Sculpey Polymer Clay Cane Techniques

Sculpey Polymer Clay Cane Techniques

(♪♪♪) Have you ever seen those complicated and
intricate polymer clay canes and thought
“I’d really like to try that, but I don’t feel like
I can accomplish it”? Well I’d like to give you some
really good tips for starting at the beginning, making some basic
simple canes, practicing some good technique to combine those
simple canes together to make
a complex cane. First we’re going to
start with the bullseye, probably the simplest
cane to make. I’m going to start with
just a rod of solid colour in the middle, I’ve chosen gold, and I have a sheet
of brown clay that I’ve already pressed
through the pasta machine on its thickest setting. I’m going to layer my
gold rod on the very edge, and just roll the
chocolate clay up around it. I’m going to
mark it right here by rolling brown into brown. When I back off, there’s a nice
little line there. That’s a guideline
for me to trim against. Now I’ve got
a really sharp blade and this is super important
for working with canes, you’ll need some sharp blades. I’m going to cut
just inside the line. The reason is because
polymer clay tends to stretch, and you can
easily fill up that gap by using some finger pressure, but it’s really hard
to deal with if you overlap. Now at this point
I’m ready to reduce the cane. Reducing means I’m going to make the cane
longer and longer, but maintain the gold rod
on the inside. I’m not going to
mix the colours. Good technique for reducing
is to start by putting more pressure
in the middle, and then I’m pushing
any air bubbles out toward the ends. Air bubbles are an enemy when making
polymer clay canes, so you always want to practice
good technique to work the bubbles always
towards the outside. Now you can see that this clay
is really starting to move, and at that point,
because this is a round cane, I can use my work surface to
really start rolling it down. Now I’ve chosen gold and brown
because I want to make an animal pattern, and what’s important
for an animal pattern is to have
some inconsistencies because it’s more natural. I’m going to
take my sharp blade again. I’ve rolled this end down
fairly small and left this end large. I’m going to section
the cane into four equal lengths. Now see how I’m rocking
this back and forth? That’s because
my cane is very warm. I’m warm, the lighting
in here is warm, and so by rocking it
back and forth I’m making a smooth cut down through the cane
without deforming it. Some people like to throw their
canes in the refrigerator after they’ve
handled them a lot. That makes them much
firmer and easier to slice. Now I’m just going to
randomly regroup this cane, and what you’ve done here
is gone from a simple bullseye cane to
a complex lace cane. Now what I can do is
I can re-reduce this again, once again
pushing the air bubbles out toward the end, rolling it on
the work surface, and I can simply regroup it
and recut it and group it together again and again
until my pattern is as intricate as
I’d like it to be. You can see how that
works out here on this lovely pendant because I have a variety
of shapes and sizes of the pattern, and it looks more
natural and beautiful. Another simple cane you can
make with Sculpey Clays is a leaf cane. To start the leaf cane I have a rod of
bright green clay, and I have a sheet of
a darker green that I’ve run through
the pasta machine on the
number four setting. It’s quite thin. What I want to do is
take my very sharp blade, and I’m going to cut this rod
of clay into some sections, just score down
through the rod, and try really hard to
come down perpendicular all the way, lay this section of
the bright green on top of the darker green, and then trim it
with a really sharp knife. Pick that piece up and now it has
the green vein sheet on one side, and you’ll want to
reassemble this just the way
you took it apart. You want to continue making
lines across your rod until you have several,
three, four, or five, however many
you want to do. The next step is to take
your very sharp blade and cut down through
the rod at an angle to the lines you just made, so I’m scoring across the top,
and then pulling down evenly. Then I want to take one of
these sections and line it with
some green clay as well. Line that right up
on the edge, trim with my sharp blade. Pick that up, now the way
we cut this apart was like this. But what I want to do when
I reassemble it is turn one completely around so that I get the veins going
more at angles this way. At this point
now I can reduce the cane. Now I don’t want to reduce it
like I did the bullseye cane by rolling it, I want to reduce it
by pinching the top, and you can even use
your work surface to pinch down and to pull, and I want to maintain
that leaf shape by kind of working at it like a triangle,
so I have a skinny top, and a heavier bottom. Now here’s some samples of ones
that I’ve already reduced. Sometimes when I make a cane
like this I like to reduce to different levels of thickness
so that I can use some larger leaves
and some smaller leaves. I want to show you how to
slice this very thinly so that you can
make this type of bead. I just take my
very sharp blade, and I always
stand my leaf on end so the point is at the top, score across the top
and then pull straight down. Now this takes
a little bit of practice so you want to just practice using good technique
and cutting straight down. I could even pick this up and shape it a bit
with my hands, pinching the edges to make it
look more natural and fluid like a real leaf would. If I wanted a thicker bead
I could back off just a bit and cut this,
say five millimetres or a quarter of an inch thick, and that would make
a nice bead for a bracelet. I hope you enjoy
making your leaf beads. Another fun and simple cane
that you can make with Sculpey Clay
is the jelly roll. The jelly roll might be simply
the most popular cane ever made. What you want to do first
is pick two colours, at least two colours, that are in high contrast
to each other so that when you
roll them up together, they really look good together and they’re visible
against each other. Decide which one
you want on the bottom. Now these clays have already
been pressed through my pasta machine
on the thickest setting. When I start a jelly roll cane
I always put the bottom layer out a little further
than that, it gives me a lip that can
bend up around my inside clay, and it’s a good
starting place to roll up. Practice your good technique
by not letting any air bubbles get trapped
in between the sheets, and once you’ve rolled up
far enough that you’re in control, you can just roll this up
with your fingers. Now if your bottom sheet sticks out further
like that one, just take
your sharp blade, and cut back through
that layer and peel that back. Now you can seal this edge by
giving some finger pressure all along the edge, and you can even
just bend that outside colour over the inside colour. Now we’re ready to reduce. You can reduce this
just the same way you did the bullseye cane, and you can reduce it
down as far as you want or leave it
as large as you want. What I think is really fun is
just to make that first cut off the end to see how neat and tidy
it looks inside. Some variations on this cane
include wrapping it like a bullseye
with another colour, or even adding some
checkerboard stripes around the outside edge. I hope you enjoy
making these canes, and you’ll want to experiment
with Sculpey III and with Premo Sculpey, practice your basic
cane technique, and have fun. (♪♪♪) Captioned by GigEcast

99 thoughts on “Sculpey Polymer Clay Cane Techniques

  1. Hello guys, i'm new here and i would like to ask you some questions.. They may seem stupid to you but as i said i'm new. So as i've seen in other videos whenyou mix 2 colours from the clay they become another , i mean you dont see them separetly but totally different colour is formed? Also for baking them do you need a sprecial oven? And would you recommend a clay brand . Thank you 🙂

  2. I like Sculpey clay, no you don't need a special oven 9and usually they have instructions on baking on the package), and if you mix the clay enough, then yes.

  3. I use sculpey and sculpey iii. And you don't need a special oven, but many polymer clay artists who are baking things every day will use a sepate one from the one they cook food in 🙂 hope it helps haha

  4. You can cut the slices once they are baked and use them for nail art.(If you google "nail cane slices" there will be pictures of what you can d with them. It is a waste of clay for those who don't sell the canes or use them for nail art but the are very useful. 🙂

  5. I think you make alternating stripes of white and black and roll them together so that they stick then cut it to be the same length as your cane and wrap it around. Not positive but I'm pretty sure that's what you do.

  6. I made the leaf cane and it was too big. I didn't see you make the smaller cane, so I'm wonder how small the work it. I ended up having to throw everything away.

  7. Jody dobbins: u can use an x-acto knife or a pocket knife 🙂 or you can buy a very cheap polymer clay blade at your local craft store

  8. @ Jody D  There is a wide assortment of polymer clay tools available on our site  If you have any questions about tools or polymer clay, feel free to contact our Product Information team at [email protected] or call us at (800)933-2542.

  9. @ceebelle We carry the Amaco Pasta Machine.  You can find it in the polymer clay tools section of our website:

  10. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your simple caning techniques, you seem to make them very easy to follow (sorry to say) unlike some that I have come across I shall follow you and look forward to more awesome tips  thanx 

  11. Jessica H – The long blades that are used in the demonstration are available in the Super Slicer tool set, found here:  The demonstrator is using the blades without the handle that is included in the kit. If you would like additional assistance, please feel welcome to contact our Product Information team at 1-800-933-2542

  12. A long time ago, I got this book on how to make designs with Sculpey clay.  I liked the marbleized ones the most.  I even made sushi beads at one time, too

  13. Hello, lovely instructions and very clear, however, I was wondering how much of the clay block have you used for any of these projects? No one ever talks about how much of the block of the clay to use, they just jump to "here I have a rolled out piece already"!! thank you for your reply in advance. 

  14. Thank you for the video, it's a great for those of us who are rookies.  I am interested in the pendant you showed us and would like to know how the gold veining was done.  It's beautiful.

  15. Which polymer clay do you prefer? I use craftsmart because it is cheap. It usually is crumbly and dry, is Sculpey brand worth the money?

  16. @mightyaphroditie The quantity really depends on how much cane you want to make, but to help you get a little better understanding, the “core” tube she starts with is 2/3 to a full 2oz block of clay.   The rolled out portion is a smaller quantity, closer to a quarter or less of the initial block.  For any additional questions, you can reach Blick Product Information at 1-800-933-2542 or i[email protected]

  17. Thank you for the tutorial as well as the link to purchase the machine. I have been searching for weeks for a nice one that works well at a nice price with no luck. This machine has a very nice price, not expensive at all and I can't wait to receive it, as I am a beginner at polymer clay and want to begin asap!! =)

  18. Hello, there! Thank you so much for your tutorial. I have a quick question on baking the clay in a home oven. Is it ok? I've seen other videos where some are questioning the safety of it. Kindly advise. Thank you.

  19. Oh my goodness! How simple did you make that "leaf cane" look! Thank you – this is a great tutorial! I will be looking forward to watching more ~M x

  20. Hello thank you for this video. I am new to this clay play. Any videos on oven baking ? If so would you link me and if not would you please make one. Thank you kindly

  21. Thank you for kind explanation. I want to try it. Also I think my children-3, 5 years old- can try with your explanation. Thanks.

  22. thank you for the video I have been looking for something like this, I always wondered how the complicated ones are made and you made it so easy to understand how they are made.

  23. Just had to say thanks for the cool video. I truly loved it and will be keeping my eyes peeled for more videos from you 🙂

  24. This is so helpful. There are many vids on how to make complex things, but I'm still struggling with the basics, so thanks!

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