Order your Profile Face Cane Tutorial Profile Face Cane Tutorial What people are saying about this tutorial. "Super easy to understand and great pictorials to watch and follow off your computer." "Fabulous tutorial. The video is awesome and very easy to follow, I am looking forward to making these. " "This tutorial and video are very detailed and easy to follow. The graphics in the printed instuctions are excellent. Alice your video adds visually to the printed directions beautifully. Either way you win with this tutorial. Fast and easy transaction. Thank you Alice" "Great tutorial and great service - I would recommend this tutorial to anyone wanting to learn face caning - very detailed pdf and video. Would purchase again."

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Stroppel #2 and Polymer Clay Cane Mapped Fish

Polymer Clay FIsh -  Alice Stroppel

Yesterday a friend of mine who is fish crazy, in a good way, asked me a couple of questions about my fish and if I had any for sale. Not for her, but for something else. The truth is I really don’t. the ones I have I use as demos in my cane mapping class, I have hanging on my walls or have given away.

I started this fish with just part of the tail when my friend Chrissie Baker was here in my studio. I wanted to show her how I did my big wall pieces.

So when I came to the studio this morning and was beginning to clean up my work table after my Stroppel Cane #2 video. I actually started cleaning the day before but got side tracked making hearts plant stakes out of the Stroppel #2′s that may for the film. Can’t throw them away of course…see.

Polymer clay Heart Sticks - Alice Stroppel

Sorry, back to the fish. before I put all my canes away, I decided to use some of them to finish the fish. What fun it was, really lost myself in it. But what I wanted to show you was how thin these designs are and how easy they are to frame.  So now I can say I have one for sale at least.

Oh and you can see how I used some more of my Stroppel cane #2 across the back of the fish. (first photo)

Polymer Clay Fish - Alice Stroppel

I call this technique cane mapping and it’s how I’ve done my large wall piece and this table.

polymer clay table top - Alice Stroppel

If you are near Palmetto, I’m teaching a one day cane mapping workshop on June 7th. You must have lots of pre-made canes to bring with you. We won’t have time in class to make many if any. Skinner blends work best for me. Message me on Facebook, or leave a comment here.

Stroppel Cane #2 – another way to use your polymer clay scraps


Stroppel cane #2

Here’s a short video  showing you how I make a Stroppel Cane #2. Have Fun!!! Rescue those scraps!!!

I’m excited once again to share something I just discovered. Another way to use your polymer clay scraps. So Cool! I’m calling it Stroppel cane #2. Or Stroppel #2.

It’s fun and easy just like the first one, which you can watch by clicking on the video to your right.

Stroppel Cane #2

 

You can make this cane tiny like the one in the picture above or large enough for a bracelet.

Stoppel Cane #2 bracelet

I shared my discovery with the Florida Gulf Coast Polymer Clay Guild and these slices are from Sydney Carter’s first Stroppel #2. Love it.

Sydney Carter Stroppel Cane #2

 

Note: I’m having a bit of trouble keeping up with technology so I can’t get the video to embed here. so just click on the picture of my girls below and they will take you to my new Youtube channel. And that’s another story. Have fun!

Stroppel Cane #2

Polymer Clay Cane Workshop with FGCPCG

FGCPCG2014

Thank you Kim and Sydney for the photo. The always fun group at Florida Gulf Coast Polymer Clay, thank you all for having me.

Well everyone’s smiling, that’s always a good thing I think. I know I had a great time and was so excited to see the canes everyone made. The exciting thing is that there is going to be a part two to this workshop.

I’m going back in June and we’ll explore how to turn all those canes into wall art, objects and more. So everyone has homework hehehe.

I also shared my new Stroppel Cane #2 with this group. It’s a little different and fun. I’m going to film it today and post it tomorrow so you can play with your scraps tomorrow if you like the way it comes out.

Alice Stroppel cane workshop

Here’s a picture of some of the Premo blends and the canes we worked on in this workshop. I have to send a big shout out to Iris Weiss and Polyform. they generously donated all the Premo clay for this workshop. Everyone went home with clay to “do their homework”. Thank you so very much Polyform and Iris.

I’ve always used Premo polymer clay. I wasn’t interested in putting forth the effort to condition the harder clays and I was so invested in Premo by the time the others came out with a softer clay that I just never switched. I love many of the Premo colors. I make my face canes with Premo and they are more complicated for sure, so Premo works for me with my more complex canes.

 

My approach to caning is a bit different than the norm. I don’t worry too much about everything being perfect, I don’t mind if my canes are a bit wonky so my caning style may make some want to look away.

Some caners are producing more than just a few pieces for sale. Either in their online shops, in galleries, at festival, or they are wholesaling to stores. Others are doing precise design work and have refined their caning skills.

I don’t sell that many finished pieces, so I never make very large canes. There a several more reason why my canes tend to be small to tiny. I don’t want to surround them with translucent, I don’t want to have to reduce then very much and I want to create a new design each time I make something from the canes.

Example: I could have made a large cane for this cat bracelet but I used lots of smaller canes. There will never be another one exactly like this one, I like that. I call my process  Cane Mapping but you could say it was like mosaic work without the grout.

Cheshire Cat's Cousin

 

This fish is made the same way

Fish MosaicAs are all my wall pieces.

Explorations - Alice Stroppel

Explorations – Alice Stroppel

I have a very laid back approach to cane making. there truly are NO mistakes with my canes. It kind of takes the stress off of building canes, at least it does for me.

The artists that can be exact and create those fabulous intricate designs have my complete admiration, their work is stunning, I just can’t do it so I don’t try.

There are lots of you out there that are just like me, I know it. You want to cane but are afraid, you don’t want to waste all that clay, it makes you nervous to even think about it, you don’t think you’re good at it.

By starting with a bit of freedom attached to you caning, you can learn without stress and then later if you want to evolve, move on, learn to make the more complex canes. Or stay here with me, it’s all good.

Online right now is a great group on Facebook led by Rian Sanderse called 52 Weekly Cane Projects. It’s a fantastic way to practice canes with any pressure and it’s free. It’s a pretty wonderful thing Rian is doing for the pc community.  This last week she featured my Stroppel Cane and Ronit Golan’s scrap cane. go join, you’ll have fun.

If you or  your group is interested in taking my canes and/or cane mapping workshop/s please leave me a message on the comment page or on Facebook. I’d love to come met you all if I could.

 

Swimming – Polymer Clay Cane Mapped Painting

Swimming - polymer clay - Alice Stroppel

 

I’ve finished another polymer clay cane mapped painting. Now that’s a mouth full…

I usually spend a bit of time looking at the painting before I bake it. wondering if I should make any adjustments. But when things really pop out is when I photograph the finished piece and look at it on my computer screen.

Do you see the fish? Seems like I can’t get away from the fantasy fish even when they aren’t in the plan. Pretty funny if you as me, wonder what a psychoanalyst  would have to say.

I think I need to take a photo before baking from now on. On the other hand, it’s certainly interesting to just let things happen.

Fish – Polymer Clay Painting

 

fish - Polymer Clay Painting - Alice Stroppel

Happy New Year Everyone! I can’t wait to get this new year started, I truly finished with 2013 and I’m looking forward to an inspiring 2014.

I finished this fantasy fish painting a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t post it because if was a gift for my oldest son Brad. Brad is a master diver and often spends time in an underwater world. It’s safe to show it now, he has it and hopefully it’s up on a wall somewhere.

This painting is 9″ x 20″. I’m working on two more large polymer clay paintings now. One is huge, 28″ x 40″ …I know, I’m a little bit crazy, but hey, what’s the worse that can happen? That’s one of the things I love about polymer clay, if you don’t like what you’ve done, just start over. The clay can be recycled and isn’t lost.

Someone asked me to show a photo of the work hanging on the wall. Here’s a shot of some of the painting hung. It’s a new wall, that is, we rearranged furniture and there I was with the beautiful long wall to decorate, so it’s still a “work in progress” but I’m enjoying having some of my polymer painting in my house and not just in the studio.

Polymer Clay art work Alice Stroppel

Have a great year!

Oh and by the way, I’m adding the fish picture again because Facebook only gives me the last photo as the image to post to my page. Use to be you had a choice…geezzzz.

fish - Polymer Clay Painting - Alice Stroppel

 

Disaster Averted – Mixed Media – Polymer Clay Table

polymer clay table top - Alice Stroppel

 

I’ve been working on the polymer clay cane mapped top of my little table off and on for days. Right now I’m not able to work days in a row, but can only get to my studio 3 or 4 days a week. So getting this piece finish it taking awhile.

I thought I might not share with you what happened, you know, admitting to a huge mistake and all, but then I decided that you might benefit from my lesson learned. Besides, (laughing) I was able to save it so I don’t look to stupid.

I’d already baked the top once with only the girls on the glass. See last post. I finished the background and cane slices and places it on the table top to see how it looked. I added some more cane circles and then baked it again.

top in progress - Alice Stroppel

 

I added my dot, dot, dot cane around two edges of the baked piece and then a row of black and white check. The reason I only did two ends was because my glass wasn’t big enough to do the other two sides.

I baked it again and I was very happy with the way it was coming along. Then…..DISASTER….I can’t show you pictures, because I had to work quickly to try and save the piece and all my work.

Here’s what happened. I removed the baked top from the glass and put it on a large ceramic tile that I work on. I thought, great, this is just the right size to finish the edges. I added more dot, dot, dot cane and checkered canes to the remaining two edges. I finished off with a larger dot, dot, dot cane.

Fabulous, now to bake it and see how it fits the top. I had planned to figure out the very edges once I could really see how much room I had left.

I considered using an extruded piece that I could bake and then glue in place. I received a new CZeXtruder from Kimberly Idalski and want to try it out on the edge. I’ll be posting more about using the new extruder in another post.

Well………..I put it in the oven, baked it the normal time, the buzzer went off, I opened the oven and the piece was a total mess! YIKES!

Buckling in the center and a couple of other places and so drastically the blonde girl had cracked right in two across the middle of her face and neck.  Circled in white in the picture below, this is after the fix and I’m still amazed a how well it turned out.

Alice Stroppel table close up

I won’t repeat what I thought and said in the minutes that followed……. but I was able to save the entire piece and honestly I still can’t believe it. I wish I had pictures of the before.

Here’s what I did to save the piece. At first I just used a towel to press the bulging clay gently back down. It seemed to help but it wasn’t enough and the pressure wasn’t even. The tile was still extremely hot. I used another tile the same size to place on top of the piece to apply even pressure. I first placed a piece of paper on top of the design, I didn’t want the second tile to create a shine.

I remove the tiles from the oven tray and onto a cooler surface, not a cold one, just cooler. When I had completely cooled I removed the top tile and paper and it had pretty much gone back into the original shape. You can imagine how relieved I was. I’ve ruined many things in my day, but this was the biggest, most time invested piece that I “almost” lost.

I glued it down quickly to my table top. The blonde girl was actually in three pieces, but I put her back together like a puzzle and glued all the pieces in place. You can barely see hair  line cracks and that my friends is the ONLY way you can tell the was a near disaster.

Now, there are two things that may have cause the buckling. At first I thought it might have been because I moved the rack up one level, I wanted to bake another piece at the same time and that put the whole thing closer to the top of the oven, you know, heat rises. And that may well have contributed, but this morning I really think the main problem is that it was on the large tile. I actually had the tile at an angle in a broiler pan and air could get underneath it. But the tile was very hot and I think the glass must not get as hot or maybe not hold the heat as well.

Alicestroppeltabletop1w

I bake in a regular home oven, by the way.

Whatever the reason, I will stick to baking my cane mapped pieces on glass and I won’t move away from the center of my oven.

Here’s the finished top, whew is all I can say. I’m still not sure about the very edges and I want to add more slices to the leg etc. More when I can….

Working on the Top

Table top Alice Stroppel

Step one on the table top is finished. I’m going to love having this table around with samples of my faces. Lots of fun here, great therapy for sure.

I’m constructing and  baking everything right on the glass. When it’s cool I’ll pop it off and glue it to the table top. I think I might have a piece of glass cut to fit to protect it.

See ya’ back here soon.

 

Old Things New Again – WIP

Table with polymerThis is a silly little table that my husband and I used as a telephone table when we were first married. Most of you can relate to a telephone table, but some of you may not remember a time when you had an actual phone connected to the wall.

We had a cord that could reach all the way into the living room. That was the only way you could talk for more than 5 minutes, I could cook, fold clothes, and watch the kids playing.

When we moved to our new house we didn’t need the table anymore. My Mother, Father, sister and brother-in-law bought a three story victorian house together and they had tons of room. The table went to stay with them and now it’s come back to live with me.

I’ve painted it lots of fun colors and have covered the bottom shelf in polymer clay with one of my faces and some of my colorful canes.  I’m starting to work on the top when I have time and I’ll also be adding bits of PC on the legs.

Table with polymer - Alice Stroppel

It’s a piece that has been touched by every member of my family at one time or the other. No hurry on this piece it’s just something that will capture a lovely memory in time and link it to the present.

 

Other World – Polymer Clay Wall Art

Other WorldI created this new piece while I was in the Rocky Mountains on retreat. At least the main rectangle was created there. Today I framed it and added some polymer clay covered buttons.

I’m happy with this unconventional framing even though it would not have been my first choice. When I started looking for a frame for it, I didn’t have one that would fit. I had just spent a small fortune on frames and didn’t want to run out to buy another one.

I started to center it on the mat but then I began to play around with it and decided to put it at an angle. It needed something else, having the raw edges showing and because they were so straight I covered some buttons with clay and added them.

If you double click on the picture you’ll be able to see it closer.

I was influenced by my fellow retreater in many ways. I hope to explore and expand my wall pieces and continue to add texture and interest.

Polymer Clay Ribbons – Bendable Polymer Part 2

Polymer Clay Ribbons - Alice Stroppel

 

Well this was productive. I have two tall cylindrical glass vases that I wrapped the thin strips of polymer clay around and around. I layered paper between each revolution.

These strips are 29″ long, that’s as long as I could make the strips because I was using sheets of Skinner blends. I’m going to see if I can make even longer ones with solid colors.

Of course I had to add some Stroppel Cane to one of the strips. hehehe

More to come…..