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]

Polymer Clay Bib Necklace

Bib Necklace - Polymer clay

Bib Necklace - Polymer clay

Far from finished, not even baked yet, but I’ve not blogged in a week and was having withdrawals. I’ve been teaching, getting ready to teach and creating new canes. All the Halloween colors inspired me for these I guess. Still playing around with them for other applications.

I made this a bib necklace because I wanted to see all the canes together. I also wanted to show my class what they can create, besides beads, with the canes they are learning to make.

I’ve also been walking. I promised myself that as soon as it cooled off a bit, I’d get up from my clay chair and get moving. Well, it’s still 90 in the afternoons, but in the morning and at dusk, there has been a great breeze and the humidity is down, so I’ve had to keep my promise. Let’s see if I’m still motivated when it’s 30 out. (now come on, for me that’s really cold)

What have you been working on?

Strange Oven Week in Polymer Clay

This week has been fabulous and frustrating. So humid all my canes just stuck together like they were magnets and now it’s cool and breezy outside. I like that, the cool part that is.

Good news, I finished my order. Bad news, something was wrong with my oven and several of them had spots on their faces when I took them out. The spots were all the way through and I couldn’t sand them away.


I had quite a bit of time invested in these girls and used lots of canes in the process. In the middle of the night I thought, okay, what can I do with these girls? Freckles are okay on the cheeks, but not down by the chin. I took my Pigma Micron pen and gave a couple of them mask with a bit of hanging fringe. I liked them.


If you want to use the Pigma Micron pens, just be sure to heat set them. The ink will rub right off if you don’t. Either use a heat gun, or pop them back into the oven for a few minutes.

I cleaned the pan I’ve used for years to bake my clay and I hope that that was the problem with the spotting. I also checked the temperature with a gauge, just to be sure.

I have an order in for blue and orange wine stoppers for a University of Florida fan in the oven now and should find out how all my cleaning and checking worked. I’ll let you know.

I still have a several more girls with spots but I’ll have to figure something else out for them as they are the full face girls and I’m not sure the hanging fringe will work. After Christmas maybe I’ll think of something.

Later …I just checked the wine stoppers and they are just fine, no spots. So I guess the lesson for me today is to clean your pan. Don’t know what was on it that could have made spots, but whatever it was, it’s gone now.

Selling Your Polymer Clay Artwork

The Tourist

The Tourist

Creating with polymer clay is fun, addictive and costly if everything you make stays at home with you. Don’t get me wrong, that can be a good thing if you can wear a different necklace, earrings, and bracelet set every day. Have polymer clay art in every room of your house! Light switch covers in the dining room, cover vases and sculpture the livingroom, covered knobs on the bedroom furniture and mosaic tile mirrors in the bathroom. (Did you know you could replace all the buttons on your kids clothes with polymer clay……..oh never mind…sorry)

Then you start giving your masterpieces to your friends and relatives. And they love them, the first 3 or 4 that is. After all how many nercklaces, earrings, bracelets, light switch covers, vases, sculptures, covered knobs and mosaic mirrors can they use?

The time comes when you just have to find a place to showcase your work or just give it up all together. You know we don’t want to quit, some of us just can’t. So what’s to be done?

If you are reading this online, then you have the skills to find the right outlet for your work right at your finger tips. I’m not going to talk about Etsy, or ArtFire, or any of the other online places to sell. You probably already have a shop set up on one of these sites. If you are successful and are selling your art faster than you can produce it, then you can skip the rest of this post.

But if you are a bit frustrated with your online shop sales, then you aren’t alone. It’s hard to be the artists, the marketer, the agent, the packer, and shipper, etc. All you want to really do is make your art…..well sorry.. that will probably never happen for most of us! We will all have to do some things to promote ourselves. But maybe you are living close to a solution to your problem. Or at the very least another outlet for sales.

There are thousands of art/craft galleries around the country and almost every town, no matter what size, has at least one. Maybe you have contacted you local shop with no luck. Well how about shops or galleries within a hundred miles of your house? Tourist spots are fabulous outlets, or just busy cities with a reputation for “artsy” shops.

I randomly picked Jackson, Mississippi to see what I could find. I did a google search for “arts and craft galleries jackson, mississippi”. About halfway down the second page there was a link to the Jackson Free Press that said…………..
Culture The Fall Arts …The Jackson area certainly has numerous venues for arts of all kinds, from museums …. Chimneyville Crafts Gallery Works by 400 members of the Mississippi

That looked interesting so I click on the link and bingo! There was an article about the Arts in Jackson and the names of 44 arts and or craft galleries around the city.

The next step was to check over the list and see what sounded like a good possibility. I found several, the first was Chimmeyville Crafts Gallery. I did a google search and couldn’t find a website for Chimmeyville Crafts Gallery, but found out that it was operated by the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi, Inc.

I did another google search for the Craftsmen’s Guild and found their membership page

These were the membership benefits for $75.00 per year.

Benefits of membership include:

-Invitations to show and sell work at all sanctioned Guild events such as the December Chimneyville Crafts Festival
-Referrals to other national and international festival organizers
-Direct referrals to collectors, buyers, designers and wholesalers
-The privilege to sell and demonstrate work at Guild retail galleries and exhibits
-Direct referrals to feature writers, authors and producers
-A quarterly newsletter with articles designed especially for the professional artisan
-Invitations to special members’ meetings, workshops and social events

Notice that you can sell and demonstrate your work at Guild Galleries, I think they have two.
Also there is a referral service to collectors, buyers, designers and wholesalers. If I lived within 100 mile of Jackson, I would be a member of the Guild. If for nothing else but the referrals. ( I didn’t check any further to see if you have to be present to sell you work. Some places require that you volunteer a certain amount of hours a month.) But I would still join for the referrals.

I didn’t look any further, but there were several galleries that looked promising. I would see if they have a website, find their email address and mail them an introductory email and two or three (low resolution) photos of my work, asking if they might be interested in featuring them in their gallery. If you receive a positive reply, then an appointment can be arranged and a road trip planned. Find a friend to go with you and make a day of it.

Next post I’ll talk about the importance of pricing your work to sell on your own website shop with enough room to then be able to sell to the shop owner at wholesale. You shouldn’t undersell the retailer that is carrying you work.

You can do this kind of search for any city you live in or near. We have a great advantage outside of the internet. Not many people have seen the fabulous artwork that we are making with polymer clay. We have the opportunity to be the first in a gallery, shop or guild to offer polymer clay art for sale. You don’t have to do craft fairs or festivals, (even though they can be another great way to sell your work).   It may just be a matter of finding a couple of just right galleries close by.

Good Luck, let me know how it goes.
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

Polymer Clay Wine Stoppers and Perfume Pens

Perfume Pens

Perfume Pens

A group of perfume pens ready to go to a shop. Below is a group of bottle stoppers. The same face cane with different hair and hats. I also sell them in my Etsy Shop.

Wine Stoppers

Wine Stoppers

I get my stoppers and perfume pins from Boston Clayworks. They are both fun to do even without the face canes and they make great gifts.

Dora’s Explorations in Polymer Clay Puts a Hex on Us!

Dora's Joy of Hex Cane

Dora's Joy of Hex Cane

Lately, I’ve been following Dora’s Explorations Blog and her polymer clay cane experiments. She seems to enjoy the complicated canes and I understand the challenge.

Her plaid canes are fabulous and there are many more just waiting for you give them a try. She is generous to share these tutorials on her website.

If you want to challenge yourself, take a look at her newest cane tutorial, “Joy of Hex“. It free and the pattern possibilities are endless. Thanks Dora for sharing your talent with us.

Found Objects and Polymer Clay – Video

Bakers Man

Baker Man

Boy have I had fun the last few days. Filming the video on found objects and polymer clay really got me excited about all the projects that I have promised myself I was going to do when I wasn’t working anymore. So watch out..I might be on a roll. I say might because I always have great intentions.

I could have made this video an hour longer, I had that many found objects that I could have shared with you, but I figured you would thank me if I kept it at 15 minutes.

The photo above is just one of the projects that I used some of my found objects on. Kitchen items from my husband’s grandmother and a necklace from a garage sale. I love using items that have meaning to members of my family. He is going to hang on the Christmas tree and once a year we will be reminded of grandma and the fabulous things she use to make for the holidays. Easter pie was a favorite, even for Christmas.

Embellished Book

Embellished Book

This photo is of an old flea market book and one of the pieces I made in this video. Old watch part from my dad, who is no longer with us, fabulous magnifying spectacles that belong to a long ago relative.  A great coffee table book.  Enjoy the video!

Found Objects to Use With Polymer Clay

Found Objects

Several days ago, I promised you a video showing how to use objects you might have around the house to imprint polymer clay projects. Or you may want to use that interesting found object to embellish one of your creations.

I “found” all of these items while I was clean out and cleaning up. You might say I “re-found” them. Most are things I have collected over the years because they were interesting and I just knew one day I’d “make something from them”. ( I think there is a name for this illness……..most of you have it too I think!)  Some are just everyday items.

Even my husbands work space didn’t escape the scavenger hunt……don’t tell him though, he gets scared when I venture into his garage with that look on my face.

Today, I’m working on samples and tomorrow or the next day I’ll post the video. Start looking around you, I know you’ll find lots of things to play with. Roll out some fresh clay and experiment. Or be ready with your treasures for when you watch my new video and we can experiment together.

Just remember, if you use something from your kitchen for clay, you won’t want to use it again for food.

New Redheads – Polymer Clay Face Cane Bracelets

Redheads - Cuff Bracelets

Redheads - Cuff Bracelets

I was busy last night with these cuff bracelets. I really had fun! Seriously, I was smiling the whole time. When I took them out of the oven, I laughed out loud. They are are listed in my Etsy Shop. I’m working on a tutorial for the face canes to sell in my etsy shop. This is just too much fun.

I  wasn’t sure if I could use the profile face cane successfully on a bracelet, but I like her, she is really 3d.

I was stuck on redheads, now to move on and do some more blonde and burnettes.

Winner – Polymer Clay Fish Mosaic Contest

The winner of the Summer Fish Mosaic Contest is

Adrienne Lindsey

Adrienne Lindsey

Adrienne Lindsey's Winning Fish Mosaic

I love this fish, the colors are so vibrant and full of contrast. Our judge, watercolor artist Janet King, said that it was hard to choose a winner, but she really like the red color choice in Adrienne’s fish. I want to thank my friend Janet for taking the time to be our judge. Janet is a fabulous watercolor artist and  instructor. Please take the time to visit her site and spend some time with her paintings. This bird painting is one of my favorites of Janet’s and represents her humor. See why I asked her to be our judge and why she is my friend?

Adrienne will be receiving the perfume pen in the mail very soon. Thank you Adrienne for the time you spent with your fish. Adrienne was the first to enter a fish and she enjoyed it so much she made another and entered it too. As you can see it paid off, she won!! We do improve with age. (At least with polymer clay)

Thank you to the rest of you who entered this summer contest. I wish I could post all your photos. It was such fun to receive the fish photos in my in-box. But I think what I enjoyed most was talking with so many wonderful people out there that share this crazy passion for polymer clay. Or maybe it’s just the shared love of making things with our hands. The creative process is such a healing, exciting, self affirming activity that it is a necessity for our very being.

Several people told me that this project has rekindled the creativity spark in them. What a compliment for me and an affirmation for  just starting something creative. Thanks again.

I did want to show another fish that came very close to winning that I felt I needed to share it. Laura Lang’s fish is beautifully done and I enjoy her color choices. Thanks, Laura for entering.

Laura Lang's Entry

Laura Lang's Entry

If you want join in the on going adventure, simply sign up for my newsletter at the top right hand side of this page and watch the video.

The Fuller Craft Museum Will Present – Sculpting Color – Works in Polymer Clay

The Fuller Craft Museum will present – Sculpting Color – Works in Polymer Clay – curated by Kathleen Dustin August 8, 2009 – November 8, 2009

Examiner.com has this slide show of work by Boston artist Betsy Baker of Stonehouse Studio and images from the Fuller Craft Museum exhibition, Sculpting Color.

The slide show at Examiner.com also includes the work of a few of the other artists participating in the exhibit,  Steve Ford and David Forlano, Bonnie Bishoff and JM Syron and Kathleen Dustin.

Thank you to Kathleen Dustin for the work she is doing on what we all know will be a tribute to all the incredible artists that have elevated the art of polymer clay.