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]

Trading Stroppel Cane Jewelry with Angela aka Cleobs

I’m thrilled to say that Angela/Cleobs sent me her Stroppel Skyline bracelet. She has combined Stroppel Canes with some other polymer clay techniques to create this fabulous piece.

When I saw it I really wanted it. I asked to buy it, but Angela said no she would send it to me, but I wanted to trade. So she chose some of my girlfriends and the bracelet now lives at my house and the girls are on their way to Italy.

Thanks so much Angela, it’s a treasure. You can see more of Angela’s work on her Flickr site cleobs. I love Flickr.

Here are the girlfriends I made for Angela.

Orlando Clay Fandango

I want to make an addition to my post about Orlando Clay Fandango. I forgot two important volunteer and I’m so sorry. These two women come each year to Fandango and they aren’t even members of the guild. They don’t take classes, they work.

Nita Sherer-Baker runs the boutique and allows us to sell our work. Such an important part of our experience and a lot of work. Thank you very much Nita.

And Tanya Johnston…what would we do with out the Oven Queen? She takes care of all the curing of every piece of clay. It is a giant job. Thank you so much Tanya.

A Trade With Teia Fetescu and Mario Hubak – Clay Corner

Teia and Mario

I received this cutey pie in the mail all the way from Switzerland. She is a Winter Lady and she came in a great little box with her own stash of Swiss chocolates. Speaking of Swiss Sweets, Teia and Mario make the cutest mini baked good, so neat and colorful. Check out these cupcakes.

Teia Fetescu and Mario Hubak are a polymer clay team that own Clay Corner, with a website, a blog, a Facebook page and  a Flickr photostream where I saw this sweet little Swiss lady.

Teia Fetescu and Mario Hubak

I asked Teia if she would be kind enough to trade one of her girls for one of my girls and luckily she said yes. So off to Switzerland went this Stroppel sweater girl and now I have a Teia girl hanging in my studio. What a great trade, just a bit of international exchange and once again, I win.  Thank you so much Teia and Mario.

Stroppel Sweater Girl

Polymer Clay Days

I was making a Stroppel Cane with red, black and white cane scraps and ended up with a cane that looked like butterfly wings. I used a few slices to create the butterfly and then added other cane slices and made the slide above.

Then I finally got around to covering the knobs in my pink bathroom with black and white jelly rolls. They aren’t very complicated but with the black and white check countertop, I didn’t need anything very complicated. I still love my crazy bathroom.

I’m still creating samples for my scuplting class and having a great time.

My Stroppel Cane is Older Than I Thought

In April of 2010, I was experimenting with a different kind of face cane and made 13 bracelets from it. I’ve sold several of them and have but a few left. I started photographing this one to put in my etsy Shop to sell. It has a flower that looks like a poinsettia so I thought it would be perfect for the season and I’d better get it posted.

When I looked through the lens, what did I see but a Stroppel cane that I used for a collar and a hat band. I started to laugh because my memory is so bad. At least about dates and when I did what. I knew I’d been making Stroppel canes for quite awhile, but didn’t realize it’s been almost 2 years.

If you look close at the bottom of the bracelet, you can see the date. Now I’m thinking I’ll keep this one, I have another one that is even more Christmasy. I hope this made you laugh, it sure made me glad that I date things.

I did list another pen and ink face bracelet that I finished last week. It’s in my Etsy Shop.

Helen Breil Texture and Stroppel Cane

A friend is having a birthday this month and several of us met for dinner and had a great time. This friend has so many of my “girls” in every form I’ve ever made so I thought it was time I’d make her something totally different.

I made this neckpiece for my birthday friend using one of Helen Breil’s texture sheets and a piece of Stroppel cane. The funny thing is the colors blended so well in person, you couldn’t see the blue tones in the cane as much as you can in this photo. I still like it, it’s interesting and different and hope my friend likes it too.

I’ve had the texture sheet for several months, I bought it at a retreat where I met Helen for the first time. What a talented lady, just take a look at her fabulous work.

I was lucky to be in a slide swap with Helen and this is the very cool slide I received.

Helen Breil and Alice Stroppel Swap

The back side of my piece is fun too because of the great texture from the sheets.

New Stroppel Cane Flickr Group Formed by Cara Jane

Stroppel Cane Pendant - Alice Stroppel/Meisha Barbee

The Stroppel cane continues to be experimented with by polymer clay enthusiast around the globe and I couldn’t be more delighted. It’s so exciting and a little bit unreal.

I’ve been trying to pin, on my Pinterest site, each new picture of the cane or a finished piece when I found one. But I’ve given up trying to get them all, there are way too many. I’ll still pin all the items I find or if you don’t have a Flickr account and want to send them to me, I’ll post them.  alice@polymerclayetc.com

Cara Jane Hayman

Cara Jane Hayman came up with the idea of creating a flickr group for The Stroppel Cane. Thanks Cara Jane for setting it up. This Flickr group should be fun and allow us all to take a peep at what others are making and the color palettes they used for their old canes. That has been as much fun for me as seeing everyone’s finished products.

The Stroppel Cane has already begun to morph and take on a life of it’s own as we saw in my last post featuring Orly Rabinowitz’s verion of the technique.  So tracking it’s life from the beginning could be very interesting.

So go join the Flickr group and upload the picture of your Stroppel Cane projects. Thank you all very much for all wonderful things you’ve made, it’s been a fabulous couple of weeks.

A New Twist on the Stroppel Cane by Orly Rabinowitz

I have something amazing to share with you today and I bet you that there will be as many items made from this twist on the Stroppel cane as there are from my original. We probably need to call it the Stroppel/Rabinowitz cane.

When I saw these buttons, I was amazed. Aren’t they remarkable? My flickr friend and oh so talented polymer clay artist Orly Rabinowitz made the incredible buttons above with the Stroppel cane but with a slight difference. She wasn’t able to watch the video (before I moved it to Youtube) and she……….well it will just be easier to share the note she sent me.

Dear Alice,
For some time I wanted to make the Stroppel cane, but since I couldn’t watch the video for some reason, I didn’t.
Anyhow, yesterday I tried it, based on how I thought it is done. At the beginning I cut my canes lengthwise, only as I continued I understood I supposed to put sliced…
The result, however, was stunning, at least to my eyes… like a piece of fabric.
I then went back to your blog and managed to watch the video. The second cane I made was according to the original directions (although my leftover canes and slices are in such a mess…).
I wanted to thank you, the technique is as simple as it is fun and useful.
Watching the final result is like meeting with an old friend, as you can recognize your old loveable canes between the lines…
For now I made only a few magnets and buttons. I’m not sure I can cover vessels with it, time will tell.
I upload some photos on my flikr page, you’re welcome to visit!
Thanks again,

I agree 100%, these are stunning, really wonderful I think. Thanks you Orly for sharing.

So you see what happens when you just create what you feel and not follow someone else’s exact instructions? Below are the buttons she made after she watched the video. It really love these too, Orly’s colors and canes are always so vibrant and lively. But I am delighted by the “accidental” canes made by slicing her old canes a different way.

I can wait to see what comes out of this new look of old cane, it’s so exciting to have one person expand a  techinque, it’s like watching babies grow up, a joyous process.

Orly is my sister face cane maker from another part of the world, and we never would have known about each other if not for the wonderful world of the internet.

If you haven’t seen her girls, go see the rest of Orly’s fabulous work on her Flickr site. Or order some of her work from her Etsy Shop.

IPCA’s Progress and Possibilities 2011

I was working on several things this weekend, more girlfriend slides in my Etsy shop and several of my new bracelets.

Two of the new bracelets were for the International Polymer Clay Associations competition Progress and Possibilities. I have never entered any competitions with my clay work except in a monthly Viola polymeristas once or twice. I hadn’t planned on sending anything to this competition until my friend Suzanne Ivester asked me why not. I told her , “I don’t know, I don’t know what I would send?  She kind of wagged her email finger at me and made me think it was time to see if I could come up with a design.

I’ve been working hard to make my work as professional as I can, as smoothly finished and well made as possible. Now it’s time to take the next step and start pushing those other buttons like others approval, how will it measure up, and just plain ol’ fright.

Yep fright! You might think that is totally crazy coming from someone who blogs all the time, exposes my work to thousands of readers everyday, makes videos of my techniques and shows myself in these videos from time to time!

But it’s true, asking someone else to judge your work is totally different than just sharing it with those who want to take a look or actually buy something you’ve made.

But I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way, so I’m going to pass on my challenge from Suzanne to you, make something and enter it in Progress and Possibilities 2011.  There are three categories – Art Jewelry, Functional Objects and Sculptural Objects with three levels of expertise – Beginners, Intermediate and Professional. So you see, even if you are a beginner there is a place for you. If you are Intermediate like me, then I double dog dare you. If you’re professional…..well enough said.

I double dog dare you!

In the meantime, I’m  still sending girlfriends to Etsy. I’ll show pictures of my new bracelets another day.

Lime Green Pendant with Stroppel Cane

I couldn’t let everyone else have all the fun with the Stroppel cane. Can you tell I love lime green? And I think the black and white check sets it off.

Listed in my Etsy shop. I made my own bail on this one.

Oh and just so you know, it is an absolutely gorgeous, spectacular day here in sunny FL. I think this afternoon I need to get outside for a bit. Sitting down by the lake sounds a bit like heaven. Now if I can just tear myself away from this creating mood I’m in……….

Thank you Randee M. Ketzel

Bracelets by Randee M Ketzel

Bracelets by Randee M Ketzel - Owner Alice Stroppel

Look what came in the mail today!!!!! These beautiful crazy wonderful bracelet from Randee M. Ketzel and they are actually mine now!

Seriously, where else but in the polymer clay community would you find such generosity? Randee M. Ketzel better known as RMKDesign was one of the first to try the Stroppel cane. Her efforts were nothing short of extremely cool!!!!

I commented on the photos on her Flickr site and she said this to me, “Alice, I love this!! So fun to do–and finally I’m not feeling guilty about all my failed canes anymore–you’ve given them purpose. If I can ever return the favor, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

Weeeelllll I said, “uhmmmmm let’s see…..I should ask for everyone’s first born creation from their first SC….yeah that’s it. Just think what a collection I could have, man……. the vision. lol”

She asked for my address and I said, “oh no I couldn’t” as I sent it to her. And today, in the mail, two babies came to live at my house.

They are beautiful and funky and very cool. They are some of the very first pieces made after I posted my video. Thank you Randee, I’ll treasure these forever. Plus…..I’ll wear the heck out of them along with telling the story. I always say the story is as important as the rest.

Randee, I can’t tell you how happy these made me. Thank you again.