented on the texture in-between the flowers. When more than one person mentions something, I usually pay attention. I called it stippling for lack of a better word and stipple actually describes pretty well.
I wanted to use the artistic cutout filter in Photoshop to change a photo to a graphic picture so I could stipple it in either shades of gray or monochromatic. I decided on shades of gray. So here’s the beginning and I thought I’d share it with you.
This one isn’t as large as the first one, I need to get to Tampa to buy new frames, it’s only 12″ x 16″. But this will work out just fine in case it isn’t a keeper.
To get the photo large enough, I imported into Illustrator, enlarged it and then tiled it to print. I taped it together and then taped it to the back of the glass from the frame I’m going to use.
I’m hoping that when the picture gets completely covered that it will looks like a person….check back, I’ll post more as I get it finished. I promise…even if it isn’t what I expect. Trust me, I’m having way too much fun to care and besides, polymer clay is not precious, there’s more where this came from.
My friend Christine Kaczmarek spent a couple of days in my studio playing with clay. She brought along a project she was working on for her father with a favorite family saying and a pretty fabulous tree. There even is a bit of a Stroppel Cane across the bottom…go figure.
She also tried out the recipe for Premo Sea Green and we both think it’s pretty close. It’s one of the discontinued colors that I really miss. I have two block of it left, so I hope the recipe will work.
Christine has been experimenting with stamps and oil paints with some pretty cool results. I love this one and the saying just makes me laugh. She a true dog and cat lover and sell great doggie and kitty pendants in her Etsy shop.
We had a great time clayin’ and laughing. Thanks for coming to see me Christine, see you again soon.
This is the second large wall art piece made of polymer clay. It’s 9″ x 20″. About half the size of the first picture, Wall Flowers. It’s totally random pops of color that has already been speaking differently to each person. I began working on it with this view as the way it should be hung.
Explorations – Alice Stroppel
But when I posted it on Facebook yesterday, people started telling me they thought it should be hung a different way.
Explorations – Alice Stroppel
Nikolina Otrzan , Orson’s World, said she saw it hanging like below, and I quote, “because those “eyes” look to me like Pink panther in distress. Nik, you’re so funny.
Yvette Macy wants to sing, “We all live in a yellow submarine.”
Explorations – Alice Stroppel
Maybe I should take a vote. voice your opinion, leave a comment. I think it will be interesting to see what ya’ll think and what you see. I’ll tell you what I think in a couple of days.
In the end, my son Jason will decide because this one is going to him.
Top – Linda Boyd, Middle – Monica Sauls, Bottom – Barbara Snapp
Every Monday evening, three friends i’ve known since we were kids, Barbara Snapp, Monica Sauls and Linda Boyd, come over to my studio and we play with polymer clay. I was so excited by these cane mapping pieces they finished last Monday, I just had to share them with you. Remember these are relatively new clayers.
It’s the same technique I use to make my large Wall Flowers and I teach in one of my workshops.
How they ended up spending time in my studio in the first place is pretty funny.
Sebring, where I live, my home town, my mother’s home town, is pretty small. Granted, it’s grown quite a bit over the years, but it’s still a small town by most standards. Even so, most people don’t know that I work with polymer clay or even what polymer clay is or can become.
Shortly after I was on the cover of Polymer Cafe, I was walking through Home Depot (looking for stuff to use with polymer I’m sure) and ran into Monica. She asked me if my ears were burning from being talked about. I smiled and worried what I might have done now!!!. She told me how Barbara was in Books-a-Million, (yes we finally have a large book store) and picked up several craft magazines including Polymer Cafe´. It wasn’t until she got home that she really looked at the cover. She said, “That’s Alice!!!”. Too funny.
I’m showing you this cover so you can imagine how funny it was for Barbara to see my face staring back at her.
So Monica said she and Barbara and some others might be interested in learning more about polymer clay. Music to this “polymer clay is for everyone” crusader. Besides as much as I love the internet and all you guys, it can get lonely working in my studio without another polymer clayer to share with. So the thought of new pc players coming to spend time with me in the studio was exciting.
It’s been several months now, with a pretty steady exploration of polymer clay. Gradually, canes are being stockpiled and things are starting to really come together. I really think they’re having as much fun as I am. Linda said, “I didn’t like Mondays very much and now I know I get to play with clay, so I can’t wait.” Makes my heart sing.
Here’s wishing you all have someone to clay with from time to time.
My friend Kathe Keck came to see me a couple of weeks ago and we made face canes. I told her she was my test model for a full face cane class. We had a great time, she went home with a face and I learned a bunch about what I need to stress when I teach it next. Stay tuned for dates and places. (sometime in 2014)
Kathe’s moving to the West Coast and I’m glad she could come play with clay before she left, I’m going to miss her. But luckily, I’ve been invited to visit, so l’m looking forward to a trip in 2014. Fix up my room Kathe, I’m almost on my way.