Techniques-Types... summary
Beginner canes ...summary of easier canes to start with

..... insertion techniques ...removal & insertion
...Bullseye ..."lacey"
...Spiral (jellyroll)...single or multiple spirals... uses
...Striped, stacked
......graduated ....... bargello (caned)
......diagonal .... feather canes
......other ways to use stacks
......Ikat, crushed ikat
..... checkerboard
... indention
... lengthwise cuts
... "slice painting" with canes
....Gen. Info
...Triangular canes (uses, variations) rows
.....square canes (canes end up square)
.....triangular_"kaleidoscope"_ canes (pizza slices put together radially)
.........variables...snowflakes....misc info ...pattern inspiration + previewing tools
....wedges (spliced, flame)
...misc complex canes ...Celtic knot
animal skins
Plaid & fabrics
....gen. ....more flower websites
....slice painting with flowers, leaves
....real-flowers inspiration
Misc non-geometric....silhouette... seasonal (Xmas,etc) ... eyes ...Chop 'N Toss
...translucent+opaque canes ( "floating slices")
......gen. info ...examples, lessons ...more complex,
...additions & others... other ways to cut
PICTURE canes (very complex canes)
....examples ... more info

MISC. tips, techniques, uses
WEBSITES for all
.pre-made canes ... custom-made canes & cane components
More on symmetry

CANES-- instructions

this page covers specific kinds and patterns of canes, as well as some of the underlying techniques like stacks, wrapping, indenting, inserting, and using translucents with opaques for "floating " canes, as well.

the Canes--Info page (General Info) covers:
types of clay for caning, tips for making different cane shapes (square, triangular, odd-shaped, etc), cutting canes successfully, making sheets from slices, videos, what to do with "unloved" using wax or foods for caning.

the Canes--what are they? page ( What are they?) discusses what caning, and millefiori, actually are in the first place

OVERALL Techniques --summary

... insertions
.....cutting across a log lengthwise (completely or partway), or cutting bits out of a log's edge, or making a hole (or cutter-shaped hole) down the length inside the log ... then placing a new sheet or log of clay into the space created ...pressing all back together
...wrapped (creating bullseye patterns)
.......wrapping a sheet of clay around logs or other shapes of clay (then changing shape of log if wanted)
...spiral --aka jellyroll (can also result in bullseye patterns too if the clay used is a thin Skinner blend)
........rolling up different-colored thin sheets of clay from one end to the other
....folded...accordion-folding, or otherwise folding, layered sheets of clay which have been made into long, thin strips
...striped "loafs"... layered sheets of clay which are not made thinner
..."picture" canes (and many "complex" geometric canes) are usually made by forming different-shaped logsand slabs of clay... then combining these component pieces together much as one would put together a jigsaw puzzle (except that the puzzle pieces will be long, or thick, and the pattern is seen only at each end).

A cane of any shape (though they're usually round or rectangular) can be manipulated into another cane shape, e.g., into a leaf shape, paisley shape, flattened lozenge shape, etc. (see more in morphing canes below in Bullseye canes)

Canes may also be combined with other (different or slightly-different canes) to create multi-cane canes.
...And canes can also be combined with striped loaves, or any other random or patterned "loaf" of clay, to create a collage of patterns
. . . or some of the resulting "cane" slice may have been trimmed to feature a desired area of pattern
...Heather P's combined into one non-symmetrical "canes" are sort of examples:

complex canes (esp. "picture" canes) can be created by adding together component canes or logs, or wraps, etc ...for those, see below in Complex Canes)
.......for example, Candy's many lessons on making complex canes with the component method
(...for even more ways of creating complex canes, see also Canes-Gen > Gen Info)
(...for more ways of creating "picture canes" see Slice Painting below)

"floating" translucent canes . . . (made with slices from all translucent, or some opaque parts and some translucent, parts) can also be applied over other canes or surfaces (mokume gane, e.g.) to create a fantastic floating effect
(...see "Translucent" canes below, for much more on this technique)
(...see also "Slice Painting " flat applique technique below)

Cathy's varied. geometric cane patterns (in black, white and gray)
Kathy G's various square (geometric) canes
Amy K's lessons on making some very simple canes, then covering a frame with them
Miriam's unusual "mosaic" of woman's bust, outline filled in with thick slices of spiral canes, rolled-up noodles, and features

**many canes and unusual patterns . . .mostly created with caning by James L ehman (can't describe all these... have to see to believe). . . some fabric -like (canes all over the place!)

(see Blends for discrete and continuous blend cane techniques --Skinner Blends, City Zen Cane, etc.)
(see Canes--Gen. for all kinds of ways to use Unloved Canes)
(see Folded Canes below for folding and bending long strips of layered color to create canes)


It's a good idea to start getting familiar with caning by making a few of the basic "types" of canes.
...most all other canes you make will depend on a knowledge of the basic techniques used in these canes
...("component" type canes --which create a picture or pattern by putting various long clay shapes together into one long bundle-- can be simple, all the way up to the hardest-canes-to-do, and will generally be made up from these simpler canes anyway, so it's best to avoid those in the beginning.)

Bullseye cane...(also called a Wrapped cane because that's the basic technique used for making one)
(see many more lessons/photos below in Bullseye)
...make a short fat log of clay... roll a different color clay into a the log on the sheet near one end
...using the length of the log as a guide, trim the sheet to a strip that's only that width.. & trim one end of the strip so it's an exact right angle
......roll the fat log over the sheet, taking the strip with you, till the wrap makes one revolution... the first edge of the strip should leave a faint mark on the clay where it ends... trim off the rest of the strip just inside that mark... press seams together if necessary to butt them, then roll the cane on the work surface to smooth out the seam
...reduce the cane (by stretching and/or rolling it) till it's the diameter you want
...then cut thin or thick "slices" from either end of the cane since the pattern will run all the way through it (..the very ends of the cane may have a distorted pattern inside though, esp. for more complex canes)... let cool before slicing if using a soft clay

To make a more complex cane from this cane alone, reduce the cane a lot
.......then cut a number of same-length pieces from it ...put the lengths together side by side to make a "lace" cane (perhaps save one part of the original size cane before doing this for other uses) can also put multiple wraps around the cane using different colored sheets (only one complete wrap at a time though)
...or do all kinds of other things
(...later learn how to make a gradient "bullseye" cane by using a "Skinner blend" sheet of 2 colors, instead of 2 solid colors --which btw is actually a spiral cane that just ends up looking like a bullseye cane)

canes made with layers or "stacks"

Spiral cane (also called a Jellyroll cane)
(see many more lessons/photos below in Spiral)
...this one starts with two rectangular sheets of clay the same size, one on top of the other...roll over (or pasta machine) the stack of layers to make them into a long thin strip
...roll up the long strip of layers just like a jellyroll, beginning at one of the short sides... roll a bit to eliminate seam
(...the longer and thinner the layers before rolling up, the more revolutions the spiral will have) can also use more than 2 colors for the layers, or make some layers thicker than others, or put a very thin layer of black/etc. between each of the colored layers, etc.

Stripes cane
(see many more lessons/photos below in Striped, Stacked)
...begin with a stack of sheets of different colors (or just alternate 2 colors, etc.)... trim to make all layers the same width and length can create those layers as a "loaf" to use in certain ways, or you can make a "square" cane by reducing the stack till it's long and slender
.....use the long square cane as is ...or, for example, you could make a "basketweave pattern" by cutting the cane into 4 same-length pieces and rejoining them by turning every other one 90 degrees, like a 4-unit checkerboard (... repeat the cutting and rejoining to create a basketweave pattern with more than 4 units)

Folded cane
(see many more lessons/photos below in Folded)
...begin with at least two sheet layers... then make them into a really long and thin strip (of layers)
...fold the strip back and forth accordion-style, or around in loops, or just any way you want... then press together into a cane can also add small ropes or sheets of contrasting clay in-between the folds or inside the loops, etc, as you go

canes made with "later manipulations"

(see many more lessons/photos below in Insertion)
...make a round or a square shape of clay from a solid color (say, 1" tall and 1" wide), or use a premade cane
...using a long blade, cut down across the cane (anywhere), and separate the two parts
...put a thin sheet of clay against the surface of one of the cut sides, then put the two pieces back together (trim off the extra clay) can repeat this process as many times as you want --with different colored sheets or all the same color sheets
......could look like "plaid" cane if you wanted, or you could use the insertion technique to put a vein inside a leaf cane (bullseye cane, cut across cane or only part way, insert vein color, then shape cane as leaf)

(see many more lessons/photos below in Indention)
... use a cane you've made already --if you use a spiral cane that has lots of revolutions, you'll end up with a "chrysanthemum" cane
...use the edge of a credit card or something similar to press down into the cane, almost to the center, from the outside, and make the indentions all the way around the cane (like adding bicycle spokes or sun rays), let's say at least 6-7 times
....leave the cane with it's petal-like indentions, or roll the cane smooth
(...if you don't have a credit card, you can press down with a thin stylus, the back edge of a butter knife, etc.)

more easy cane fun

You can also take any of those canes (or a combination of them) and make a very-complex-pattern cane from it (or them) by simply reducing, cutting into same-length pieces, and rejoining them. ...The pattern will get smaller and smaller, and also there will be a more complex pattern (roll that new cane to join those cane lengths together seamlessly).
...if the cane you started with is not totally symmetrical, you can pay attention to the orientation in which you put the cane lengths from a single cane back together and then create all kinds of complex "kaleidoscope" canes and various kinds of symmetrical patterned canes (see many more lessons/photos below in Symmetry & Repetition)

Another useful thing to do with any canes is to make a "pattern sheet" from them.
(see many more lessons/photos on the page Sheets of Pattern)
...roll out a sheet of clay (plain or patterned).... cut thin slices of any of your canes and lay them on the sheet (you can wait till you've put on all the slices you want before flattening the whole thing into a pattern sheet, or you can roll in each slice separately)
(... the thinner the slices, the less they'll spread out when you flatten them into the sheet) can put these slices randomly all over the sheet, or in grids or patterns, or you can overlap them over each other (with or without the base sheet)
..use the new pattern sheet for "covering" something, or cut out a shape of it with a cookie or smaller cutter/etc. and make a pendant or use as an onlay for something else, or make clothing for little figures, etc, etc.

(see Canes-Info for tips on successful cane making techniques + slicing canes, etc.)
(see Canes-Reducing for ways to reduce canes and tips)


Logs or canes can be cut completely across (lengthwise) or partly across (from a standing or lying cane position)
...then spread apart
...then a new sheet or log or cane of clay can be inserted into the space created
...all parts then pressed back together
...can be repeated many times... or cuts can be made in diff. directions, have different things inserted, etc.)
Another form of insertion is cutting out a hole in the interior area of a cane, then putting other clay back in the hole (like an eye or mouth in a face cane or a moon in a landscape cane)... also called the "plug" method

Examples of cutting only partway across: (often used in flower petal canes-- where a log or cane is cut several times to receive stamens or radiating lines):
...turkeymama's lesson on translucent flower (with several insertions in petal )
...Dawn's lesson at PCC on inserting one tiny log into a rolled up blend sheet for a flower petal

Examples of of cutting completely across:
....Ginny 's lesson on inserting *many* random sheets of color all the way across the cane; she then combined the resulting segmented canes and ended up with a line pattern--see kaleidoscope method below)

(also see plaid cane below in Plaid & Other Fabrics)
...Joanie's lesson on inserting slices from a striped stack all the way across the cane.. also wraps the cane with them
...Martha's lesson on making a Skinner Blend bullseye cane into a more complicated form by cutting it across 3 times and inserting a layer of black

...Barbara McGuire's lesson on using a wavy blade to cut a 2x2" loaf of silver clay 5 times, then inserting a thin sandwiched black-white-black sheet between each wavy slice...she then pinches one end of the cane to create a wavy fan effectclay,1789,HGTV_3352_1399717,00.html
Pinchy's lesson on using a wavy blade to cut veins in a Skinner log before inserting for a leaf cane
Claudine's lesson on accordion folding a very long Skinner Blend...she turns the stack into the body cane for a tropical fish ...she saves a section of the stack for the tail... then she cuts the stack into 6 thick slices (so she has one color for each "slice"), then inserts sheet of black and white between each slice before rejoining
...later inserts an eye cane in a hole she creates in the stack (+ a blend-cane tail, plus fins, head, etc.)
(middle of the page) (in English) ......or

Elissa's lesson on cutting and rearranging a mosaic cane, adding a wrap color between segments, then using slices
Sunni's lesson on inserting sheets of gray into translucent to create a spider web cane
Nora Jean's & Teri's insertion of black sheets (parallel and v-shaped, partway through or all the way) in rolled Skinner blend for tiger in--lesson ...zebra and others also?
Lanin's lesson on Star of David cane by making 2 sets of 3 cuts, inserting a sheet of clay , then closing
Jennifer S's rock purse flower with insertion in petals which are then shaped (website gone)
Mia's insertion of Skinner round blend canes into layers of stripes (sheet wrapped around a pen) (pen # 5) (gone, but coming back?)
Tonja's joined segments of diff. colored flame or ikat patterns..multiple, very thin stripes with one set into the other color almost all the way across (wrong photo )
(see also Kerstin's icy snowflakes below in Kaleidoscope canes > snowflakes)

Pinchy's lesson on inserting wrapped stacks of leaf color into the top of a whole strawberry (for a cane), & her shell cane made with accordion-folded multiple blend sheet & insertions in a fan shape

It's also possible to insert metallic leaf, powders, or paint instead of clay sheets (one sheet or layer of sheets) or logs or even canes being inserted between the cuts, but don't reduce those canes because the added stuff will spread too much and be difficult to see.
...Cindy's lesson on inserting metallic leaf between cut layers of a (Skinner blend) cane (both horizontally and vertically) before slicing, so that only a thin-line grid of silver is visible in the slice
...Pamela's lesson on making a grid cane by inserting a scrap sheet (from proj.) with metallic leaf betw. layers of translucent stack (each layer beg. with a strip of translucent with leaf or foil, & alcohol inks painted on in 4 sections)

Cindy P's lesson on inserting tiny logs on each slice from a blend stack between slices of a Skinner blend plug stack, which are also staggered when reassembling (more below in Stripes)
Naamaza's lesson on inserting large, wrapped log + sheet of wrap color into a Skinner blend plug stack ...creating a dot-streaked effect for leaf cane
Cindy's insertion of thin clay sheets between cut layers of a blend cane
*Karen T's gorgeous Skinner multiple-petal flower around inserted and other center (dots) (gone, or somewhere else at

Gear cane (Pier Voulkos)
...pattern created is like a round gear, with dots just inside the outer edges of a cane (she adds a dot in the middle of the cane also).
.....Place 8 or so tiny logs of one color, onto a larger log of another color. Roll into round cane, forcing tiny logs into the larger one (or indent a small trench first)
......Wrap with another color of clay . . .. Using a toothpick or skewer, twist a hole into the middle of the log and roll the skewer until the hole enlarges some.
.....Drop a small log of another color into the hole and press, filing hole (can dust with cornstarch first)
......Roll into a (round or) square cane; cut and recombine.
...... could also use canes instead of solid-color logs ... e.g., bullseye, Skinner Blend bullseye, automatically-wrapped bullseye canes which change color (created in a clay gun), spirals or just any cane
(see also Lisa's similar effect of dots with different technique, below in Flowers)

Logs (or actual canes) can be manipulated after rolling not only with the hands, a brayer, blade, or credit card as above, but with tools which can be made (or found around the house) which would alter the shape of the log.... these could be made for specific shapes like heart canes:
Candice's lesson on making a "heart-shaping" tool

......but also to create different shapes for "indention & insertion," or to create component puzzle pieces for canes.
This would be especially useful for making multiples of a log, etc.

removal of clay, then insertion

Or logs or canes can have bits cut out of their edges, or holes (of various shapes) c ut out inside the log or cane (not touching edges)
... after that clay is removed, new clay or canes, etc., are put in the cut-out sections
...... one example in a complex cane could be f
ace canes, in which sections of blank face are cut out and removed, then filled in with eye canes or mouth canes (Faces > Plug method) or a moon in inserted into a landscape cane

for more on removing parts from the outside of a slab or cane, and filling back in with the same shape of other clay or patterned clay (creating mountains, e.g.) ...see below in "Landscape Canes" ...and also in Cutters/Blades > Blades >Bending
...some food garnishing tools might be sharp enough to make these outer cuts rather than single stroke cuts from a blade or bending a blade

--for more insertion ideas, see also below in Quilt > Collage Sheets, Flame cane, Spirals, and Ikat

Monica's quarter moon with inserted mouth cane
(in profile)
see also Claudine's and Carolyn's lessons on making fish canes this way below in Picture Canes... eye cane is inserted into body to create non-round holes which could be filled with clay or canes in the same way
(also see more on basic technique
in Faces > Plug Method )

Some silhouette-type canes ( e.g., star or heart cane) can also be made with shape cutters and insertion
(see places to buy many cutters --tiny to large-- in Cutters >Suppliers)
...lesson: ....Flatten two contrasting colors of polymer clay into wads not qute as tall as your star-shaped cookie cutter.
...Use the cutter to cut the center out of each. . . .then swap the colors of clay. You'll end up making two canes at once.
...Squared-canes are often easier to add to backgrounds, so if you want one cut the outside edges of the background color so that you have a squared-off block to reduce with a brayer (you might need to use a mold release to easily remove the clay from the cutter. If you do, be sure to remove the mold release from the clay (wash it off?) so it won't release from the other clay that you insert it into. Irene NC
...I always had a problem with stuffing the star back into the opening till I saw Donna Kato do one on Carol Duvall. She cut the background color from the end of one point to the outside and separated the opening enough to insert the star.Jean/PA
. . . small plastic cookie cutters from the $1 store. .... (I used a butterfly cutter to cut sheets of marbled scrap clay)...
I did make a good cane from the star cutter. I made 2 flat, round blocks of clay as thick as could be cut by the cutter and slightly bigger around than the cutter. One was blue, and one was red and white striped. I cut a star out of the center of each one with the cutter and wrapped the edges of the cutout in a very thin strip of black. I carefully inserted the stars back in the circles, switching them--replacing the blue cutout with the striped and vice versa. You may have to stretch the "hole" a little to fit the star back in, since it is now outlined in black. Then I very gently rolled each round block on its side until it made a longer thinner cane. Suzanne (stars in Uncle Sam earrings)



Bullseye canes are often also called "wrapped" canes because this reflects how they are created (...bullseyes are what they look like on completion)

These can be used in many ways, alone or in combination with other simple or complex cane components (and they can also be used in other ways aside from caning)
...Just as with the spiral canes and striped canes, the effects created with wrapped canes can be very sophisticated or they can be quite simple
........this will depend on color variation, placement & orientation, shape, size, porportion, combinations, whether they are cut into lengths and recombined etc.
...they can also be pressed or otherwise formed into different shaped canes (no longer round) before combining with other canes or using elsewhere (for example in making a picture cane)

BASIC lesson:
.......roll a short thick log with one color (will be center color)
.......flatten another color (outer ring color) into a sheet at least large enough to cover the log (or pasta machine a sheet of the thickness you want --use double layers if nec)
.....lay sheet on work surface and make 2 cuts ( L cut) to create 2 (perpendicular) "straight edges"
.....lay log on top of sheet (shorten or lengthen as necessary**), with one end at edge of longer cut
.... press the shortest straight edge to log a bit
.....roll log to wrap it with the sheet
........overwrap the sheet a little bit, then pull back the sheet end and you'll see a slight indention mark
........if your sheet is fairly thin, just cut on the mark
............but if your sheet is thicker, cut just before the mark --about the same distance less as the thickness of your sheet (it's better to cut it a little too short than too long)
........butt the sheet edges together and press the edges closed (the clay will stretch at bit)
do not OVERLAP the sheet ends or you will have a fatter area of clay in the wrap of your final cane)
.......cut off excess wrap clay and log clay at end (far enough that the bullseye is correct propotional size)
**the proportional thickness of log clay to wrap clay will determine the final look of the bullseye (thin vs. thick wrap)

You can wrap the cane once or many times
he wraps can be thin or thick

Bullseye canes can be used in many ways; they can be:
1. cut into 2 or more lengths (crosswise) and combined many times to form a "lacey" cane
2. cut lengthwise (in half, quarters, eights, etc.) --then possibly be recombined with themselves or other canes
....Dayle's wrapped cane cut in halves and recombined, adding white in center
....Kathy G's Skinner blend bullseye (which could be simple wrapped canes) and spiral canes cut in quarters and recombined with other canes
.....(see more on these below in Later Manipulations > Lengthwise Cuts)
.....Lisa cut 4 wedges of a Skinner blend bulllseye cane to make a striped "weave" cane for basketweare configurations
...or, cut lengthwise into long fat strips (for strip of "stripes"), or lengthwise with a wavy blade (for patterned strips or whole cane)
3. flattened or reshaped into bars, triangles, teardrops, thin sheets, wraps, etc.!
--Cynthia Toops' lesson on flattened, stacked canes (she shapes or cuts wrapped canes to form other wrapped shapes.... and her
"faux" stripes, made by stacking flattened bullseye canes on top of each other, then rolling them so the "stripes" are stretched lengthwise

--Leigh makes a leaf shaped cane from a round one
(e.g., nightshade's Balinese Filigree made with flattened Skinner Blend canes (see Blends > Other) (website gone)
...........see also Kerstin's sort-of yin-yang shapes made from a two lengths of Skinner B blend log, reshaped to nestle together (click on blue tin01)
4. indented (see above in Indenting)
5. many tiny canes can used as background elements in canes, or in areas where a visual texture is desired
.......Kellie's b&w hearts where tiny canes have have been used in a cane, then cane is cut and recombined (see Kaleidoscope and Symmetry)
.........(uniquebead's use of wrapped chopped logs as "mosaic" elements, to surround images of birds, flowers, etc.)
6. many bullseye canes of different sizes and colors (though using the same color for all wraps) can be put together to form multiple-bullseye canes, which can then be cut and/or recombined to make new canes (or slices can create sheets)
..... or various colors can be placed behind each other in a clay gun to extrude automatically wrapped canes which change color and size of wrap within the cane (see Clay Guns > Uses for dots slices)
7. many tiny bullseye canes can be wrapped up in a long stack of sheets, like a jellyroll, then manipulated or not (see Butterfly below)

Columbia Gorge guild's 3-D-ish wraps (black, gray, white)
Val's "ball," covered with two, random, yellow-wrapped logs
Kerstin's multi-wrapped Skinner logs, shaped in triangles ... and also Keith B's various canes

Melnik's multi-wrapped logs (and spiral canes), slices placed closely onto background to make a pattern sheet (she calls "version of mok.gane")
cyn clay's multi-wrapped logs using metallic clays, black, etc
Nora Jean's multiple wraps (black,beige?/transluc,orange black); 4 flattened together and wrapped again, then shaped for wings, etc.
Joanie's multiple wraps around a stack of stripes, creating a rectangular cane

various color bullseye canes (Sk.blends), each wrapped in black put together, made into a sheet of diagonal "bricks", then a shape cut out from sheet
Monica's dominoes, made with square slices from various different bullseye canes (multiple wraps) with black backgrounds, which are joined together by twos to make individual dominoes
Tonja's beads with various wrapped and multiple wrapped polkadots
Candy's multiple wraps around flower center (website gone)
*Jainnie's black wrapped with translucent bullseye slices over background clay sheet, & "spotty" beads (Little Bear) (inaccessible?)

Heather P's elegant & neutral-colored tube beads, most with fancy wrapped cane slices in diff. sizes
Cindy P's wrapped canes with indention?... joined as for lacey cane
Kg's caned bowl (click on bottom photos to see detail) (gone?)

Alan V's
beautiful stained glass bowl using alcohol-in-tinted bleached translucent clay, surrounded with silver-black wraps (with stained glass butterfly canes also)

Bunny's lesson on a "stained glass" cane ...uses 6 triangular repetitions of a pyramid of bullseye canes (each wrapped in black)
Sharon's lizard skin using wrapped canes (notice striped effect made by using two different colors of wrapped canes)
Lindly's sheets with slices of multi-wrapped Skinner blend bullseye canes
Donna W's tiny wrapped canes, in-between various layers of clay, rolled and tapered to form a realistic 3-D rainbow trout with added fins (based on Angie Scarr lesson)
Trina's lesson on making a dragonfly with spirals and bullseye cane components (website gone)
Karen's (caned) Indian corn, using Skinner Blend logs, and sculpted leaves

see below in Ikat and Kaleidoscope for Mia's "Monet cane" and it's variations using 6 colors wrapped with the same color & arranged as for Trip Around the World quilt square

Eileen L. used wrapped cane(s) to make hot air balloons (onlays)... for details and link to photo, see below in "Misc. Canes"

"eye" beads (concentric colors)... made from slices of wrapped beads... or could be made by placing progressively smaller disks of contrasting color on top of each other (not caning...stacked disks, graduated in size) (gone) (click on photo for enlargement)

automatically "wrapped" bullseye-type canes can be created by using a clay gun with more than one colorclay inside it
...... the color closest to the front (disk end) will wrap itself around the color behind it... clays can be two colors, or many colors
...after loading the "wrap" color, add one (or many) more colors behind it (jumbled or marbled) together), or you can stack discs of color together in any sequence before inserting
....round, square, or any shape discs can be used to make various shapes of wrapped logs
... the automatically wrapped logs (or slices from them) can be used in various ways
.......slices from these wrapped logs can be placed together like a mosaic
...........Carl J's mulit-colo red wrapped canes (squared cane) .... slices on Altoid tin top... and also on pendants (with gold?... more subtle)... these are similar to "faux mosaic" canes below)
...... whole wrapped logs (or slices) can be put together in a grid (randomly or in patterns) .... see much more on these "dot slice" canes in
Clay Guns > Uses
.....braid 5 of these wrapped logs (as Nan Roche did), then after baking, sand off the top areas of the braid back to reveal the colors "inside" the logs
......see more on these in Clay Guns > Uses > Automatically-wrapped... (and also see Multi-Wrapped Bullseye canes above for inspiration)

(see other ideas above in Spiral canes... and above in Indenting or Inserting)

"Lacey" canes

"Lace" or "lacey" canes are multiple lengths cut from a long bullseye cane, then re-combined into one cane
..they can be made in any colors (usually 2)
.....if translucent clay is used for the center log, and white, off-white or Pearl are used for the wrap sheet, the result after cutting and recombining will simulate real "lace" (with lots of "holes" in it)
.....other colors used for this cane usually won't look like real (Victorian-type) lace... there will simply be a colored and usually opaque "lacey effect" from the many small holes or honeycombing created

(faux real-lace)
my lace canes on a BOH... used for stopper + background under pink cane slice flowers (on left, next to b/w check)
raw clay lace cane (hard to see pattern till baked tho'... click on 3rd photo),2025,DIY_13762_2892549,00.html
(other patterns of "lace" made with transcluent and white clays ... last switchplate)
translucent logs have been tinted pink here (but for "colored lace," try tinting the wrap clay instead)
(see more possibilities for faux lace below in Translucent+Opaque Canes)

Shelley's lace cane lesson (base of 4 canes)
*Desiree's bullseye lace cane lesson (base of 6+1)... plus how to cover with slices, make a hole, necklace, e tc.

sincereleigh's lace cane lesson (base of 5+1 canes)
Modelene polymer clay's lesson on making lace cane (5 or 6), and some variations (including mirror image) and

When making regular "lace" canes, the cane can be cut into any number of lengths before recombining and repeating the process.
Shelly M's lesson:
Using a different number of lengths will result in a slightly different pattern (if reduced without too much distortion later).
If you use different colors for the different components rather than lengths of the same cane, you can get interesting designs! (pink and greenish, near bottom)
And you can also vary the way the components are combined (surrounding a center log, or lined up side by side, formed into triangles, e.g.)
You can also get interesting secondary patterns when you combine these (green and brown, near bottom) (Byrd's triangular canes made from Skinner Blend logs)

However, I once made a Nan Roche "lace cane" with black Fimo wrapped in gold Promat. A few months later I sliced up the cane and applied the slices to a bracelet. As I pressed the cane slices into the base clay of the bracelet they split along the gold lines into little pieces making them look like some kind of mysterious natural material. This bracelet is still my favorite.

All (I used) is a (bunch of different colored) lace (logs to create my cane).. But the difference is I used tiny skinner logs for it!! :-) Mia

("crackle effect" cane) ... Just made a white log, and wrapped it with gold. Streched it out, cut it into 6 or 8 equal pieces and put it all together . Lengthened it, cut it in 4 pieces, and recombined again. Basic lace cane. But then while I still have a short fat log, standing on its end, I sliced down into 4 pieces, not equal. Then I put it back together, putting what had been the outside edge, into the center, but tring not to let the solid gold edges meet. Then I covered the outside with another layer of gold and reduced it to the size I needed. Almost like Elissa's mosaic cane (which she describes here:
, but in two colors only). Lisa

???Peace Symbol cane . . . Just make a bullseye cane... Cut it in three even sections... Put them together, you'll make a pyramid of bullseyes (two on the bottom... one on top?) Then just roll them into a single round cane... perfect peace sign every time! (??) Joani

Multiple-Bullseye canes, with manipulations

Window Pane cane(Pier Voulkos' for beads on cover of Jewelry Crafts) . . . She used silver foil and a Skinner blend of translucent clays and built a window pane cane. She emphasized that you need to reduce the cane and break the foil or cane will be weak and fall apart (breaking the foil helps the cane stick together). Then thin slices of this cane is applied to an armature of aluminum foil. . . . ljmint

Elissa's lesson on cutting and rearranging a mosaic cane, then using it to cover hearts

*uniquebead's use of wrapped chopped logs, as "mosaic" elements to surround images of birds, flowers, etc.; note the variation in overall color of chopped logs for shading effects (click on each photo, then hover on enlarged photo till 4-sided arrow comes up and click on that for largest view)

"Mosaic" canes

(for making mosaics with individual flat tiles, go to Mosaics)

Faux mosaic patterns can be created with canes, rather than with small tiles laid onto a base by:
... making wrapped canes where the center logs are different colors (and poss. shades/tints/mixes of those colors), but each log color has a clay wrap of the same color as you want for the faux "grout"
........ the faux grouting wraps are often black, white, grey, but could be any color you want .. but very thin
....the wrapped-log canes are often made
into square canes to resemble square tiles, but can be any shape
........or they can be left round, then re-shaped as needed for a particular area

... reduce all canes (to 1/4" or smaller probably, but depending on what you want to do)
... these wrapped canes are then combined into a desired final pattern (...usually pictorials)
.......or they are created as sub-units, then cut and recombined into various final patterns (...usually geometrics)
(slices from the final cane will resemble a tile mosaic, or stained glass, or just something new) DB

Ttry to make the canes small in the first place or you'll end up with way too much! (because many of the canes will be used only a certain number of times in the final cane (except perhaps for any "background" tiles)

City Zen Cane was the first to introduce this technique, as far as I know... they were all geometrics, I believe
. .. there are several good examples of their mosaics in the book Creating with Polymer Clay by Steven Ford and Leslie Dierks (one on page 14 in particular, but lots more too)
DB: add Grace's mosaic slices from class

Ann S's huge faux mosaic cane before reducing... pictorial ( polymer mosaics from tiles on the side)
Xtine's many examples of caned mosaic patterns on vase
Kim Korringa's many mosaic canes combined together, then used in sections, or used as sheets from which shapes are cut (cats, people, etc.)
... she often makes a patchwork of diff. mosaic canes for the sheet (mermaid, man, woman, dog, cat)
Alan V's bowl made with various cane units of bullseye canes (many translucent for "stained glass")
Cynthia Toops' monochromatic mosaic sheet, used for covering tapered base beads for a necklace (gone)
Melnik's blue, purple and aqua examples of "mosaic" caning (website gone)

Janet Ferris' mosaics on masks (gone)
Cindy's mosaic (wrapped, square) cane components (gone...? or new website)

I made a nice letter cane using the mosaic "pixels" method taught by CityZen Cane…turned out nice!
....tip: wrap the letter itself with a sheet of background color before adding mthe rest of the background color, to avoid "chinks" in letter's edge

Skinner blend canes ...mosaic canes can also be created (in at least two ways) with Skinner blends (or discret blends)
1. (quickie way)...make a Skinner blend "plug" of whatever colors you want
......wrap the plug with your a sheet of your grout color .... reduce cane
.....cut cane into short lengths... in each length, the inside color will be approx. the same (or it may become slightly different from one end to the other), but the grout color on the outside will be the same for all lengths
2. I started with 6 Skinnd bullseye canes (one for every color of the rainbow)
....... then I made them square.... and wrapped a layer of whatever color clay to the coordinating cane to add more color (a darker shade of the same color??)
(I would have added a layer of white but didn't know i wanted white until I had everything reduced!!)
.... reduced each color cane, until I could divide each into 6- 2" lengths
.....then assembled them into any pattern I'd drawn out beforehand. (....any pattern would work!!) Mia

These wrapped-log mosaic canes could also be used for quilt block patterns (like Trip Around the World, etc or even Log Cabin)
....(see Quilt canes below , and also Quilts)

uniquebead's use of chopped colors logs (wrapped with the same color) for "mosaic" elements to surround images of birds, flowers, etc
..... note the variation in overall color of chopped logs for shading effects (click on each photo, then hover on enlarged photo till 4-sided arrow comes up and click on that for largest view)

OTHER WAYS to make mosaics with canes
..."Extruded Mosaic" technique by Nan Roche ...extrusions from a clay gun can create automatically "wrapped" log canes (which can also vary in color if you wish) ..... this results in round or square canes which have been automatically wrapped with a 2nd ("grout" color) as a bullseye cane but with a narrow wrap, and which can be sliced and placed together like a mosaic (see Clay Guns > Uses > Automatically Wrapped... and also multi-wrapped bullseye canes above, for more details)
...for Elissa's "mosaic cane" and other manipulations of multi-bullseye canes which may have been fractured and reassembled, see above in "Multiple Bullseye canes"
..another caned mosaic technique?? . . . Donna Kato has a great mosaic technique that she uses.  It was featured in one of the issues of Michael's Magazine.  She used it on an egg and it was just beautiful.  Much easier than other techniques I've tried. Dotty in CA
... the intricate mosaic designs of Pier Voulkos?? ....use noodle attachment of pasta machine?

You can also create your own pixelated images with some photoeditors (to use for mosaic patterns)
(or use cross-stitch/needlepoint or other already-pixelated patterns)
...lay your image (or even a sculpted piece) on the scanner image as a .jpg or whatever your photoeditor, choose special effects like "tile" or "mosaic" which change the image to colored squares---looks like cross stitch pattens, or stacked square logs of clay forming a cane! Sarajane
..I actually have cross-stitch software that I use regularly, and am extremely pleased with. Debbie

Feathers & "Butterfly Wing"

(see below in Stacks > Feathers for feather canes)
(...see also Sculpting-Body > Wings )

Desiree's "Butterfly Wing" bead (lesson on how the cane is made --bullseye canes, rolled up on Skinner blend sheet) endant.jpg (pendant covered with scraps from b.canes)

(looking at cut rocks -- agates, etc-- can be very inspirational for seeing natural layers of many variations)


SPIRAL, Jellyroll (add my handout)

These can be used in many ways --alone, or in combination with other simple or complex cane components
(and they can also be used in other ways aside from caning)
...Just as with the wrapped and striped canes, the effects created with apped canes can be very sophisticated, or they can be quite simple
........this will depend on color variation, placement & orientation, size, proportion, complexity, etc

BASIC LESSON ... single spiral:
... flatten 2 (or many more) colors into rectangle sheets (or thin pads) of the same size.... and stack them, trying to avoid bubbles between layers... trim to the same size
........or, cut a finished rectangle from the first sheet (which will show up as the spiral)... then roll it down onto a second sheet ...trim bottom sheet to same size
...thin one short end of the layers a bit (make bottom sheet a little longer than top sheet if you want the spiral completely surrounded by background)
...beginning at the thinned end, roll layers up toward other short end.... reduce as much as desired
...the longer the rectangle of layers, the more revolutions the spiral will have, and the thinner the lines will appear
...whichever color of the layers is on the bottom side when the strip is rolled up, will appear to be the background color (even though it's a spiral too)

Kris' lesson on making a spiral cane (with two layers)
for a two-color spiral, Donna Kato uses two thick sheets of clay atop each other, then thins the 2 layers with the pasta machine
......she also folds the layered sheet over once before rolling up the spiral from the fold end (not sure how this changes it, except that the innermost point of the spiral is then rounded... just makes rolling up easier?)

maribel's lesson (more complex) on making a multi-colored spiral cane with a multi-color Skinner blend sheet rolled up with a white sheet (more in Blends > Skinner)

LESSON: more than one spiral:
....multiple spirals can be made in one strip of layered colors (rather than just rolling the strip all the way up, into one spiral)
SOME EXAMPLES (these will usually require fairly long strips):
...lay a strip of colors down... then roll the strip up from one end, but only to the center... stop
......then roll up the other end till the 2nd spiral meets the1st spiral (or do both ends kind of at the same time to keep the spiral sizes the same)
........if both ends are rolled from the same side, the resulting cane will be a "scroll" shape
........if one end is rolled from the top side, and one from the bottom side, the spirals will form an S shape
...a long strip can be rolled up right in the middle of the strip too (just pinch up an area in the middle of the strip, and roll it toward one end --both layers of the area will be picked up in the spiral)
........if this is done at several intervals, it can a quite interesting long pattern
...add other logs or canes inside the spirals, or before changing directions... or fold the strips in various ways between the spirals

ways to use spiral canes

spiral canes (with one or more spirals) cane be used as elements of other canes
....they can be used as "filler" in a complex cane (around, or framing, the main cane elements)
....spiral canes (same color of different) can be combined together like a lace cane (see Lacey Canes above)
....four spiral canes can be placed around a center log of color, or around a different cane
............then all can be formed into a new complex cane (that's square, round, triangular, etc).
.......changing the relative size of the spiral canes to the center cane will change the look
.......Felicia surround a large Skinner blend bullseye cane with 4 spiral canes of a complementary color for extra pop (purple SB center, with light-yellow and black spirals)

whole spiral canes can be squished into other shapes before combining with other logs or canes
......(e.g., into triangles, squares, paisleys, even long very flat strips... or any shape)
...or they can be rolled flat, and or rolled up or folded, etc., before combining with other logs or canes

press two spiral canes next to each other, flattening them a bit
...... then cut lengthwise into several long slices with a wavy blade (from top if vertical canes)
...this example is cut with a mini ripple blade (purple & turquoise)
(for more, see Cutters > Blades> Wavy )

cut a spiral cane in half or in quarters (or eights, etc.). lengthwise
.......rotate the sections ... then recombine them into a square or octagonal/round cane
.. Anna's lesson on making a "spliced" cane with a spiral cane... she cuts the spiral in 8ths, somewhat unevenly... she then recombines them 4 up and 4 down (alternated), creating a chevron or zigzag pattern... reduces, then reshapes and recombines in various ways
(more on splice technique below in Later Manipulations > Cutting Lengthwise)
...or cut lengthwise into
long fat slices (for a strip of stripes), or cut lengthwise with a wavy blade (for patterned strip)

NoraJean's fish scales... using a lt green to gold Skinner blend sheet , wrapped around a center log of gold, yielding a spiral cane
.... the cane is then cut lengthwise into 4 wedges, which are nestled-stacked together (in the same orientation) in a clamshell pattern, creating a 1-2-1 pattern of wedges (top to bottom)
(this new cane can be cut into lengths and combined, repeatedly, for as large a pattern as needed)

Kathy G's thin spiral and Sk.blend bullseye canes cut in quarters ...then recombined with other canes

whole spiral canes can beplaced next to each other to form another entire shape (see LindaWTX's xmas tree) (website gone)

separate, (very thin) stacks of layers can be manipulated individually before being stacked together for rolling up .. e.g., have indentions, or insertions, --additions, etc.

any sheets or pieces can be rolled into a spiral (and used as is, or slices cut off & used)
......Mia's lesson on rolling a number of flattened, Skinner blend canes (each wrapped in black & placed next to each other) into a spiral
......Dotty's lesson on rolling and slicing spirals of translucent and other colors

spiral canes pressed into square canes
... maribel then uses various canes (or lengths from same cane) use to make a complex cane of squared spirals in a grid

complex spiral canes can also be created by tapering thick lengths of other canes at one end (striped, lacey, etc.) or random patterns in canes (marbling, etc.).... then placing tapered ends together and "rolling" up a bit... wide ends can be fanned out and pressed to fill in the whole eventual cane area.

-completed spiral canes can be indented from the outer edge, either straight toward the center or at any angle (see below in Flower Canes for canes indented radially multiple times). . . they can also be indented with a curved line if using a thin stiff needle

--other things inserted into the cane before spiraling
......Nora Jean's lesson on inserting a crosswise color into a tapered log comprised of a Skinner Blend rolled up into a log with the dark on the outside (then the log is squared), before rolling up into a snail ... which is flattened and stretched to make a cane (in several variations ammonite... using Nora Jean's bamboo cane)
Pinchy's lesson on making a spiral shell cane by inserting short crosswise strips along a Skinner plug

--other things can be rolled up inside the spiral (...lay colored ropes, or anything, on rectangle sheet before rolling it up)
........Pier's use of diff. canes laid side by side as one long sheet... flattened... tapered at one end... rolled into a spiral
...........Jean H's similar example ....(on lg. red on Detail)
......Cindy P's spiral using a long, flattened (rolled-up) Skinner sheet, with a plain black sheet (see nightshade's tecnique in Blends >Other Techniques)
....... /gallery/view?p=999&gid=549045&uid=454469 (gone)
......Simply Darling's lesson on Donna Kato's "stained glass" cane, which uses slices from a stack of sheets to roll inside a thin layer of black... also quartered and reversed around a smaller version
....... Monica's rose created by laying Skinnered or wrapped half-logs onto a base strip --flat sides down-- then rolling the strip up spiral style (so that the ends of the half-logs show) (may take a while to load?)
.......Desiree's Butterfly Wing bead lesson --bullseye canes rolled up on Skinner blend sheet) (pendant covered with scraps from b.canes)
.............I printed your directions (for the Butterfly Wing bead) and made a cane and then a bead. Mine doesn't look like yours. Mine looks more like chevron stripes. If I slice the cane instead of cutting a football shape, I get a leopard design. It also makes interesting Natasha beads. Genevieve C
~(for Desiree's black & white lentil bead made from butterfly wing cane scraps, see her Pendants page)

two layered stacks can be spiraled around each other, yin-yang-like (Elissa's tsunami cane lesson, using Skinner blend stacks)
James L's various uses of spiral canes and interesting use of tails and configurations
and his spiral of stripes, etc., spiral with chopped clay as second sheet ("background") (4 striped layers wound around each other from center...tails travel to other areas) (3 spiral canes partly rolled up seem to be placed together, with tails oriented in same direction, then all tails wrapped around all 3?) (with thick translucent layer)
Shellie Brooks, interesting spirals in collage sheet (gone)

Susan B's lesson on making a sheet of "fabric" from laying many spiral cane slices on a base sheet, then flattening ... used as clothing for a tiny wire figure

Melnik's "faux" BF?? . . . if not, could be . . .using slices of spiral canes instead of actual spiraled of ropes of clay ...
Kathy W's "faux Balinese Filigree" patterns on orange & black egg, made with flattened slices of spiral canes in BF patterns (some are doubled-ended spirals)

Donna Kato's lesson on making a spiral from an "ikat stack",1789,HGTV_3225_4357295,00.html

(beginning with the Skinner blend step at #4 --but only through pasta machine 4 times so not completely blended

Donna's lesson on making a rose & turquoise spiral in a kind of similar way,,HGTV_3352_1399750,00.html --but Figures H + I, "To Make Spiral")
Tonja's spirals

Donna Kato's lesson on "maze canes"
....she laid thick slices from Skinner Blend plugs (some lengthened) and SB canes onto a SB sheet, flattened them
... and laid them on a thin sheet of (white) clay ...then rolled both layers into a spiral ..and shaped it into a large triangle
...this was cut into 6 lengths... and combined radially ....(she also combined and cut the resulting pattern for pendants),,HGTV_3238_1390488,00.html (middle of page)

Jeanne R's lesson on making faux water or a waterfall with spiral or folded canes, be ow in "Landscape" canes

Desiree's Sparkling Moss Agate bead (lesson--translucent sheet covered with black clay speckles and areas of Sparkling Copper Pearl-Ex powder (larger flakes) ...all rolled into spiral cane(before making football cut)

I did a accidental variation (of texture sheet mokume gane) .... I had made some skinner blend jelly rolls wrapped in black (short, fat?).... I flattened into a strip to make a jellyroll cane i found on pc polyzine (which turned out very cool). So last night I, on a whim, ran one through with a texture sheet and then sliced off the tops. It was really cool. So I made a whole new cane and repeated. rosey63 (see more in Mokume Gane > Clay > Squashed Canes)

silastones created faux "bullseye cane" slices by shaving small disks of clay from of the outer surface of a multi-revolution spiral cane

Sunni's spiral cane made without a pasta machine

Cindy's Skinnered monotone spirals one direction:
...and the other direction

(see other ideas below in Bullseye canes and above in Indenting or Inserting)

Julie's simple multiple-spiral covered beads (website gone)

Tamila's spiraled stripes cane (based on Donna Kato's "inside-out stained glass" cane/lesson (website gone)
Emma's mummy beads made with stripe cane, simulating a "diagonal weave"? each stripe is laid perpendicular to the last with its end overlapping the previous stripe's end like herringbone?). . . "the Mummy Beads of mine shown on Elissa's site are made from marbled clays, but other than that made exactly the same way (as the ones I have instructions for in Jewelry Crafts) . Emma " (website gone)
Annie's thinly striped spiral made from many rolls, or long, thin stack http://hobbystage. (gone)
Elissa's very thin spiraled Skinner blend slices on heart with two wraps (website gone)
Lisa's small (in threes) and large spirals (gone)
Annie's Skinnered rainbow spirals (blend placed on black sheet and rolled up) http://hobbystage. (gone)
Trina's lesson on making a dragonfly with spirals and bullseye cane components (website gone)


Arlene Thayer's folded cane lesson (for a kaleiscope cane ...radiating segments)

Kellie AK's examples (covered Altoid tins)
Kg's beautiful draped bowls, made with folded canes (some monochromatic) (gone?)
(click on blue bowls for more detail)
nightshade's eye-popping folded cane, and other folded canes (website gone)
Ann’s folded and agate-pattern canes (website gone)
Darlene's folded?, then kaleidoscoped (x4) component (tie-dyed beads)

Lengths of two or more layers of clay can be folded (accordion-folded, pleated, or whatever) in various ways to create a cane (or individual bead, or background, etc.).
....Various things can also be added between the layers of the sheets, or between the layers of the completed wheet while folding
......for esample, plain-colored logs or wrapped (or automatically wrapped bullseye canes, Dkinner Blend bullseyes or flattened plugs, canes of any kind , sheets of various colors or with inclusions, etc.

When slices are taken from a cane made this way, lots of complexity can result
....the cane can also be cut and recombined with itself, or with combined with other canes as well).

accordion-folded strip of layers with added logs (lesson):
--Stack 2-5 or more colored (long-ish) rectangular clay sheets (the outer 2 colors of the stack will end up next to each other).
--Pasta machine or roll/pull into a really lo-ong, thin strip.
--Accordion-fold the strip, placing logs, canes, other long shapes or sheets in-between the folds
. . .or just fold it up any way you like (in a pattern or randomly).
--Shape into a square or triangular cane (or whatever), and use slices to cover items. . . or cut the cane and combine at least once before slicing.
...... (if done with a really thinned layer stack, this can resemble a fine basketweave or a butterfly wing, etc.);

(see condensed verison of many of the following suggestions in Explorations > for April 2003)

areas of folded or bent strips could be indented: receive logs (like Pier's "gear" cane below) or to receive sheets or any shapes or small canes create inward marks ...swirling lines or other shapes ("drawing" a short distance with a needle tool, e.g. as for an oak leaf or other leaves-items which have interior lines...the outer layers would be pressed inward ...and will double in thickness)

areas could have a portion cut away from the outside edge, or cut out from the inside area (with a cutter, etc.) and be replaced with something else

areas could be removed or cut away from the outside edges, and the cut edges pressed back together

logs, sheets, other canes, leafing, etc, could be placed between the folds, either where they bend or somewhere along the length of contact
... could adapt a feather cane for one possibility

Grace Yen noticed that when a strip is accordion- folded, the color of one of the outer layers from the stack will predominate on one side of the slice, and the other outer color will predominate at the other side. . . . this could be used to advantage, or at least noticed if combining with itself.

If nothing is placed between the foldings, the interior layer color will be doubled up, since it falls next to itself . . . this will create a thicker line, so keep that in mind.

If two different canes are joined to form a larger triangle cane (or square/rectangle cane), then lengths are cut and combined with each other (radially or in a grid) in the proper orientation, the result will be a new all-over pattern in which the folded cane design would be surrounded by a plainer area (see Kaleidoscope canes below).

If the color layers end up very thin from putting through the pasta machine, etc., remember you'll need to use strong contrast in your colors or they won't show up... bright colors you wouldn't think of using in a regular cane look much more muted when reduced to this degree

OTHER ideas:

brain cane ...folds are made so they resemble the folds of a brain
Kathy G's lesson on making a brain cane from a long strip of multiple-color Skinner blend on a black strip and white strip & various brain cane slices
....Carl Johengen's sort-of lesson on beautiful very-brainy cane... he makes a multiple Skinner Blend with metallic clays ... pasta machines (across the colors) into very long strip...then creates a long thin strip of white, sandwiched by 2 blacks... then he layers the two strips together (adding other strip blends or a second multiple blend on the other side of b&w?) ..... folds the strip many, many times (in every dir
ection possible)... then forms into a long cane for slicing (begins with this photo... keep clicking NEXT)
(final shot --many slices of cane)
(a similar effect can be created with metallic leaf,in a mokume gane stack.....see Mokume Gane > Other Manipulations > Folded Brain )

..use the long flattened strip of color layers to outline an object, figure, or abstract area of pattern (molas sometimes do this). . . or try to make letters (either prined or cursive)
...use folded-bent strips to fill in areas (could be stripes, accordion folds, brain folds, etc.)
...pinch the folds, creating points, rather than letting the bends be rounded
...simulate paisley or leaves, etc.
... translucent and opaque clay together in one cane... the slices will appear to float over other clay (see below in "Translucent Canes")
...crossover ideas from Faux Ivory or Faux Wood?

Valerie H's lesson on accordion-folding a long Skinner blend over only the top (and down both sides) of a solid-color log to make a "petal" cane (where the top part is a gradient)

--landscapes (caned, puzzle piece, onlay, etc.)
--take part of picture or illustration you like the colors of, select a wedge of it, and do a kaleidoscope cane
--snowflakes a la Sarajane (in Celebrations book)
--ghost image surface with mica clay (stamps, textures, pearl or metallics, layers… check file)
--mokume gane: using clay gun extrusions or taller 3-D shapes, to build a pattern or picture underneath or within the stack?
....... for example, using ropes or letter cutters to create lettering; or scenes (mountains/moon/e.g.); or graphic patterns such as rows of separated squares, concentric circles, different shapes/stripes (like African quilts)? would also be fun to combine that technique with some of the other mokume techniques like leafing/powders/paints or with mica or other inclusion clays, marbled clays, standing-on-edge folded stripes as for folded canes, etc..
...the most lovely bead!...I had a bunch of mokume gane pieces left over....smooshed" pieces together accidentally I had my pasta machine on setting #7 (thinnest)....I just sort of crumpled up ... folded (gently this time) a small piece and VOILA ... Ann P.

mica and translucent cane alone ....(I started with an egg covered in just plain black)... then I made a folded cane:
--I rolled a layer of translucent at the thickest setting - #1 on the Atlas.
--Then rolled the (Premo) gold at about a #5, just thick enough to be easy to handle.

--I smooshed or smeared the cane slices slightly as I pressed them on
(when mica clay is that thin, there is little space between the mica layers... creates variances in the gold lines, resulting in a real feeling of depth...
--bake, sand, buff --very elegant.. . . Sally (website gone)

also see NOW AT? .... (Natasha, monochromatic, swirly) (esp. the light and dark brown U-shapes) (various)

rows of many stripes could be by accordion-folding a long strip of layers, then cutting off the looped ends (leaving just the central stripe area)
...see above in Stripes and Stacks for many other possibilities . . .

many mola designs are inspirational for folded canes, spirals, stripes, outlines ! (see Onlay for a diff. way to do molas):

folding to simulate water or a waterfall . .. Jeanne R's lesson:
... rounded-corner, accordion-folded cane (, dk blue, white,,; one has a bit of spiral at the end
... oval jellyroll cane
..."breaking waves" type fold (similar to the waves of Hokusai)
.... I make weird shaped-folded canes, then often cut the cane not vertically, but diagonally and horizontally.... I run the slices through the pasta machine...(I can get the scalloped edge (on the folded ones?) that is sort of water falling.)..
... I think I remember using diluent to smear some of canes afterward to get a muted effect
...and then used interference blue powders after letting sit for a day. Jeanne R. and

Marie S's wave logs...twisted stacks of stripes of blues and greens + white... log tapered and curled up at one

use a wavy blade to cut slices from the sides of any of these canes (should be compressed to loaf shape first); on an angle could look a bit different too

Monica's Christmas tree cane (lesson). . . made by accordion-folding a long Skinner Blend strip (lighter part to the bottom), then shaping into a triangle; she then added a layer of trunk, background, and ornaments on each end (background-wrapped colored logs) underneath the triangle; she cut the resulting cane into three lengths and reduced two of them to progressively smaller sizes, then stacked them; added another triangle of background clay to create a filled-in rectangular cane, and then a strip of white "snow" underneath

someone also suggests using a heating pad (not to exceed 100 degrees F) to prewarm the clay stack or strip and make it more pliable, if it's thicker, to prevent cracking when folding

~Nine- Patch (Skinnered logs rolled out, accordion-folded, cut with wavy blade)...Karen's demo (of Marie Segal's?)... these "canes" are cut on their sides, not ends (website gone)
...In short, you take nine different color logs, stack them 3 x 3, roll them through the pasta machine, then fold them together, accordion-style, and start slicing away (with a ripple blade) to get a mokume gane-type look.
...Desiree McCrorey has a similar technique tho she braids her logs rather than stacking them, then wavy blade cuts in her article in the March 2001 issue of Polyzine Deirdre

NOT resulting in CANES:
Margaret R's squiggles of folded cane lengths used as onlay on back of a bowl
*Nora Jean's long strip of stripes, folded diagonally to form "rick rack" lesson, & photo of necklace covered with rick rack strip (for caned rick rack, see above in Stripes/Stacks)
(website gone) (bottom of page for photo)
...rick rack is made with a long thin ribbon of (long) stripes, folded onto itself creating continguous, reversed triangles
....(my sort of lesson: draw or use a straight horizontal line to guide you; lay one strip end diagonally across the horizontal line (pointing nw); fold long tail diagonally to the right and up (ne); make next fold to the southeast; continue folding diagonally to the right (ne, se, etc.), making sure each triangle point from the previous triangle is exactly met by the next triangle)
...Nora Jean prepared her initial strip using a long skinner blend of gold to pearl rolled into a jelly roll and reduced. The cane end was sliced, pressed and backed with black. Then it was sliced and stacked. (The stacked loaf was sliced and the strip was pressed and laid down in a zigzag or rick rack way...) Nora Jean

Nora Jean's pleated strip of thin stripes from a cane (but could be as with dragged lines?), but each pleat is slightly offset from the previous one vertically also

Also, Nora Jean's lessons on pleating a Skinner Blend or any length of clay pattern, etc., then wrapping horizontally around vessel forms ... some pleats are left dimensional, and some are completely flattened? (see Vessels > Pleated, and Leaf Canes, below)

There are other ways to fold and wrap strips or other shapes of clay too for canes or for origami techniques?
... suppose it would be best to use Kato's Repel Gel (or another CA debonder on the clay, or possibly a heavy powdering of cornstarch on both sides of the sheet to prevent them from bonding during firing?... or just in particular areas?)... or could origami be done with liquid clay impregnated fabric?)
...see more on clay folding and "origami" in Sheets > Other Techniques > Origami, folding

STRIPED, stacked layers

Just as with the wrapped canes and spirals, the effects created with stripes can be very sophisticated or they can be quite simple
...this will depend on color variation, placement & orientation, shape, size, porportion, etc.
...they can also be pressed or otherwise formed into different shaped canes before combining with other canes or using elsewhere

basic lesson for a stack of stripes:
...lay (2 or more) same-thickness or different-thickness sheets of clay on top of each other (...roll each down onto the next layer to prevent bubbles between the layers which can show up later)'s a good idea to cut all 4 edges at this point so that all layers extend to all edges
........this stack can be used as is
........or, to get more layers of the same pattern, cut the stack in half crosswise, then lay the one half on top of the other half (...if you haven't previously trimmed the edges, put your best edges at the same end on top of each other) ....(or see just below for making a stack of very thin layers)
........continue cutting and stacking until you have the desired number of layers.... (or you can create more layers from the beginning)

What you'll have at this point is a block (or loaf or slab) of different layers
... this "stack" will show stripes from all 4 sides, but a solid color on the top and bottom surface.

There are many ways to treat stacks or layers of clay:
....Cut thick or thin slices off this slab (usually crosswise to the stripes) to incorporate into canes (using end of slice, showing strip of rectangles)
....... or to use in other ways
....If, however, you'll want all layers to be very thin in the end result, put each half-stack or newly combined layers through the pasta machine (or use a hand roller) before making the next cut
........ very thin layer stacks are useful for things like faux-ivory, mokume gane, folded canes, etc)

...Use as sheets of pattern ...shapes can be cut from stripe sheets with cutters or blades, or bits can be cut or shaved off and onlaid to other surfaces

...stacks can be made with as few colors as you like, or many... and layers can also be gradations of color, tint, etc. (see Blends > Discrete)
...inconsistent thicknesses of layers, or varying thicknesses (if diff. thicknesses, they can be progressively thicker, etc.)
...the number of layers can be few or many .. a pasta machine can be used to thin the layers, especially for cutting into lengths and restacking for higher stacks
...stacks can be cut into canes of many shapes (square, rectangular or triangular, e.g.) , or segments cut from the stack can be used in many ways (e.g. Basketweave cane below)

Joanie's lesson on making a stack, then wrapping it with a sheet for a square cane, or making a basketweave pattern from segments (ignore photo # 5)
Kris' lesson on making a two-color stack, then taking slices (for clothing)
Judy's lesson on making a toy polymer acrobat figure from diff. baked clay pattern pieces,1789,HGTV_3237_2831708,00.htm

a stripes block (usually rectangular) can be cut crosswise (across the stripes) into stripe slices ( each a rectangle of clay stripes)
...if the slice is used on end as a component in a cane, it will create a strip of small squares or rectangles next to each other
...or an individual slice can be cut across its stripes and use as single elements for onlay, etc.
nenuphar's small strips cut from thick slice of striped stack as individual elements for onlaying onto a pin surface ?

...log wrapped with
"stripes" . . wrap a log of one color (or any cane) with a sheet of stripes cut from the above slab so that the ends of the strips show around the perimeter of the log, and the stripes run lengthwise along the outside length of the log
........(OR another way to get this effect is to lay at least 5 tiny logs of 2 other colors each around a solid log --or any cane... roll into a round log.)
...Jana uses these very small in many of her canes (sometimes with a pre-grouped set of canes)... b&w, and also less contrasting colors
Chris' lesson on a hydrangea cane uses several rows of these stripes, alternated with solid color rows, to create a petal cane
...Darlene's double layer of wide stripes wrapped around outside of cane (website gone)
...HelenClayArt's use of stripes cane sliced thin...flattened strip laid around a heart to frame it (gone)

Stacks can be used for other other techniques as well
....e.g., folded canes, faux ivory or faux wood, faux tiger eye stones,. mokume gane, etc. (see relevant pages). . .
.create stripes as larger sheets (or combine slices), then use them as sheets of pattern
..........shapes can be cut from stripe sheets of pattern with shape cutters or blades... or bits can be cut or shaved off .....and onlaid or inlaid to other surfaces

Mia's cane (grid of wrapped logs) ... squashed ...then stacked in various orientations before slicing ("Monet cane")

Cindy P's lesson on making a "dotted" stack which created with a Skinner blend plug (using insertion)
...she starts with a stack of discrete blend layers (though created from a Skinner Blend plug)
...then cuts the stack completely into slices crosswise (from the striped side)... and lays several small contrasting-color logs across each slice (short way)
...she then recombines the slices into a stack but staggers each slice up or down from the one next to it (like a zigzag) which keeps the white dots created by the inserted logs from laying in straight lines ...this stack is then forced back into a log and shaped as a leaf or petal or as needed
... for something similar, see also Susan Hyde's faux fabric techique below under Ikat > Skinner Blend Variations

lesson sort-of ikat or faux-symmetrical effect created with stack of lengths cut from a long Skinner blend strip (cut crosswise into rectanglar sheets, each piece containing an entire blend)
...then stacking the rectangle sheets, switching orientation with each layer
...ends up like a stack of stripes with a dark area running down its center (looks a bit like a symmetrical pattern or rod illusion, but isn't)... (used to make basket weave, flower petal, etc.)
(...see more on Valerie's lesson on doing this below in Ikat + her examples of using them)

Cindy P has many uses of rows of cross-cut striped canes (slices used on end) for more complex canes her rows are Skinner blends, separated by a solid color clay line (gone)

James Lehman has .many unusual patterns mostly created with caning
......including this orange & blue one, using incomplete stripes nex to each other to form a cane (then repeated) and this
......James L uses strips of stripes (crosswise or lengthwise) to combine with other canes (often repeated for sheets of pattern which can be fabric-like
James' many other uses of stripes for sheets

...Linda Sue's marbled clay (?) as one stripe .....(a solid color for the other) (gone)
...Desiree used wide slices from the side of a mokume-type stack (without balls underneath or other distortion?) to make "sea plants" (using metallic clays, Pearl Ex and bits of finely chopped black)
........this was from a collage of scraps from a cane .... I still can't figure out how I did it! .... I do know it involved 2 Skinner blend strips. Desiree
... Shellie Brooks, interesting uses of stripes and stacks in collage sheet (gone)

(see also Elissa's tsunami cane in "Spirals," above, where these slices are rolled into spirals)

Since ikat type canes are really just stacks of clay (though each layer has a pattern), see below in "Ikat" for various other possible uses of stacks

Byrd's discrete-blend stripe (see Blends >Discrete) used as an interesting framing element (website gone)

another way to use stripes by wrapping long strip of stripes around (a form or not?) to create cone shapes (Lorraine)

(see "Stacks" below for creating a faux chevron effect . . . it can also be done with multi-wrapped bullseye cane)

mokume gane... Mokume Gane ... layers of clay are essential to most mokume gane techniques (often the thinner, the better)

Desiree also used wide slices from the side of a stack of a mokume-type stripe slab (without distortion though) to make "sea plants" --she also used metallic clays, Pearl Ex and bits of finely chopped black (click on image, near bottom of page)

Many more patterns can be made by twisting stacks or plain or mica clays, and taking lengthwise slices (see Sheets of Pattern > Damascus Ladder for some of those)
...Jenny's beads from shavings of layers of twisted scraps stack (website gone)

Cynthia Toops' "faux" stripes, made by stacking flattened bullseye canes on top of each other, then rolling them so the "stripes" are stretched lengthwise


lesson for a simple basketweave (3 layers):
--Stack 3 layers of clay about 4 times as long as it is wide
--use either 3 diff.colors or 3 shades of the same color (in gradient order)... or use 2 colors, with 2 same-color layer on top and bottom + diff. color layer sandwiched between)
(....... Skinner blends make more dimensional-looking basketweave, but aren't necessary).
--Make 3 cuts across the stack, creating 4 lengths of cane.
--Stand lengths on end, and recombine so they alternate directions like a checkerboard (and create square cane).
--Then cut that cane into 4 lengths, and recombine to create more basketweave
If you use 3 diff. colors, one of the outer colors will form a + shape, if properly re-combined
.... canes can be wrapped before combining at any stage, or combined with other canes, etc.

Joanie's lesson on making a simple multi-layer basketweave, with two (alternating) colors
...she makes a square stack of a number of layers... trims to square up sides
...cuts stack into quarters (from a sngle-color side), then rearranges to a "checkerboard" pattern
(she also then wraps the basketweave cane with a solid color contrasting sheet of clay, and also makes a "striped" border for single slices with another stack) (ignore photo # 5)

lesson…on simple basketweave with 3 values of the same color (light beige and dark warm brown clay)
.....create at least 3 colors by mixing the light and dark together
....roll each color to the same thickness, and stack the sheets;
...cut in half and turn one stack upside down; lay one stack on top of the other so that the two light sheets are together; cut square canes from this stack—same height as width—and reduce; if you have 4 canes, stack them together like a checkerboard, alternating directions of the slices; if you have only 2 canes, lay them together alternating, and cut this larger cane in two lengths and place ½ under the other; reduce that cane; cut in four lengths and assemble together; continue if you want a larger cane.) (Elizabeth)

Melody has a lesson on making a zigzag pattern with a stack (rather than a checkerboard "basketweave) (hers from a discrete blend though)

any canes (with a layered-striped or outlined square appearance) can be placed in a basketweave orientation to create a more complex cane
. . . e.g., Mia's use of an ikat cane in a basketweave pattern

Lisa's lesson on making stripey canes from 4 wedges of a Skinner blend bulllseye cane to make a striped "weave" cane
...she puts these canes together basketweave style for many types of "woven-looking" patterns

..Mia's lesson on a making a basketweave cane with 6 colors of Skinner blend canes (rainbow colors)
..each color is blended with white, then rolled up into a "bullseye" cane so white is in center of each
....she flattens each cane by putting through pasta machine on thickest setting... then stacks the flat canes
(...she then adds a thick black wrap around the stack before cutting & recombining, creating a dark division between all units when later combined.. not necessary)
....cuts the cane in 4 lengths, and recombines in checkerboard orientation
..Emi Fukushima's similar basketweave cane with 4 flattened layers of Skinner-blended "bullseye" canes...monochrome colors
......she creates her SB cane with 4 colors (white, peach, brown, black), then rolls up with dark on outside (creating a black "wrap")
......she reduces cane, then flattens... cuts into 2 lengths, then into 4 lengths each (total of 8)
......stacks 4 on top of each other to make 2 stacks... combines stack one next to stack two but perpendicular... cuts in 2 lengths and recombines like chckerboard,,HGTV_3238_1378944,00.html

Jana's lesson on a ribbon-like basketweave cane made with Skinner blend sideways curved-rod-illusion canes plus
......she makes a Skinner blend plug (by accordion-folding a long thin strip of blend)
......then adds a thin white layer and thin black layer to the 2 opposite sides of her plug (on long, blend sides... not solid-color sides)
......cuts the new cane into 2 lengths, and recombines them together light side to light side
......cuts into lengths and recombines in sort-of grid pattern, alternating vertical with horizontal orientations (like checkerboard), but leaving spaces between the units
......spaces between units on outside of pattern will be filled in with background-color cane lengths, but interior spaces will be closed by gently compressing the units together ...
...Twila's example of ribbon-like baskweave

...or use a discrete blend to create a one-directional weave (website gone)

(see below in "Ikat" for another way to simulate a basket weave)

graduated stacks --("curved rod" optical illusion)

These canes are graduate in value and/or color, and look like a very 3-D curved rod (CityZenCane developed these long ago) create the same effect nowadays, a "Skinner Blend" is usually used instead, because it's easier
......CZC's original technique gives a crisper color change though

Byrd's long skinny rod illusions (3-D, curved rod optical illusion effect) made with 3 discrete layers of one color to white and....
Byrd's 5 discrete layers... done with different colored canes
Petra's pin by CZC with 3-D, curved rod optical illusion effect another cane http://www.zigzag(gone)
(for more, and photos, see Blends > Discrete)

What they did was to create 5-10 layers (stacked sheets) of one colorand white, which graduated from a dark layer to a very light layer...then from light back to dark....(since the lightest layer ran down the center of the stack, the stack appeared "highlighted," and therefore rounded rather than flat --an optical illusion)
....... they also sometimes used two analogous colors for the gradation, as in the green-to-blue stripe seen on page 121 (of Creating With Polymer Clay).

lesson: To try your hand at this technique, take a color you want to graduate and pull off a bit of it to use as the last layer--but leave it in a ball for now. Now mix a tiny amount of your color with a large amt. of white --this will be your first layer. Depending on how many layers you want, begin mixing larger and larger proportions of your color with white to create the in-between colors. Work on each color gradation until it steps as evenly as possible from dark to light.
....When you are satisfied, roll each ball into a sheet and stack them from dark to light. Cutting square logs from this stack will give you something to create a larger complex cane with.
The canes can be combined in many different ways . . . just play. (If you want to create the dark-light-dark effect which creates a 3-D tubular look, place two graduated canes together with their light sides touching). CZC used very thin stripes of black to separate canes sometimes(?).

...make a Skinner blend sheet with a color and white (or color and color) ... then make it very thin and long
...... accordion-fold the blend sheet into a tall, narrow stack
......after compressing the accordion folds together, you'll have a cane (or a "Skinner blend plug)" that graduates from light to dark. Diane B
(example of accordion-folding a SB plug
...Shane's curved rod cane (using Skinner blend), which is cut and reassembled in a 2x3 grouping, on an egg

...Jana mades a sideways curved rod cane:
........she adds a thin white layer and thin black layer to the 2 opposite sides of her accordion-folded Skinner blend plug (long, blend sides... not solid-color sides)
....... then cuts the new cane into 2 lengths and recombines them together, light side to light side
when this cane is cut into lengths and recombined to make a "basketweave" cane, the b & w layers cause the units to separate visually into "ribbons" (more details above in Basketweave)
...I use a Skinner blend, but I add my accent stripes going crosswise to the skinner blend, rather then parallel with it....a different effect.
.......also I compress the skinner block at both ends, so that it tapers where it darkens, giving the illusion of depth. Elissa (gone)

bargello -columns of stacks, offset
(a quilting & needlepoint pattern)

Basically this is the quilting & needlepoint technique called "bargello," but done in clay.

(The general techniques for creating the colors, stacks, and slices -- then offsetting them-- are basically the same for canes as for bargello done as onlaid strips, so see also Onlay > Bargello for more ideas and photos on creating the colors and making the patterns (plus inspiration from quilting and needlepoint patterns
Some links from that Onlay page:
...*Elizabeth's bargello lesson...
... photo examples ...


.... (click on all pages, top right)
hundreds of bargello patterns --
simple to complex (Google search) )

Offset rows of logs or canes will look like bargello if similar colors are stair-stepped --up or down, left or right

lesson: ....make a number of logs or canes of the same diameter (solid color logs, bullseye, or Skinnered bullseye canes, etc, etc..) them together to make a row ....cut across all the logs to create many lengths (at least 3)
....reassemble these segments by staggering one color (either up or down),
looking at developing pattern from ends of canes
...continue offsetting (again either up or down) till you have a pattern you like.
....The resulting pattern can then be cut into lengths again and added to the first to form repeat of the pattern.
Other (non-plain) canes can be used as above as long as the colors and patterns have some contrast to the ones next to them... using small patterns, e.g., may look like (different) fabrics.

Naamaza's lesson on making bargello canes from long Skinner blends
...+ sev. good examples of cane put together into larger patterns (on page 6, near bottom) (gone?)

beadizzygrl's lesson on making a bargello cane from 3 colors, then making symmetrical pattern
--she pre-cuts the layers with a rectangle cutter to make stacks more easily)
--the 2 series of graduated colors (blue & purple) were also mixed by hand (keep clicking on Back in upper right slide show to see all)
...mix 5 blues + 5 purples by adding progressively more white to each one (colors sh. graduate evenly from light to dark)
...roll out each blue and each purple color with pasta machine, then cut out 2 rectangles of each (why 2?)
...make a stack with one rectangle of each purple, then add 1 rectangle of pure white (at light-purple end)
........make a stack with blues in the same way (adding 1 white)
(...mark white top of each stack with a Marxit tool to create even guidelines at
every 3mm)
....using guidelines, slice each stack into 13 slices (need at least 11 slices for her pattern)... trim each if necessary
....(cane will be built with slices standing up on their ends on their gradient sides)
....for the upside-down-V pattern: place one blue slice under one purple slice so they form one line --beg. with dark purple, ending with white (under light blue), this will be the center of the V 2 rows (to right and left) will be the same purple-blue slices, but staggered up one color segment
....continue adding rows on left and right (4 more on each side), staggering down one color segment create a rectangular block from this upside-down-V shape block, cut the lower part of the block off (6 bottom rows, dark purple) with a long blade, and then nest that unit on top of the blue unit
...compress block and reduce into a long square cane
... cut cane into two lengths ....(to make cane into a symmetrical pattern rather than plain bargello) rejoin the lengths so that the light purple sides are touching (creates a rectangular cane with 2 concentric colors --light purple center, blue, dark purple outer)

Lori’s squashes canes to make bargello-like slices
.....lesson: Flatten any cane (as much as you want), then cut slices to use in staggered rows, or any other pattern or bargello pattern (website gone)

lots of bargello variety from MHPCG
Mia's use of Skinner logs cane to make bargello and other quilt patterns
Tonja's bargellos (onlaid & cane?)

Miracle's covered Altoid lid with discrete color stacks, simple symmetrical bargello pattern
Tamila's "stair-step" cane based on Charles Mayer's demo (Trip Around the World, solid color logs) (website gone)
Carol's Skinner blend bargello... top layer strips (monochrome) cut to reveal bottom layer (polychrome) (gone)

diagonal layers of stripes

Chevron canes (zig-zag patttern)
(these are not the same as "chevron beads" ...see Beads...or the same as the "dragged chevron effect" caused by dragging a stylus or hair pick lightly down the surface of a sheet of stripes, then pasta machining to remove grooves--see Beginners,Kids> Misc.)
These are caned zigzag stripes.
--Create a stack of even layers in two (or more) colors
(--they can be the same thickness or not, depending on the result you want)
--Place the stack face up (so you see the stripes).
--Cut a series of slices downward which are *exactly the same width* ... and cut them *diagonally* (the stronger the angle, the greater the height of the zigzag will be); there will be a triangular-shaped waste piece at each end
--Remove every other slice and turn it over; replace it (check both sides for match).
--This will result in a cane which has a zigzag top and bottom --these zigzag tips can be cut off to create a rectangular log.
--Use as is, or reduce.

Donna Kato's lesson on covering a PVC pipe "reducer" piece with polymer sheet, and the bottom, then covering with a cut-and-reassembled striped stack cane to form a zigzag (chevron) pattern on a candle holder,2045,DIY_15079_2499010,00.html
Desiree's lesson on making a chevron cane component to use in her version of a chevron bead
Helene G's interlocking chevron pattern on beads
NoraJean's sharply angled (leaf shape) chevron cane... made from a stack of thick black, then thin pink, pearly blue, faded purple, lime green, dark purple

If you want a chevron slice (for a background, e.g.), you can also cut a slice from your stack before deciding how steep an angle to cut.. this will give you the opportunity to create other steepnesses from the same stack.

Sunni's lesson on making an easy chevron cane by cutting logs (of different colors laid side by side) diagonally across them, then repositioning one set to form a V, and cutting off excess to form a rectangle; she notes that the steeper the diagonal-type cut, the steeper the resulting chevron

(DB: add) my Seminole chevron sample
vest showing many strips of Seminole patterns (the purple and the blue and yellow ones are zig-zag effects) (some Seminole patterns)

Seminole and other type repeating patterns for inspiration Strips In Stock

(diagonal stripes...more combinations than simple chevron-zigzag)

If diagonally striped canes are oriented differently than they are for chevron canes, you can get many different patterns, many of which can be found in quilting patterns (patchwork):,2045,DIY_15079_2504794,00.html
...Barbara Sperling"'s caned "rick rack"; this time the lengthwise and crosswise components are butted when joining the diagonal cut cane pieces, which does not yield a chevron (same as the quilting pattern ...sort-of lesson:
7 layers of discrete blend stacks (very dark to very light), separated by thin (or one set is thicker) black layers; stacks cut into triangles (similar to pyramid, isosceles?, with stripes going horizontally); the two block colors are joined into diamond shape (a parallelogram) with stripes oriented more or less perpendicularly (one block's darkest stripe is at tip, the other at one side of join);... recombine in long strip

Cindy P's 4 lengths of a diagonal stripes cane, combined together in an orienation which creates an on-point square

Slavik Jablan's example of using a diagonal block of stripes, repeated in various overall orientations

CZC's Deco cane (a bit complicated, but ... very fancy and impressive!)
...lesson. . . they made two stacks, each containing 14 layers and two contrasting colors (e.g, black and white, and blue and ecru) ...each layer in each stack alternated by progressive thickness as well (#1 to #7 on pasta machine) ... in other words, one stack might move from thickest blue to thinnest ecru, and progress to thinnest blue and thickest ecru ...they then cut 3, long, 1/4" or thicker slices from both stacks, and layed them in one stack of 6 layers (stripes going lengthwise) alternating the colors and the (light-dark) orientations . . .(this unit can be cut into lengths and recombined many ways, or)...the unit can be elongated if nec. to form a rectangle, then stood on end and cut on diagonal and recombined, joining what was the top to what was the bottom , creating a parallelogram... then right angled triangle can be cut off of the parallelogram, and used it to fill in the other side of the cane to form another rectangle (the stripes of the original canes will all be parallel, but they will now be diagonal across the rectangular cane, and the colors mixed up a bit so they can now be combined at an angle like the chevron canes...(reduce), cut in half, recombine, and repeat " until the pattern is as small as you want.
...see similar use of diagonal cutting to make non-striped canes below in Geometric canes (CZC's Zipper and New Quilt canes)

feather canes (various)

The history of the "feather cane" is communal: Tom Jeffrey was initially inspired to create this cane after viewing art created by Linda Gertsch (December 1998 issue of Jewelry Crafts magazine), then Susan Bradshaw taught it to the South Bay Polymer Clay Guild. Jean Sheppard and others then made their own changes. (author?)

(These canes would also make good "leaf" canes or "wing" canes.)

Susan Bradshaw's original lesson on more complex scrap-canes feather cane lesson + variations:
. . . lengths from a long ribbon of stacked colors are offset over each other in a stack on the work surface.... (cane is made as a half... reduce, then cut in half, and rejoin mirror image to make complete cane)
...(or?) offset lengths of very long, pasta machined cane ribbon (several colors, several Skinner Blend strips made into plugs then ribbons, or several unloved canes squashed on a base layer) ...with black sheet added to sides, plus a center spine

........variations: some of the feather canes have little logs or canes added in-between the stacks, which create "spots" in the finished pattern ... some have center veins/spines (attached to only the portion where the stacks end, or all the way to the top of the feather) made from one or more thin sheets or even a larger cane too
.....other feather and "peacock" canes made by students in Susan's class

Jean Sheppard's lessons, & variations on Susan's feather cane (...she also reverses the direction of some of the dark to lights, & adds a "center vein" strip composed of one of the stack lengths plus a solid pink strip (...step 21 refers only to reducing the half cane... steps 23-23 refer only to cutting and rejoining the half cane)
......lesson by Jean ...
......Jean's 2 "peacock" feather variations ....

on feather cane, by Dora (no center vein)
lesson on feather cane, by Michele/luny (center vein)

lesson on feather cane with mixed bits of scrap clay inside the black wraps (gold clay + black wrap center vein), by Robin

Kerstin's various beautiful variations on feather canes! (click on Canes on left ... look in rest of site too?)

Donna Kato's pink feather cane (used for slice painting) (bottom left of page)
Donna Kato's feather cane showing the elements, by Kathy G (....stacks of dark-outlined sections with center vein added (these are mixed shades/tints of one color) (gone)
....this Kato feather by vlady (Sandie W.) uses 3 shades of one color, but they each shade is grouped together (light at bottom--some Skinnered-- dark at top) (gone)

MORE feather-type canes

a Shrinemont cane similar to feather cane in construction, but using a multiple-color, Skinner Blend jellyroll, wrapped in gold, reduced very long small and squashed to form long rounded rectangles, cut into short lengths (of various colors), which are then placed around each other in 3 layers ... (creating one half of the cane)... cut cane in half and join to make complete cane (photos 39-53)

Jody's crushed helix (squashed ikat) sheets (the results look like peacock feathers to me...Dotty)

Teri's fine-grain feather-ish flattened pattern made by manipulating an unloved Kaleidoscope cane (could use any cane) (like Crushed Ikat technique)...flattened and pasta machined for long flat snake, cut lengths crosswise and stacked them (maybe 6-8?) to make a cane; took thin slices and laid next to each other to form a sheet .... Teri's peacock feather "eyes" (gone)

Nora Jean's various feather lessons|
...owl-type feathers technique lesson (could use stripe stack instead?) and copper and silver Skinner bullseye cane(truncated slightly), wrapped and pressed into various random shapes, before being put together (in the shape of a wing) ...canes look overlapping... like owl feathers)

Nora Jean's leaf-looking feather canes, overlapped and used for angel
's wings
Kellie's feather cane used as dragonfly wings ---no vein, 3 sections of very thin, long stacks (which variation of the technique?)

(see butterfly wing canes made with bullseye canes, above in Wrapped canes)

(see also Leaves below since feather canes could be variations of leaf canes)

other ways to use stacks

James' thin stripes created with Skinner Blends & marbled
...thinly striped stack, w/ 1 solid color + 1 Skinnered color (Jan's instruc at

Donna W's tiny wrapped canes, in-between various layers of stacked clay, rolled and tapered to form a realistic 3-D rainbow trout with added fins (based on Angie Scarr lesson)

Marie Segal's lesson on creating translucent blend stacks, by inserting thin ropes of color somewhat-diagonally into a translucent sheet

James' very fancy stacks (sheet formed over bowl) ...

(could also lay slices of squashed multiple canes in a bargello pattern (see Onlay > Bargello)

alternating strips of discrete blends
..Dotty Calabrese showed our guild a cane similar to CZC's idea of alternating the colors and orientations of segments cut from stacks cutting long slices from 2 different discrete-blend stacks, wrapping each unit very thinly with black before alternating the logs by color and by orientation (so, in my example, the oranges are all dark-side out while the blue logs are dark-side in) --sort of a flame effect if not reduced well <g>
....Iris' lesson on creating the same result, using Skinner blend plugs (she calls hers a "zipper" cane --not same as CZC's zipper cane)
...more on alternating strips of blend canes in Blends > Discrete Blends

temari balls ... see Mosaics > Micro Mosaics for simulating these geometric Japanese balls in clay ... var. ways, including stripe canes
(here are some real ones: ... )

(see also Quilt below for Seminole patterns, which are like fancy, multiple sort-of chevrons)
(see also Folded Layers just below for Nora Jean's rickrack, etc.)

(see also Mokume Gane for some very generalizable ideas!)
(looking at cut rocks -- agates, etc-- can be very inspirational for seeing natural stripes of many variations)

Kitchen Y-peelers work well for taking very thin slices (from the top of a striped loaf and from other things too)...pull toward yourself like a cheese plane. I have the "micro-finely serrated" Y peeler ... (number 5602)...when I tried it on clay, the serrated blade left tiny little ridges on each slice...they wouldn't matter if you just want to put them through the pasta machine or funky little stacks of colors, or they could be highlighted with metallic powders, etc. . . . The ordinary, non-serrated Y-peelers which can be purchased at grocery stores, etc., wouldn't leave those little ridges and would be great for stacks but don't know if they're strong enough or have starp enough blades...will have to try one; might want to make the handle sturdier. Diane B.

IKAT + "Flame ikat"
(pattern of partially interleaved, tapered stripes.....used as canes or sheet...more complicated))

This interleaving effect** of 2 or more colors at the center of a stack (which can be turned into a cane) can be done in several ways... some ways result in a more discrete and pronounced flame effect (make with offset layers in a stack), where some result in a hazier "ikat" pattern (made by repeated passes through a pasta machine).
(** as if the fingers of both hands brought together and inserted between each other, so that all fingers still show)

(....ikat canes are similar in appearance to "Flame" canes below made with wedges of canes, but the individual "flames" of these canes are much thinner and not created the same way.)
(see also below in Crushed Ikat for a cane which begins with a checkerboard cane instead, to create a shortcut ikat pattern)
(lessons may be confused re technique involved and in wrong places)

layers which are offset when being stacked
(no repeated passes in pasta machine ... more like "flame"...not "original "ikat" technique)

Although it's not the "original" ikat like that made by CitizenCane, a more flame-like ikat can also be made from offset stacks of Skinner blend layers ...(see Blends > Continuous for how to make Skinner blends)
...ikat patterns can be created in various ways, and will look a bit different

Angie S's lesson makes a monochrome (green and white) Skinner Blend
...squishes it into a "plug" cane ......pasta machines into a long ribbon
....cuts lengths from the ribbon (which she forgets to mention)
... then stacks the lengths with each color falling on same side, but offsetting each layer so it extends past the previous layer
(then uses slices to make miniature leek leaves)
(see Miniatures if lesson gone)

Donna Kato's lesson on using a 2-color SB plug for making veins in leaf and petal canes
....note that after step 7, the clay loaf must be turned onto its edge before reducing it to 1/4" and putting through pasta machine (which creates a long ribbon with each color running lengthwise)
....she cuts this ribbon in two equal lengths... stacks one on top of the other offsetting it a bit lengthwise (same color at each end)
... then she cuts and restacks that unit 4 more times to create the offset stack of layers (Photo I)
... she then shapes into a round (petal) cane, or a teardrop-shaped (leaf) cane (Photo J),,HGTV_3239_1388163,00.html

DVD by Donna Kato which includes making ikat... Tips Tricks and Techniques in Polymer Clay

Valerie's lesson on using "3 color" Skinner blend ribbon, with lighest color in center
...a long thin Skinner blend plug (med-light-dark) is cut into sections (across the stripes so each segment shows all 3 colors)
..she makes two diff. stacks from these segments:
1....segments stacked offset (all lights in same orientation, but every other section is offset so that the light end is free)
........ (when reduced, this cane will have ikat in the middle, but plain light section on one end and plain dark area on the other end)
2....segments are stacked exactly on top of each other, but in opposite orientations
........ (when reduced, this cane will have ikat only, from end to end of cane)
...these two canes can then be used alone, or combined in various ways ....(faux weave, petals, etc.)

(see Lisa's lesson on making a flame cane with a single color down center using wedges from a Skinner blend bullseye cane, below in Wedges, under Other Symmetrical Canes)

Kathleen Amt's multi-color ikat cane--she used a 5-color Skinner blend (in 9 "triangular" strips (some colors were repeated in thinner strips)
......order of colors: black-red-white-thin red-copper-thin gold-white-thin red-white
--she sent the sheet through the pasta machine 8 -10 times only, just to the point where the blend is streaky, not fully blended.
--she cut the sheet into four equal lengths...then stacked them, offsetting the colors a bit, while looking at the cross-section
--then she cut that stack in half, stacked again.... then repeated that cut/stackone more time
. . . it turned out so extraordinarily beautiful....appeared in Bead & Button magazine #25, June 1998, "Fan-Book Pendant." Marcella

Marla's lesson on using 3 colors (monochrome = dark, med, light) for pansy petals (cane) ..not really a Skinner blend
...however, she only overlaps the cut sections of each color a bit (which creates the interleaved areas) rather than layering most of each small sheet on top of the previous one (light in center)
...... she also tapers each end of the small sheets with her fingers before laying (leaving a sort of scallopped edge on each)
...after pressing the stack into a flat-ish plug, she cuts the plug into sections, and stacks those atop each other... then adds extra clay on the light end so the ikat falls close to one end (the bottom of the "petal")... (for rest of lesson on making into pansy cane, see Canes-Instr. > Flowers)

after stacking the layers, each end of the stack will taper to create squared ends, more solid color can be added at each end... or the middle of the stack can be stretched longer

(see also below in Wedges for Gina's lesson on making a "flame" type cane with quarter-wedges of multiple-wrapped )

hazier ikat
(repeated passes in pasta machine --orig. method)

(this was the original technique called "ikat")
...With this method, the interleaved pattern is seen only on the thin cross-section of each repeatedly pasta machined sheet that sheet must be cut into many small strips... each strip will be turned on its side before being joined to other strips to make a sheet of ikat

CityZenCane...originator of the basic technique (ikat canes & others)
Steven Ford showed us his ikat technique, as described in Creating With Polymer Clay
--Create a sheet by laying strips of alternanting colors (each strip about 1" wide) next to each other
...... then use brayer to join strips together into a sheet
--Fold this sheet of strips over once top to bottom so the stripes are perpendicular to the fold line.
--Send it thru the pasta machine at the widest setting, fold first.
......Repeat folding and pasta machining the same way (maybe 5 times altogether or up to 15) .
......(but here's the trick: When you're folding the stripes, don't line the colors up exactly, "be casual" as Steve says. (the offsetting is what creates the eventual ikat effect)
......CZC says waste and distortion are inevitable , but keep to a minimum by not reincoporating the badly distorted ends of the sheet back into the main pattern area in pasta machining. maching)
--after the last pass through, cut sheet in half the long way .....and stack (again slightly offset) to make a taller unit)
--NOW...look at the end of the "cane" ... the cross section is the where the ikat design is being formed
--Cut lengths .....and stack them atop each other to create the final cane

--use this cane as is (...can also cut and recombine into canes such as chevron, checkerboard, or other patterns)
--or make sheets of pattern by joining slices from this cane (like making faux ivory)

Kim Korringa suggests not putting colors right next to each other which when blended slightly will create browns, or "toned down colors" (unless that's what you want).... for example, red next to yellow will create orange in the blended area, but red next to a green will create a brownish color

Irene's ikats (as individual tiles) ... bargello-ed (olive and brown) (red) ...sort of bargello-ed

*Jenny P's beautiful, Indian (Navajo?)-like, bargello-ed ikat (regular ikat or crushed ikat tech nique, or just bargello?) ...multi

(now at ?)

Heather's ikat slices covering a bottle (hover cursor over Black and Silver Ikat bottle) (gone?)

Kim Korringa's lesson on making a 6 color ikat pattern (...she uses this ikat cane for dragonfly wings)
... long triangular-wedge-shaped flat sheets of each color are laid next to each other to create Skinner blend
(is this an ikat, like CZC?... if so, missing some steps)
.......she puts through pasta machine 5 times ...(for this blend, she then covers the blended sheet with ultra-fine glitter)
...cuts long sheet lengthwise into 4 narrow strips, and stacks
...WINGS: she then shapes the stack like a dragonfly wing (and lengthens (some?)
... cuts into 2 equal lengths and lightly stacks ...then presses together at one end to create a double-wing unit (the two wings at the other end will stay slightly separated)
...(she then dusts the edges of the wings with Pearl Ex)
...takes one thick slice from this cane unit for each side of the dragonfly (4 wings total)... and adds body with beads on wire

dots & streaks of other colors added into ikat pattern

Susan Hyde's "faux fabric" technique (as demoed by Kim Korringa):
Kim's lesson on using ikat stack for dragonfly wings (no added "worms")

. . a multiple Skinner Blend (at least 4 colors, sheet about 6x9" for a good sized cane) is used, but the folded sheet is run through the pasta machine only 3-4 times in the first step (this results in a less fuzzy, more streaky, look to the interleaved colors than the traditional ikat cane-- when viewed from the side of the sheet);
...sometimes a thin sheet of white or black is added , or "worms" of white clay (or other colors made with the linguini attachment of a pasta machine, or simply thin strips cut from a cornstarched sheet of clay) are placed on the sheet before:
...running through the pasta machine (3 more times, or maybe more).
...The finished blend sheet is then cut in half lengthwise which yields two different color runs; length is stacked on the other;
...then the resulting stacked sheet can be cut in half across the stripes and re-stacked as many times as wanted to make a cane;
...Slices are always taken from the side of the rectangular cane.
.. The sheets and layers can be stacked together in many different orders --symmetrical, repeating rows, etc.... so it may be a good idea not to press them together too firmly until a final decision is made
...bright primary and secondary colors can be used for a Guatemalan fabric look ...or any colors at all can be used (pastels, neutrals, similar colors, non-similar, etc.)... a lot can be done to break up the colors and create more interest with the colors as decisions are made about the stacking order & orientation
... the white or other worms will cause the fabric to look more hand-woven or as if some of the colors have been crocked off, etc. . . . as if there are dots or dashes of other colors running with the grain
...Premo works well for this
... the cane is not usually reduced, though it could be

Susan Hyde's clay figure with clay dress and turban made from her faux fabric technque

...a kind of plaid can be simulated by cutting the face of the cane block across the rows, then flipped and alternated
......then the whole cane is turned sideways to look best?
...bargello could be created by using offsetting these lengths when recombining
......see Cindy P's lesson above in Stripes on staggering slices of Skinner plug slices with tiny white logs for dotted stack
...cuts can be made diagonally and the pieces reassembled to form chevron canes
...slices off the cane can be run through the pasta machine to enlarge the rows, perhaps on a backing sheet
...any other long, flat "rows" of pattern could be inserted between the layers (e.g., checkerboard or light-dark isosceles triangles, other thin stripes, marbled, squashed spirals or truncated squashed bullseye canes, any canes, etc.... these can result in just two repeated "stripes" or multi-layers)
......when two rows with horizontal line patterns are separated by one row with a vertical line pattern, these can look like crazy lips and teeth
...a slab cut from the face of the cane can be backed with a thin sheet of one or more colors, then rolled up (from the first row to the last) into a very interesting jelly roll cane (see Pier's and other similar ones in Spirals above)
...... these jellyrolls can also be used as very interesting eye canes, or eye slices onlaid on a mask ...depending on how they are oriented, "eyelids" can show up, a white glint can appear in the "pupil" area, etc. use in a basketweave pattern, cut square slabs from (one or more colored) Skinner slightly-blended, stacked, sheets, then recombine them in at least two rows, alternating the direction of the stripes like a checkerboard (see "Basketweave" on this page)
..since these are basically a striped-stack (loaf) cane, many of the techniques used with stripes or stacks should work with this also (see above in "Striped, Stacks")

Donna Kato's lesson on making a "faux fabric" effect
... she used uneven white strips on her unblended Skinner blend sheet

...then rolled up the sheet ... compressed roll to make a short, fat cylindrical plug ...flattened the plug sideways to 1/8"
...put through pasta machine to make a long narrow strip...cut in half and stacked... cut and stacked again again and stacking
......then cut again but flipped one half over before stacking (always maintaining the alternation of stripes)
... a thin slice is cut, then placed on a large clay cabochon, and trimmed... then other clay sheets are added puzzle style, etc.,,HGTV_3352_1399750,00.html
Tonja's faux fabric (and spirals)

Tonja's joined segments of diff. colored flame or ikat patterns.. multiple, very thin stripes in 5 or so sets of colors . . looks like each set was probably stacked with a thick sheet of black inbetween, then cuts were made across the rows, and various non-matching segments were set next to each other a little offset (not arranged in pattern like bargello) (wrong URL)
Desiree's version with a checkerboard layer (bright reds, blues)

Emi Fukushima's lesson on making a random-stripes ikat-y cane with small "linguini" extrusions made with her pasta machine (black + her trimmed-off blend sheet colors)
....make 4-color Skinner blend sheet ...thin to # 5 sheet
....randomly lay wormy extrusions on one half of the long sheet (either end)...fold the blank half over wormy half
... run through pasta machine... cut in half, stack and flatten with rolling pin (to keep thickneses)
... repeat cutting-stacking-flattening till you like it
..WINGS: shape into long cane, tapered on each end... cut 5 slices ...create a base sheet of #5 of black clay... place one long slice on sheet for body... trim one end of each remaining slice... press flat end of each to body? for 4 wings (perpendicular) ...trim off excess black sheet with craft knife?... bake,,HGTV_3088_1389680,00.html

CZC used a long strip of this pattern to coil around (pinch vessel)... by not stacking the second time and using the long strips of ikat end to end

Crushed/squashed ikat (checkerboard shortcut )

Donna Kato (lesson): --You start by making a checkerboard cane (see above) with 2 colors you pick out.
--Starting with opposite corners of the checkerboard cane, press them together to flatten the cane to a slab.
--Run this slab lengthwise thru the pasta machine on the #1 setting (or brayer it to about 1/8 th to 1/4 of an inch). You will have a long strip of clay with long stripes in it.
(--to check what the pattern looks like so far, fold the long strip in half and then in half again, then cut a small slice off the folded end . . . if you want more spikes, then run it thru the pasta machine again (or brayer it again). Proceed as before and fold in half and then half again.)
--When you have a pattern you like, cut the folded slab in half and stack the two pieces, with the long rough sides on opposite sides of the cane. (Press in the rough sides with a brayer.) Then start to reduce this long square cane. Donna

I made some cool "hair" for my caned face from a cane I made with Donna's squashed ikat technique. Trina

ikat lesson using checkerboard cane of blue and white; she cuts and stacks twice and trims the ragged edges;
...then she uses the canes themselves in a 4-cane basketweave pattern ( rather than making a sheet from them )
Mia's lesson on her Monet pattern (using rainbow, translucent-tinted colors wrapped with white for a 6x6 "multi-colored checkerboard"), but folded and stacked (3 times) (can use less clay....hers makes a lot!)
Krista's Donna-Kato-inspired squashed ikat canes shaped into triangles before combining into another cane

...or use the squashed to make Kerstin's iris-eye cane (many tiny, uneven spokes radiating to outside)
based on the ikat lesson from Mia Rox above,
but modified so that the 4x4 grid is made with 4 gradations of a single color, rather than Mia's two-color checkerboard, then squashed so that the light colors run through the middle, dark at each end; lengths are cut and stacked; Kerstin shapes into a triangular log, then then she cuts lengths again and recombines radially around a triangular center log;
...I haven't done Kerstin's eye cane (see Sculpting Body Parts/Eyes), but was experimenting with a crushed ikat a while ago, and got similar results. But then there is something more vibrant about Kerstin's version that I really like! Evalie

For a different effect, you can also crush the cane in the opposite direction. clayfulmingles

the squashed grid of Skinner blend jelly roll logs can also be used to make mokume gane
...Jennypat's beautiful hidden magic beads are made this way, using a squashed layer sandwiched with black layers before stamping and shaving (see details in Mokume Gane > Clay

?...Debbie A's zigzag/woven effect with discrete blend stack (see Blends) or ikat?? (cane is made with lt-ctr stack or ikat or diagonal, smaller dk-ctr diagonal triangle on either side to form square; squares laid next to each other?)
(website gone)

(see Cutters,Blades/Wavy Blade for Jody B's "Ripple Ikat" sheet technique (using a ripple blade,and starting with either clay scraps on a base sheet, or clay extrusions from a Clay Gun)

Skinner Blend plug squashed ikat

Donna Kato has a lesson making a sheet from several slices of her squashed ikat cane --this one has large zigzag effect (from a Skinner Blend "plug")... (she uses large slices from it to cover a large, scrap bead shape, to make a pendant)
...she begins with a partially-blended Skinner Blend (of several colors), making a "plug" by rolling up the partial blend sheet (one color at one end, one at the other) and then compressing into a short fat log; she then rolls the plug to a long thin sheet of "stripes," then slices and stacks them before cutting slices and applying --the ikat pattern happens because the blend delineations of each layer never happen at exactly the same place,,HGTV_3268_1393295,00.html
...(see above in Flame cane for a similar effect, not made the same way)


Sculpey & Polyform (checks lesson)
Juli's checkerboard lesson
Tamila's lesson using a clay gun (square disk)
Jan R's checkerboard lesson (using Marxit and stacked layers)
's checkerboard used as a wrap (website gone)

I've seen great checkerboards from using the Kemper clay gun (the square disk).

Another way to get precise checkerboards is to use a ruler, or tool like the Marxit (designed by Donna Kato). The Marxit has ridges (at different intervals on each side), and you can press it into the clay to find where to cut it for checkerboards (or Ikat, bargello designs, etc). I also use it when I want to cut tube beads to the same length.

Another method - Diana Crick makes square rods of acrylic that are 1/4" or 1/2" square....
....cut a free-form log of clay... put it between the acrylic rods (press them toward the clay log)...slice along the top
.... turn 90 degrees... put this between the rods and slice off the top again. (this way you get very precise 1/4" rods) (lesson) (purchase)
...Or use something you've made or found instead
...or have acrylic rods or tubes like these cut to a suitable length at a plastics store.

Mia suggests using the wide end teeth of a comb to mark the equidistant cutting lines on each color sheet. (since the canes need to be exactly square, the initial sheet of clay must be the same height as the spaces between the teeth).

If any of your clay is fresh or soft, it's probably too soft to make a "sharp" cane. You might try (leaching it ...see Canes/General)...The clay will be a lot firmer when you work with it. Jaynemarie

Quick and dirty checkerboards can be made from logs of clay. Roll two colors of clay into logs (the more consistent the diameter of the logs all along their length and between the colors, the better the checkerboard will work out--a clay gun can be used also). Cut the logs into 5 lengths for the simplest checkerboard (3x3), then stack them in a checkerboard pattern alternating colors, and reduce. The more carefully and evenly you lay these together and reduce them, the better the points of the individual squares will connect. If you want a larger expanse of checkerboard, you'll need to create a 4x4 squares pattern (or any multiple of 2) so that the end colors will be correct for combining with itself after being cut --one end may have to be reversed. (These may be just fine for very reduced canes as well as slightly reduced ones, even if they don't turn out as well as you'd like.) DB



Making indentions will force the outer clay inward toward the center of the cane, dragging a line of outer-wrap color(s) with it.

Indentions can be made in a particular layer or layers of a canes as they are created
...or more commonly, indentions can be made into the whole cane afterward

Various fairly stiff TOOLS can be used to make the indentions (...the thicker the tool used, the thicker the lines created)
CZC originally just used the dull side of their long blade keep an old blade around
.......some people use the side of a credit card, butter knife, or a wood ruler or something even thicker for more pronounced effects
....some use the side of needle tool
... try also using thicker or thinner stiff objects as tools (stiff pin or wire --may have to hold with both hands... or letter opener, sheet of metal, etc.)

Especially if using a tool that's round or has a small-diameter, after indenting it into the cane part way, you should be table to make some "turns" with the tool as well? (if the clay is soft enough and the cane large enough), creating lines that go in different directions (if doing this, pull the tool straight out at diff. points rather than trying to backtrack)

The most common canes used for indention are bullseyes and spirals, but any cane could be indented
......stacks, for example
..using a Skinner blend version of a bullseye/spiral cane, or a discrete blend cane, can give a lot more pop and is often used.

Canes can also be changed in shape before indenting or after indenting.

(Could create special effects in mica clays too?)

Lisa's lesson on making a simple leaf cane (which could also be a heart cane)
...indents a bullseye cane (gold log, wrapped with thin layer of silver, wrapped with thicker black layer) just once (more than halfway through the cane)
...presses the gap together, creating an interior line ..."stem"
...then forms cane into a basic leaf shape, with leaf's tip opposite the stem end,,HGTV_3239_1397691,00.html

Nora Jean indents a white log, then places a fat log of yellow in the indention
...closes the white mostly around the yellow ..shapes this into a petal cane (with spot of yellow at bottom)
... then uses slices from it for 3-D plumeria flowers


Elissa's uses a credit card to indent around the outsides of a spiral cane (created with a a long strip of layers ...often one layer is translucent --see below in Translucent canes to make "chrysanthemum" canes

simple bullseye cane
....make indentations regularly, or just here and there, along the length of single or muliple-wrapped bullseye canes (or Skinner blend ones)
....... DB, find some examples

Sue Heaser used two kinds of indention to create faux agate in her Techniques book:
..... first she created a sort of tall "vase" shape with a large stack of layers, then " inserted" a large rod of center color into it (closing the "vase" clay around it --now becomes a round cane) .... reduced
......then indented the outside of the resulting cane with a butter knife to create all the concentric indented agate layers

Lee Radkte indented some individual layers of a multi-layer cane irregularly, many times (some shallow, some deeper --she calls the irregular shallow indentions "distressing" the cane)
....she started with an old cane as her center (multiple small flowers)
....then added a number of plain and chunky-grainy wraps which were irregular in thickness, indenting some of them
... she indented deeply around the outside of the final cane before taking her slices ...very organic looking

I was inspired to create my own version of a "flame" cane using indention into a multiple-wrapped (bullseye) cane
......... it works great, and I also use non-flame colors for interesting effects
(lesson)... I laid 3 different-colored Skinner blends in a stack (red->orange, blue->white, yellow-> white)
...folded (the stack) in half... and rolled into a round cane
...then pressed into with a wooden ruler to indent (indenting only the 2 outmost layers).
...shaped the
indented stack into a flame shape (gone)
(she also used to make leaf cane --only outermost layer, barely indented) Cindy

variation on way to make brain canes?, or parts of them (see Folded > Brain)

Kim Korringa used the back of her blade to create indentions in the outer portions of her flattened bullseye cane segments, which had been overlapped around a central spiral cane to create a rose cane (see "Flower Canes" below for my rose cane based on hers)

Emma makes symmetrical patterns with her indentions
...she forms a multiple-wrapped bullseye cane into a squared bullseye cane
...indents all 4 sides about one-third of the way through (one at a time), trying to make each set of indentions between previous indentions on other sides)... (first one side, then opposite side, then other 2 sides)
...cuts the log lengthwise... then cuts each of those halves in half (also lengthwise)
...places the 4 pieces back together so their center points become the outer corner points (like a regular Natasha bead --see Beads > Symmetrical--4-symmetry, which creates a diff. symmetrical pattern on all 4 sides)
(gives a
"feathery"....look like lengthwise waveform patterns, or like spiked stripes)
(could also just make one cut for one symmetrical pattern)

Sarajane indented a triangle cane ("stack" of 3 colors)
...then filled with small ropes of background color, to create faux "petals"
Jean Sheppard indents cane to allow space for background color to create an "indention" in part of her peacock feather cane (step 7)
Kim's lips cane, top indented to allow space for rope of background skin color
to fill in +
shell cane made by indenting scallops into layers before adding background clay or more wraps

Leigh's lesson shows the indention of a pumpkin cane (flattened, curved bullseye cane segments) to make room for a stem cane at top (step 32-->)

my guild's co-pres. indented some swirled bicones to make them into flowers, and scalloped shells
....she put Skinner blend cane slices around the edge of a large black flat bicone... when she swirled it, spiraled "flames" were created.... she then indented the areas between the colored flame sections. Lisa

...clay sheets (single or multiple)
...clay logs (
Pier's "gear" cane adding small logs which simulated holey-ness; she also added
......or clay canes

...Pier also added paints and/or metallic powders ...metallic leaf (thinner ones won't show up much though)

some indented or inserted "patterns" in nature (rock slices)

lengthwise cuts

Round canes can be cut lengthwise (as opposed to being "sliced" crosswise) to make other canes
...... one or more parts of the cane can be rotated in some way before recombining the parts, or recombining with other canes
Common canes used for this are bullseye canes and spiral canes (sometimes Skinner blends), as well as unloved canes, though any could be used
...If the pieces are joined to each other (without adding a new wrap around the new cane), a secondary pattern will also be created.
(this section overlaps a bit with info below under Other Geometric Canes > Wedges,Spliced Canes)

some possibiliites:

...Dayle cut a bullseye cane in half crosswise first....then cut each length in half lengthwise (= 4 halves)
......recombined the pieces around a white log, so that each cut edge was facing outward (creating a square cane, which has elements in cross shape, and wraps forming an X)
...Donna Kato's lesson for pansy & leaf canes using Sk.blend bullseye cane cut in 4 halves
.....3 halves laid against ea other... then cut and rejoined mirror image (for details+link, see Leaf Canes below)

You can cut one cane in half lengthwise... then cut each half in half lengthwise again (= 4 pieces)
.... turn each piece 180 degrees before rejoining them (resulting in a square cane --its corners formed by the points of the wedges)
.....a small log or cane can be added in the center to fill the space left by the curved sides of the cane cane sheet made with a green & white Skinner blend bullseye cane, cut into 4 long wedges
......rotated & placed around small spiral cane (creating a square cane, with wedges in corners, rather than sides as above) cane had border added with 4 squashed bullseye canes before joining (prevents secondary pattern tho') (green bottle, middle pg.)
....Kim's 4 blue cane wedges around a face cane (distorts the round face to a square though!, and makes it tilted)

...Kathy's G's lesson on making several simple canes (including a thin spiral, and Skinner blend bullseye)
.......cuts some in lengthwise quarters... then recombines pieces with other canes into a more complex geometric cane
.......(this final cane also ends up symmetrical, but was built element by element rather than building one unit which is cut into lengths and repeated)

...NoraJean's fish scale clamshell made by using a Skinner blend bullseye cane, wrapped with gold
.... cane cut lengthwise into 4 wedges... then stacked-smooshed together into a triangular cane (light ends pointing mostly up) cane can be cut into lengths, and combined repeatedly for as large a pattern as needed

(also see Wedges below)

EIGHTHS or more
...Valerie H's lesson on cutting 2 (smooth) Skinner blend bullseye canes (dark to light + light to dark) into 8 wedges each
.......uses 5 pieces from light to dark cane to make a 5-pt star (around another small cane)
...... then fills in background with 5 dk to lt wedges (opposite orientation) + halves of remaining 6 wedges (2 leftover halves) for the final cane

Anna's lesson on making a "spliced" cane with a spiral cane... she cuts the spiral in 8ths, somewhat unevenly... she then recombines them 4 up and 4 down (alternated), creating a chevron or zigzag pattern... reduces, then reshapes and recombines in various ways

OR... canes can be lengthwise into other other shapes (thick slabs, with a wavy blade, etc.) ... then recombined in various ways, or with other canes/logs

(for info on on cutting single-color logs in quarters, then combining them in rows or various ways to make "spliced" canes, see below in Wedges under Other Geometric Canes)

(....thick, lengthwise slices of a cane
can also be laid side by side to make sheets of pattern rather than another cane:
... e.g., these long slices can be cut from stacks of layered colors for making striated faux ivory or faux wood ...or twisted after stacking (and made somewhat round) for things like the Damascus Ladder pattern, etc.... see Sheets > Damascus Ladder)

slice painting w/ canes

This technique involves placing very thin slices from one or more canes onto a clay base, one at a time --then rolling them into the surface to create a "picture" or pattern with a completely flat surface
....(as opposed to the dimensional-type "onlay" methods in Onlay)

similar to "flat" applique in sewing & quilting
....a technique in which individual parts of an image --made of fabric in those cases-- are added one at a time and sewn down, sometimes overlapping, to create a full design)

....see below in Flowers > Slice Painting for a complete lesson and many examples of this technique ( create flowers & leaves, etc. )

This technique could be used to make:
.... single multi-part items which can be broken down into multiple, identical parts
......... e.g, petals of a flower, scales on a fish, wallpaper ...(uses slices from one cane)
....single whole items... e.g., star, leaf ...(uses slices from one cane)
... single details or embellishments used only once... e.g., a moon, mountain, face, piece of clothing, etc. (each from separate cane)

....when placed on a backing, the component slices could overlap, or fit together like puzzle pieces or mosaics, to create the image or pattern

The image created with this technique could be a realistic one (landscape, vignette, "painting," etc.)
.... or it could be strictly a pattern or graphic (squiggles, dots, shapes, mandalas, tessellations?, etc.)

NOTE: for this technique to work well:
....slices need to be cut very very thin !
....... I actually used a free hand technique --like slicing a banana in your hand
....canes will usually need to be reduced very small (unless making something reallly large)... make them slightly smaller than you want in the finished image because will spread just a bit
...each non-overlapping layer of added slices will need to be rolled over separately with a roller (in various directions), orpossibly in the hands, to embed them before beginning to lay on more slices
....begin with slices which will back backmost in the finished image (other slices will overlap them)... like clothes over body, flowers over leaves, outside flower petals which will be overlapped with smaller petals as next interior row in multiple layer flowers, sun over clouds, etc.)
....because the slices are so thin, it's best to place them on a light colored background
........or to use an opaque clay (or mix in a bit of white, which is usually an opaque clay, into the other clays
........or use a pearl-based clay, which seems to be more opaque than most clays- not surprising, with all that mica in there... .I used pastel coloured pearl clays for the petals (I don't think the slices were all that thick ) Alan

canes may need to be reduced to various sizes to create an accurate image
.... perspective can make items smaller as they recede into the background, e.g ..... or plants may have smaller leaves or petals with the newest growth, etc.

create additional embellishments or designs on sheets, or on cutout shapes, or even on individual cane slices
... create details on something like windows/shrubs on a house
.........faces/heads: hair, clothing (whole areas like collars/hats/shoes or just embellishments on them, pockets, etc., accessories)
............ or even lips/eyes/etc. on a face or a jack 'o lantern, e.g. (or Mr. Potato Heads?)
......embellish other sheets (of mokume gane, blends, mica effects, faux ivory, etc.)

...... the results can be so elegant, especially placed on a Skinner blend background. Robin

...make landscapes with clouds/trees/rocks , or other scenes
...translucent canes (floating canes).....and invisible (mica shift) canes .... are similar in that they need to be very thin, and are added later

...faux cloisonne is exactly what i thought of too! ... particularly if you wrap the canes in a thin layer of gold! Jean

On a purchased card (with flowers printed on it), I used the slice painting method to add dimensional flower petal slices over the drawing after coating with white glue... time, I might use a sheet of glass over the card image for my guidelines for placing the slices... bake them on the glass... then remove and glue onto the original card. DB

see mandala designs in Onlay > Uses
.............. and other inspiration for potential flat applique techniques on that page
.......(any bas relief things might yield ideas too ... see Sculpting-gen > Bas Relief)

SYMMETRY & Repetition with canes


A more complex pattern can be easily created from a simpler pattern by using symmetry and/or repetition with a cane or several canes's just one example of a cane which gets repeated this way: (look only at final cane at bottom of page) (here it's been reduced and repeated several times, and also in another color combo)
...(notice how different the pattern will look when different colors are used for the same cane! ...different parts of the merged pattern will take over or predominate colorwise and some will be played down)
.... see also Jenny P's switchplates and Bunny's stained glass canes below for more examples

....little skill is usually required to do this ...and they're great fun to do! a lot of effect for very little work

The basic idea** is that any cane pattern can be repeated by:
......cutting a cane into a number of equal lengths
......then combining those lengths to make one new cane
.........cane lengths can then be combined into rows or in grids... or radially around a central point
.........cane lengths can be combined in the same orientation, or mirror image (reflected), or for square canes rotated clockwise or counterclockwise
his process can be repeated as many times as desired --cutting and recombining... cutting and recombining)
.... but each time it's done, the pattern of the resulting cane will become smaller and more more complex-looking

(**or a symmetrical cane could always be built element by element, with no cutting and recominbing, like Kathy G's complex can below in Other Geometric Canes)

EXAMPLE-lesson is shown at the bottom of this page by Martha Aleo (after she builds a square cane)
... she combines the square cane in a 2x2 grid:
ORIENTATION possibilities for the grid are also shown: her first example, she's placed the same corner of each cane so that it faces the center her second example, she's placed the same corner of each cane so that it faces the outer corners
...she's then also repeated this process by lengthening "reducing" the cane of the 4-unit cane, then cutting that into 4 equal lengths
... those 4 legnths are combined into an even more complex cane
...... (note how small the pattern is becoming because the canes were reduced each time before combining)
(these lengths could also be combined in other ways though)

a few short canes or thick slices can be used in these ways to create single clay items (e.g., a pendant or a box lid)
....... (good way to use up scraps, or cane ends... or to make multiple combinations)
lesson: place whatevever scrap logs and/or canes you have together as one unit
.....squeeze the unit into a triangle or square cane shape
.....cut into 2 or more lengths ...and combine the lengths radially or in a grid ....(repeat if desired) smooth the joined edges if needed, rub over those areas which is covered with a sheet of parchment or paper with a finger, or pat on it .....reshape if necessary.
.......PöRRö's "mirror cut" pendants, using two different sets of symmetrical slices from scrap clay logs to create one design... she adds a frame around the pendant for hanging also
Jan's "mirror image bargello shell" hearts (2 repetitions, Natasha-type) from snail shapes lo.htm

The categories below will be divided into:
....triangular canes
........square canes (where the canes end up square)
........triangular kaleidoscope canes ("pizza slices"...where canes end up triangular)


gen info. & definitions

...2 triangular canes (2 right-angle isosceles, or 3 tall isosceles--alternated) can be joined to make a square cane... these can be used alone or placed into grids to make more complex canes (or other shaped canes can be squeezed into square canes, etc)
...triangular canes (equilateral or isosceles) can be placed in radial symmetry around a central point (like slices in a pizza) so all same points will face the center...these are often called kaleidoscope canes because they resemble the images inside real kaleidoscopes... some lengths will have to be flipped to create certain patterns in the final cane
...any triangular canes can also be placed singly in rows, columns or grids (less commonly)... some triangles will have to be flipped to stay in straight-line patterns

There may be overlap in the following categories.

simple ROWS or colums of triangular canes

Jean S's triangular cane shown here in a row pattern, alternating orientations (..& also in a radial patter --3 variations)

making SQUARE canes
by combining triangular canes symmetrically

Two right-angle isosceles triangular canes can be combined to make a square cane (on their hypotenuses)
... then that square cane can be cut into 4 lengths and placed in a 2x2 grid "radially" to create a final square cane

a square cane can be created in several ways:
... build a square cane (see basic lesson just below)
... squeeze any cane or cane combo, into a square shape
...create one from two triangle canes (2 right-angle isosceles, or 3 tall alternated isosceles)

BASIC LESSON on BULIDING a square cane
(same link as above, but top of page)
.....Martha Aleo begins with a Skinner blend bullseye cane (tho' looks like a discrete blend in photos)
.....cuts across cane 3 times, then inserts a layer of black in between each cut (presses cane back together)
.....adds other canes (simple ones) around the outside *symmetrically* in this case (one on each side of main bullseye)
.... fills in areas (with more simple canes) until the whole cane is square


(in Martha's lesson just above)
....she then cuts that cane into 4 equal lengths, and presses them together in a grid to form a 4-unit cane the bottom of the page, she has then combined 4 of her square canes together in two ways
..........then has then combined 4 of those canes, creating a much smaller, more complex pattern

...(her cane also happens to be a mirror image from corner to corner --doing it as one piece makes adding the large dot at the corner easier since it doesn't have to be made from two triangles
as with triangular canes, square canes can be symmetrical in themselves, or not)

Kris R begins with a right-angle isosceles triangle cane (...not equilateral as stated since are right-angle)
...she first cuts 2 lengths of it and combines them on the long side symmetrically (creating another triangular cane)
...then cuts 2 of those lengths and combines them symmetrically on a short side (creating a square cane)
...then cuts 4 lengths of that square cane and combintes them in a radial grid (same corner of each toward center) for a final square cane (combination log, reflected then rotated)

Bunny's lesson on making an equilateral triangle cane ("stained glass" pattern), then cutting and combining 2 lengths into a square cane, and 4 lengths into a 2x2 radial grid (plus combining radially) (lesson gone, but will return?)

Jenny P's kaleidoscoped switchplate designs

many square canes from Shriver class, which began as a triangle cane (8 repetitions in a 2x2 grid)

Lee R's examples of 2 possible patterns which could result from using one square cane repeated 4 times in a 2x2 grid
... first combination is symmetrical, second combination is not symmetrical

btw, creating a final cane from 4 lengths of a square cane will result in a square cane
--technically, these would be rotated, but still only two at a time can be reflected
---square canes, like any others, can be "translated" at any point --that is repeated in rows/columns or other places

(Natasha beads and joined thick slices of scrap clay logs are examples of combining two faces of a clay log to create symmetry, but are created in a different way than the other symmetrical patterns here.... and because they aren't made from canes in the way discussed here, no further combinations are possible
for lessons and examples of those, see Beads > Symmetrical Pattern Beads, Natashas, etc.)

by combining triangular canes radially

The basic idea for making a kaleidoscope cane is to first create a patterned cane (any kind)
..... then form the cane into into a triangle --equilateral (all sides same length) or isosceles (two sides equal)
........or squeeze the cane into a triangle... or just build the cane in a triangle shape to begin with
.... cut the cane into equal lengths
.... recombine those lengths with each other radially (around a center point --like slices of a pie or pizza)
(... roll to round cane, or leave as faceted --hexagonal, octagonal, e.g.... or shape any other way desired

The very first kaleidoscope cane and technique for making it that I was aware of was Donna Kato's (not the simplest tho')... she does them differently now
... her way of creating the original cane yielded a finely-lined (spidery), many-many-spoked cane pattern which was a very specific ordering of many tiny ropes of different colors which were added on the sides of a tall, isosceles triangle log (equal on two sides) as a base ...each layer of tiny logs was covered with a diff. color sheet on the two sides....the log was then cut into lengths, and recombined many times

most kaleidoscope canes are now made more like these:

Carolyn's lesson on making an isosceles triangle cane from various simple canes (and one slab of stripes), then cutting into 6 lengths and recombining
...also shows 3 different patterns that can be achieved by recombining in different ways (bottom of page)

Donna Kato's lesson on building a round cane which she squeezes into a triangular cane:
...... (the round cane is actually a jellyroll cane ... she laid thick slices from Skinner Blend plugs (some lengthened) + some SB bullseye canes onto a white sheet, then rolled them all into a spiral
then she shaped the resulting cane into a triangle

... cuts it into 3 lengths and recombines... then cuts that in 2 lengths and combines to create a radial pattern (she leaves the cane hexagonal)
....she also makes a sheet of these slices from which she cuts individual pendant shapes... (she calls them "crazy maze canes"),1789,HGTV_3238_1390488,00.html

Judy Belcher's lesson (+ probably online video lesson) at HGTV on making a b&w equilateral triangle cane from various canes: 3 Skinner blend jellyrolls of different degrees of blend (diff. beginning lengths)...cuts the final cane into 6 lengths and combines radially... then cuts a thick slice, places on a black clay disc to thicken, then wraps the fat slice with a strip of vertical striped clay (Kaleidoscope Pendant, CDS-1858),1789,HGTV_3225_4360246,00.html (4 pages)
... in another lesson (now gone) she also uses 2 mirrors to audition various combinations
(see below in Kaleidoscope Inspiration for using mirrors or mylar as preview tools for possible combinations)

Bunny's lesson on making an equilateral triangle cane ("stained glass" pattern), then cutting and combining 6 lengths radially into a hexagonal cane (plus combining other ways) (lessons gone, but may return?)

Judy Belcher's text lesson and on b&w kaleiscope cane with various canes (mostly text)
... she cuts 3 lengths of the final cane and joins loosely, then uses this half cane on top of a mirror to audition the placement before cutting the cane in half and joining for a complete cane ("Tesselated Pendant")

Gina's lesson on making 2 kaleidoscope canes from 6 lengths of a triangular cane of analagous colors she'd made from various wrapped bullseye canes (whole, and cut lengthwise in halves or quarters or fat strip from center)

Dora's lesson on kaleidoscope geometric canes starting with Skinner blend bullseye canes cut into lengthwise wedges & halves, then recombined

Dora's lesson on Skinner blend bullseye canes pressed into flat-ish bars, then stacked... cut diagonally, then each diagonally again to get 8 quarter-square triangles with "stripe" pattern (some going parallel to long edge, some going perpendicular)... rejoined in various ways (photo at top also shows other kaleidoscope or row canes made with other canes)

Jean S's triangular cane shown here used in two ways --as a radial kaleidoscope pattern + in a row pattern
IrishRed's various kaleidoscope cane patterns (one is square)

various kinds of kaleidoscope canes from PCC's 1997 swap (some have tiny round cane in center of pizza slices)
Kerstin's various kaleidoscope canes (+ other canes) (click on "Canes" & various other categories)
Barbara's various intricate kaleidoscope canes (middle of pg.)
Esther's beaded kaleidoscope cab ...basic triangular component is wrapped (light purple, then dark purple) so it's easy to see the 6 repetitions & the 6 further repetitions of those as well (Beaded Cab + variation in orientation in Another Combo)
*Karen T's kaleidoscoped rock purses (6...some diamond shaped) (some orig. canes by Byrd, but arranged by Karen)
Caroyn's regular and also her many-segment kaleidoscope canes (mostly on last pages, mixed in with flower and other canes)

Kg's caned bowls, based on spider web cane from Sue Heaser (triangle of 4 increasing-log rows of different colored logs, black-wrapped, kaleidocoped to make 6) (gone) (click on bottom photos to see detail)
*Kim's (huge) component for kaleidoscope cane --4 and 6 triangular repetitions (she uses a mirror to audition the repetitions) (website gone)
*Byrd's Skinner kaleidoscope caned egg (2) (5 triangles, some back to back; 2 triangles to fill in on sides) (website gone) (website gone)
Annie's black-wrapped bullseye canes made into complex canes for kaleidoscope effect (onlaid or cane-element centers) (website gone)

Sarah Shriver does many very complex kaleidoscope canes:.
....the two main kinds of canes Sarah's well known for are both intricate looking and rely on precise cutting and rejoining of component parts.
.......her older intricate kaleidoscope canes were made by recombining lengths of many canes (some reshaped) or just certain cut-out parts of (already made or old) complex canes (see fish below)... many using Skinner blends ... can also be combined non-radially
.....for her newer triangular-weave kaleidoscope canes (over-under illusion) she recombines 3 equilateral triangles** (half-diamonds) into a larger triangle (much as quilters do), but then adds a small triangle as a center for each unit ...each unit also surrounded on combined sides with thin layer of black as visual divider
...Sarah now has a video of these techniques (Intricate Kaleidoscope Caning with Sarah Shriver)
(order from Sarah for $29.95 + $4.00 shipping (phone with a credit card number & address, or mail a check contact info: )
...many of her canes use Skinner blends ...some simple, some more complex from stacking layers of different blends or closely related blends, sometimes reversing direction
... she advises staying away from complementary colors (red & green, e.g.) because they tend to combine visually and create muddy colors
....she advises using a strongly contrasting color/value the for centers between the triangles though to get the strongest illusion
...don't use any clay but the stiffest because this cane gets a LOT of handling, and is very squishable - so unless you want to have to wait several hours between steps, use the stiff stuff. I tried Sculpey III, Premo, and some other combinations, but the best results came from Kato clay. Karen H.
........Sarah suggests a stiff clay like Fimo clay, but Premo or Kato work well too if they are kept cool on cool gel packs or in insulated lunchbox with coldpack (and possibly leached) ...let set up before reducing or slicing. Patty B.
....I often make the initial canes triangular because of the mirroring potential. Sarah
...saving various stages of your cane allows its use in post cane manipulation (reshaping, etc.), tweaking of the design, and making a demo board for the process. Sarah
...the biggest difference between my students and me is that I'm willing to move a lot slower. . . I build so much detail into the original cane. . . I have the confidence to move slow because I trust the process. Sarah
Sarah's kaleidoscope cane jewelry (components from a fish cane)
(look for the fish's eye in these complex canes) (3 galleries of Sarah's stuff at Sunni's site)
Helen P's Shriver designs
students' "simpler" canes and cane elements from Shriver classes
I usually make one large (8lb-ish, 4-5" dia.) cane ... then I cut it up into different areas so that one area features one color group and maybe another will have a different feeling. Sarah
Trina's demo using Shriver canes and cane elements (as examples of caning properties of 3 clays)

...article in Polyzine using stacked Skinner Blend sheets & "tweaked" for being hard to reduce, I don't think hard is the right word - just awkward - I find it easiest to reduce square or round canes.. triangles & hexagons can get tricky. Jenn
(Desiree's various over-under weave slices) (click on each photo) (gone?)
.....(see Quilts below also)

Jana's very complex kaleidoscope canes

Carol Simmons' complex & huge (6x2") triangular cane (to make various kaleidoscope cane variations), based on William Morris designs
... polymerlcaydaily mentions that Carol put the cane in the microwave twice for 3 seconds during the 2-hr reduction
some of Carol's complex kaleiscope canes... pattern/colors based on Korean embroideries

variables for kaleidoscope canes

...the original triangle cane for a kaleidoscope cane is usually created as any type of isosceles triangle (2 sides the same length) so that the final cane will be more or less round/hexagonal, etc.
.........but other kinds of triangles can be combined to yield diamond-shaped canes, etc.
...(any triangular canes or cane units can also be reshaped into squares, or into other types of triangles, etc.)

... the thinner the triangle shape, the more spokes, repetitions, & complexity the final cane will have

....triangle canes can be created with the correct size and shape wedges from the beginning, or they can be reshaped later into whatever size-shape needed

... 4 short fat isosceles triangles can be placed together (points to the center) to create a 4-part square cane (like quilting's "quarter-square traingles")

...diamond shapes are just two triangles with their short sides together, so they can be placed radially
........but this will create a pointed outer edge, starlike-- spaces could be filled in though if desired
......"irregular" triangles can also be placed together, but again the outer edge will be uneven --see Quilts below for Dresden Plate possibilities)

...a hexagonal or an octagonal outer shape will result if six (or more) triangular canes are put together radially (....which can be rolled to round if desired)

Elaine's "cheat sheet" diagram of 3 possible shapes (right angle triangle, isosceles triangle, and square shaped into diamond) and kaleidoscoping them in some ways (Clay Math Part III)

Some confusing but important info:

some canes will have to be flipped in order to maintain the correct pattern

if cane lengths are surrounded with a sheet of color before recombining them, the pattern will be isolated in each segment rather than being able to merge its pattern with adjoining segments (.....fine, but a different effect)

the joined edge of two canes will look different depending on how the canes were oriented when recombined:
....if the original cane (or combined-cane unit) is itself symmetrical (like 2 parentheses), then when recombined with itself, that cane will create only one pattern which will be repeated at every joined edge
.........then cane lengths from it can be placed together on either side of its sibilings because both sides have the same pattern
...if the original cane is not symmetrical though, when recombined it will create two patterns (repeated several times)
....... cane lengths from it must be placed together in matching pairs (this will create fewer pattern "spokes" than if using a symmetrical original


I used the directions on PCC and made one cane, then I looked up snow crystals on the net and tried making a cane from that, then I tried just making one with a kaleidoscope cane. They all came out okay, but I'm still looking for the perfect way to make this darn cane. ...I also learned that I got confoozled easily trying to make the kaleidoscope from the picture because I was working backwards. I took the picture, blew it up and cut it into a triangle with my graphics program. It still felt backwards because you work from the inside out. And as usual, I miscalculated how much background color I would need. Guess I just start out too big. hmmm
... Next thing I'm going to try is to use a cookie cutter. I'll make two logs, cut the centers out of both of them and switch the middles. Kim

Wouldn't it be simpler to make one spoke of the 6-spoke snowflake, reduce it and cut it in 6ths, then trim each to a wedge and put 6 wedges together to make a 6-spoked snowflake? Did that make any sense?? Kelly
...It's hard to tell just where the spokes begin and end though!

Many of these snowflake canes have a background of translucent clay so they can appear to float over any clay background the slices are put on

Irene & Rachel lesson on making a snowflake cane (applicable to other types and color combos)--they use translucent, translucent and blue (light blue), and white
IrishRed's web-like version, lesson
Susan S's mini-lesson on making snowflake cane with ecru surrounded by translucent... thin slice placed on black bead
Nadja's snowflake cane blue-green Skinner blend surrounded by thick white layer, then thinner dark blue-green layer... cane squashed almost flat in different widths, then used to create diff. parts of the snowflake
more possibilities for snowflake canes (on beads)

Kerstin's icy snowflakes (icy crystals) (both types)
. . (lesson for whitish one) (click on Tutorials in left bar, then on Snowflake Cane)
--first I made a 'drawing' with coreldraw after some fotos from snowflakes
. . then I formed a triangle cane out of bleached trans, and cut it as planned on my drawing.... then I inserted some sheets of pearl clay into those cuts. I reduced... cut it in 3 parts and put them together like in a (half ) kaleidoscope cane ...(cut that in half and joined again for) a full circle. . . .do you think, it would help if I just add a little white to the pearl to give it more 'body'? ...maybe if I surround a (very thin) white sheet with pearl. Then it should not do anything to the trans on the outer area... think I just have to try that. Kerstin reminds me of frost rime (is that the right word?) on a window; those little lines you see after a wet snow, when the temp drops and everything freezes. pokopat
..however, for her beautiful black bead... looks like Fimo's silver-glitter metallic clay might have been used too for the snowflake

create your own snowflake pattern, online (...for cane experimentation, or view galleries for pattern inspiration ...12-sided) dot on scissors means ok to cut at that spot --click any edge to mark beginning of each cut...each cut will also end at an edge (clicking again will remove the piece)...can move-and-click many times before reaching final edge...can Preview Flake, download, e-mail

for REAL SNOWFLAKES ... see websites in Kaleidoscope Inspirations

misc. kaleidoscope & triangle info

**equilateral triangles have 3 equal sides (each corner angle is 60º)
..... two equilaterial triangles make a diamond shape, or six placed radially make a hexagon
graph paper for equilateral triangles: (cutting equilateral triangles) ...

kaleidoscope onlays
...Byrd's lesson on making an olaid mandala design (with slices & clay bits) on a tile (could be very simple to quite complex), but fun (and an inadvertent math lesson); plus more examples of her mandalas & more info
(see much more on mandalas in Onlay > Uses > mandalas)

Lori G's sort-of kaleidoscope onlay slices of Skinner Blend bullseye canes for pins (gone)

pattern inspiration + previewing tools for kaleidoscope canes

PATTERNS from inside REAL kaleidoscopes for inspiration (clickable images) (configurations)
very sophisticated circle patterns, Islamic symmetry
(click on pattern examples at bottom: "Home work for 3- and 6-fold symmetry designs")

snowflakes (these are great inspiration for any "kaleidoscoped" canes too) otos.htm (look around, in Galleries too) (click on each)

TOOLS for PREVIEWING potential patterns:
It's very helpful to be able to preview the different orientations and combinations that are possible with these symmetrical canes.
...Gina's single mirror, with half a kaleidoscope cane (3 lengths joined) sitting on top of it (will show 2 repetitions)
....Judy Belcher's video lesson on loosely joining 3 lengths (half a cane), then auditions this half cane on top of a mirror ...can then take 3 lengths apart, rejoin in another way, then re-audition (about 3 minutes into the video)

...for previewing only one basic unit (wedge) a potential kaleidosope cane, I use a small rectangle of mylar which I've creased in half (holding the crease next to one of the points)
.....this setup will show 4 radial repetitions of the pattern
.....I also tried using 2 very small mirror pieces connected with tape (try to avoid any non-mirror area in the corner--it can be better to place the mirrors actually on the cane to prevent gaps in viewing (on't forget that you can always use just a part of the cane if it looks better to you.)
......Kim use a bathroom mirror and another free mirror to create her 90 degree previewer (website gone) can often see the pattern repeated 6 times if the mylar or mirrors are able to fold together tighter than 90 degrees,

design previewer tool for geometric canes (Alan Vernall):
I make geometric pattern canes using either extruded square rods or reduced blended canes.. . .I ve designed a preview aid which may be of use to others.
The gadget is simply a square of thin steel sheet, painted matt white, with a grid drawn on it in fine marker pen - my grid is 8x8, but obviously any reasonable size can be made, dependent on the complexity of your canes.
I then obtained some magnetic printer paper (from a stationery supplier --most large printer sundries places should stock it -
mine was in packs of 5 sheets of A4 size paper made by a company called Page in the UK) , and I cut it into strips, whose width was slightly less than the squares of the grid. I painted the strips in various colours and cut them into small squares. I made about 25 squares of each of eight colours. Then the squares can be placed on the grid and the proposed cane can be designed. (Obviously, if one hasn't access to magnetic strip etc, the grid and squares may be made from paper or card - but beware of draughts!) As an extra aid, I cut some squares of plastic mirror which can be placed upright alongside the grid to show what a times 4 cane will look like. (The mirror was backed with polystyrene sheet and after several deep scorings on the back of it with a craft knife using a steel rule as a guide, it parted neatly along the scores when bent gently.) (or temp. at my photosite: (website gone))

I'm fascinated with kaleidoscopes and my talent with design is still somewhat undeveloped so I went looking for a program that could create computer generated kaleidoscopic images. I thought it would be a great way to create designs for canes. . . . a little program called "The Silicone Mirror And Kaleidoscope" (This software breaks down the kaleidoscope design to very finite elements...Maria ). It takes any image on your computer and lets you view any part of it as a kaleidoscopic design and then allows you to save the image. It's a freebie program, but it will time out after a bit, or pay $12.00 for it. . ....And best of all. it's really easy to use.I'm one of the least computer literate people on the planet and I was saving images in less time than it took to download the program. . . . Don't know when I've had so much fun at so little cost. I think I've used it to look at every graphic on my machine and then downloaded maybe a hundred more. Glenn


(see also above in Symmetry & Repetition for many more "geometric" canes)

Wedges (quarters)
variously referred to as (flame canes , spliced canes , zig-zag canes)

basic lesson:
...Make 2 short, fat logs , each a different color
...Cut each lengthwise, then again lengthwise, creating 4 long wedges.
...Lay 4 wedges of one color on the work surface, touching, points up.
...Lay the 4 other wedges in-between the first ones, points down.
...Press/squeeze together to create a square cane. Cut and combine with other canes.

( variations)
...use bullseye canes
...use a Skinner Blend bullseye cane
... insert or indent into the logs/canes, etc.
...use a Skinner Blend plug and stack with orientations of wedges all the same (or not)
...cut the final cane in 2 lengths & then put sheet of another color between, etc.,

Anna's flame canes lesson ..."basic spliced cane" used in several ways... also makes a zigzag chevron pattern from a spliced jellyroll

Ann R's lesson on combining wedges from two canes to create many radial patterns
.......she often uses 2 different Skinner blend bullseye canes (one light to dark, other dark to light)
...first lays all 4 wedges from 1st cane next to each other (points up)
...then lays 3 wedges from 2nd cane in between the first wedges (points down)
.......remaining wedge of 2nd cane cut in half lengthwise again, and each added to an end (points down)
....presses the long set of wedges into a triangular cane so that one set of cane wedges is at top of pie slice cane, and one at bottom
... reduces and cuts into 3 lengths ... recombines radially into a half-hexagon (flat on one side, points to center)
....cuts into 2 lengths ... recombines mirror image to form hexagonal cane (could roll to round cane)
......sometimes indents center and adds tiny rope of color for a center dot
She also uses one cane, cut in half (spiral cane, e.g.) to make a more regular, intricate pattern

Pier Voulkos' (creator of flame cane) various shapes created from one flame cane (dark red)

Donna Kato's lesson on making "flame" canes from 4 wedges of a Skinner blend bullseye cane (to make a petal cane --used for slice painting) (more in Flowers),1789,HGTV_3238_2856588,00.html
Lisa's lesson on making flame canes from 4 Skinner blend bulllseye cane wedges (to make a striped "weave" cane)

Gina's lesson on making an ikat-like cane with wedges from a multi-wrapped bullseye cane, in a similar way, but with 9 wedges alternated with 9 upside-down wedges, then reduced and recombined side by side twice (beadizzygrl's "Static" cane)

("flame" canes made in a different way --with stacks rather than wedges-- look similar to these ...for those see above in Layers > Stacks > Ikat)
(see also above in Striped Stacks for discrete blend alternating flame effect)
(see also "checkerboard crushed ikat" below)

Kelley's flame cane with insertions (or something similar) used on barrette
Tonja's joined segments of diff. colored flame or ikat patterns.. multiple, very thin stripes in 5 or so sets of colors . . looks like each set was probably stacked with a thick sheet of black inbetween, then cuts were made across the rows, and various non-matching segments were set next to each other a little offset (not arranged in pattern like bargello) (wrong photo)
Linda C's flame canes used in several ways (website gone)

I was inspired to create my own version of a flame cane using the technique of indenting into multiple-wrapped (bullseye) cane .... It works great and I use it not only for flames but any color for interesting effects
....(lesson) I took a skinner blend of red/orange laid flat, a skinner blend of blue/white laid flat on top, and a skinner blend of yellow/white on top, folded (the 3 Skinner blends stacked) all in half, and rolled into a round cane
...then pressed into with a wooden ruler to indent (indenting only the 2 outmost layers). Then I formed my "flame" shape.
...also used as a leaf cane (only outermost layer, barely indented) Cindy

Canes are often treated this way (instead of solid-color logs)... for most of those, see above in Cutting Lengthwise (under Later Manipulations)

See above also in "Ikat" canes for similar effect made in a different way ... should be able to use canes in many similar ways

misc. complex patterns

Kathy G's various square geometric canes

Sandra McCaw technique (similar to CZC's Geometric Cane --see below in "Quilt" sub-category-- but using blends)
... beautiful, almost hypnotic, complex and precise geometric canes (with discrete blend, or could use Skinner Blend)
....Melody's lesson on the McCaw cane...make gradient stacks in two colors (see Blends > Discrete). ...cut the stacks into square logs......make diagonal cuts (like for chevron cane) across the square logs (she makes 6 cuts for 7 slices)... then make two new canes by alternating the colored slices (paying attention to the order and orientation...some will need to be flipped)... she does this one cut-and-replace at a time ...(the light end of one color is matched to the dark end of the other color in this case).. these can be cut into lengths and rejoined in many ways, or used with other canes or alone's a square, shaded stack that is cut up, rearranged, reduced, cut up and re-arranged some more until you get some really intricate almost hypnotic results. It's a very pricise method. Lisa
....Sandra McCaw used stacks of five sheets of clay for the gradations of colors, and I've been using five too. Sarajane
.... I found the video slightly slow-moving at times, but I thought it was worth it for the information. It made me want to drop everything and make one of my own :-) (If you decide you want a copy, I sell them. Just drop by my web site ...Polka Dot Creations. Lisa
...(for a bit more on McCaw cane and making discrete gradient blends, see Blends > Discrete)

City Zen Cane's New Quilt and Zipper canes (see below in "Quilt" sub-category)

Marty's version of Z Kripke's Navaho Blanket cane(s?) -- The most difficult cane I learned how to make wasn't a picture cane however, it was Z Kripke's Navajo Blanket cane. That was a REAL challenge. Still is!" Dotty (gone)
(see more canes like this in Blends)

James L's many wonderful sheets of patterned clay ...created with all kinds of canes (stripes, random-layered,etc.), often combined and repeated ...some fabric -like

clamshell shape (is there a more technical term?)... two convex diagonal curves on top of two concave diagonal curves.... shapes are often nested together in staggered rows; also used in quilting
...........NoraJean's clamshell pattern cane made with the 4 lengthwise quarters cut from a (jellyroll or spiral) cane which are nestled-stacked together in a diamond grid pattern, creating a 1-2-1 pattern (top to bottom); this new cane can be cut into lengths and combined repeatedly for as large a pattern as needed (this beauty is light green to gold Skinner blend wrapped around a gold log)... hard to stack well? (showing how the samllest unit of a "curved patch' can be mltiplied in variations orientations to create complex shapes and images in quilting first of two quilting books showing these patterns)

ogee shape. . . a term given in architecture to a molding of a double curvature which is convex and concave (like the line formed by a yin yang symbol, an elongated S), in which the convex half is the uppermost. . . . the name (Roman or Venetian) " ogee-arch " is often applied to an arch formed by the meeting of two contrasted ogees (like the shape of the top of a Russian "onion" dome)... there are router bits shaped to create single ogees

Lisa's lesson on making flower canes with predominating center dots (using various colors for petals and backgrounds) then placing diff. color versions next to each other
...she places clay logs (of a diff. color) into the small triangular spaces between 6 round logs of each cane which had been placed together around a center. . .she uses slices to create an interesting sheet

Tamila's lesson on making a grid of freefloating dots (polka-dot) cane using 9 small round extrusions (in desired dot colors) from a clay gun, and 36 square extrusions of the same width in aa background color ...4 square extruded logs are placed around each round extruded log resulting in a plus shape)... the "plus" units are stacked together, then pressed into a rectangular cane .htm

many ethnic fabric and pottery patterns can be very inspirational for caning!... e.g.:
...tapa (geometric) designs from Polynesia...could be caned or onlaid)
...mudcloth (geometric) designs from Africa (Mali)
...kente (geometric) cloth from Africa

(many examples in other areas of this page are also "geometric"... for example: stripes, bullseyes, spirals, quilt patterns, and many more)


(technical term for a "a closed shape or polygon that repeats on all sides without leaving any gaps)
. . Start with a parallelogram (square or rectangle) and modify opposite sides in exactly the same way, to create an interlocking pattern. (In other words)...add to the bottom the area taken from the top, and to the left side add the area taken from the right side. The resulting piece is a fundamental region which will fit with itself to fill the plane without gaps or overlaps...."
(reflection and translation symmetry)
(see also Tessellation below, in Quilt sub-category)

Celtic knot

Anita's examples of Celtic knot canes, with borders

Valerie's lesson on making an "outline" Celtic knot cane

I think a lot of celtic knot designs can be broken up into components that are easier to assemble in clay, like striped loaf segments and bullseye cane segments which you then cut apart and piece together carefully.

mini-lesson: I made a Celtic knot cane for the small cane slice bead swap - you can see it on Polymer Clay Central.
I started by making a cartoon of the design. It has a mirror plane of symmetry in it, so I actually built half of the design, then cut it in half (parallel to the worktable) and flipped the bottom half over and matched it to the top half. To build the cane, I used the pasta machine to build a slab of clay that was as tall as I wanted the width of the knotted "ribbon" to be. Then I cut lengths of that stack and upended them, assembling the cane by fitting the "ribbons" together with elements made from the background color. I reduced it using the method where you put a piece of hard plastic on each end to minimize distortion. However, i did make one big mistake: I should have wrapped the whole cane in a thick layer of background clay before reducing it. If I had done that it would have distorted less.

lesson: It was quite a while ago trying to remember how I did it.. First I got a Dover book of knots, and looked for one that was relatively simple.
--I graphed it on graph paper. I think I modified the knot - changed the curves at least.
--Then I rolled the knot color (rosy slightly metallic pink) to the widest setting on my pasta machine, and layered it to 2 thicknesses. This was the line of the knot.
--I layered a thinner layer of the background color (greyed slightly metallic blue) on each side, so the cross section is BPPB. This outlines the center section so that where the lines cross there is a thin gap of background. The finished sheet was as thick as one square of my graph paper approx.
--I cut out all the background shapes from a solid block of the blue clay 2 inches thick, standing them on the graph to check the size and shape.
--I cut strips of my BPPB sheet into 2-inch wide sections to make the lines of the knot. My original cane was 2 inch high and about 4 inch across. The strips are used by standing them on edge so the center shows.
--Last, built the knot from the center out, gently bending the strips for the curvy bits of line, and filling in the spaces with the background color shapes, and packing it in tight so there are no air gaps. Lynelle V
(website gone)

I have done two Celtic knot canes... one very successful, the other not so good. Here are some tips:
1. use a drawing under your work. It is very important to get all the proportions correct.
2. Use very high contrast colors to ensure that the edges of the knot don't disappear.
3. wrap the whole finished cane in a thick layer of background color to minimize distortion when reducing. Also, chill completely before reducing. Use the stiffest clay you can work with.
4. My square cane worked much better than a round one. Not sure why. Except that the square one was Fimo, the round one was Premo. Maybe the softer clay distorted more.
5. Most celtic knots are mirror images or reverse images so you may only have to build 1/2 or even 1/4 of the cane, then slice and flip and stack. Examine the structure carefully to save yourself some work. reduce distortion try reducing the "mirrored" parts somewhat before you assemble them, so less reduction in the final stages. Gillian

.good websites about Celtic Knots:

Jablan's site on modularity, esp. these pages: and

(. . .new Lark Books catalog I recently received. They list a great looking Celtic Symbol rubber stamp kit that includes 18 different Celtic Symbol stamps plus box and instruction/explanation book for $19.95, page 23 of the newest edition.They have a web site They also have two Celtic-Symbol Dover books with CD-ROM for your computer listed, if you would prefer to go the redi-stamp way and make your own Celtic stamps. Sara Jane Whyte)

Our product is a True Type font which lets you design intricate Celtic Knot patterns just by typing on any computer keyboard! It works on Mac or PC, in any program that uses fonts ... each letter you type is a piece of a Celtic knot! ...The designs can be printed out at exactly the size desired, simply by setting the font size. ...$20. Laurie
Good Golly Miss Molly! This program is truly addicting! It takes a few hours to get familiar with the different "fonts" so that the patterns will fit together right, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy and fun. Anyone who wants to work with these knot patterns should check this out. Dotty
I found a shareware program that's similar. I haven't got around to trying it yet, but thought someone else might be interested. alisa R.

(see also Darla's stamping-then-filling-with-acrylic-paint method in Stamping > Filling)

animal skins , etc.

(also: faux wood, turtle shell, snakeskin, tiger stripes, other animal patterns)

Nora Jean's tiger, leopard, zebra cane lessons (see lesson just below)
Teri's lessons on tiger (could be zebra too) with Skinner blend of pearl to gold/copper rolled into a bullseye, then black stripes inserted into cuts across
Naama's lesson on tiger skin using a Skinner blend of 3 browns, accordion folding it into a stack then shaping into a log ...then thin black sheets inserted intonon-parallel cuts across the cane for stripes
Bunny's tiger, zebra, leopard, etc. beads and instruction booklet for sale
Cindy P's zebra (#34) ...giraffe (#40)... tiger (#79) ... (look for corresponding numbers on 4 pages)
...Cindy P's 2nd zebra and leopard
8 animal skin patterns on tube beads
Tonja's various animal skins, some puzzle pieced together
unni's class on tiger cane covered eggs
.i make my zebra canes identical to tiger canes except i use all white instead of a skinner blend in the plug. Sunni

Denise in Austin's tiger canes (not accessible)
Nora Jean's various zebra canes
Michele R's tiger and cheetah skins (also snake?)... with animal transfers... on "shoe"
Alexandra's cheetah skin, and others (look in: Previous Work, Commissions, & Recent Sales)
claydaze's tiger, zebra and spots patterns (website gone) (see other albums for turtle, raccoon,etc.)
Darlene's African animal skins (leopard, zebra, giraffe, cheetah, tiger) (website gone)
Ginny's photo of giraffe skin pattern
Polyzine's lesson on making a simple giraffe skin cane (rectangular...dark inside, lt outside)
Teri's lesson on making a giraffe cane using 4 sizes og rectang. bullseye cane together (lt. terra cotta/caramel/ochre)
Phyllis' turtle with cane slices on shell
Nora Jean's "dragonmilk" Skinner Blend roll, might be good for giraffe or turtle? (website gone)
Sharon's lizard skin using wrapped canes (notice striped effect made by using two different colors of wrapped canes)

Anita W's leopard skin hat (gone)
Cindy P's leopard skin cane (bottom) (gone)
Mary D's peacock feather pattern

Karen & Ann's lesson on skin for covering the frame for a license plate ...(leopard, or could be giraffe too),1789,HGTV_3352_1818365,00.html
...they use one large square cane ...dark brown center; then black wrap mostly around brown, beveling to be flat with brown; one beveled strip of black on left and right side to thicken; wrapped with ecru... to create the final cane, the wrapped log is cut into 8 pieces (one large, 1 smaller, 2 even smaller, and 4 very small ...stack the larger 4 in a plus shape, then add the very small four in each of the corners); cut slices and reassemble them together in a grid alternating the orientations for variety

Zebra canes are the easiest of all the animal canes to make. Here's my quickie recipe (insertion). .
. .Condition either white or pearl clay. Roll it into a short round stubby plug (flat on top and on bottom, like a regular cane)....roll out some black conditioned clay into a sheet on the thickest setting.
... Fun part - stand the plug upright, and using your blade make about 4-5 random cuts straight down from the top. Don't worry about them being even, we're going for a zebra pattern here .. (insertions) put a layer of black in between each of those cuts you made (put a double layer in one or two of them to further "randomize" it.)
...then put the whole thing back together and either reduce it to the size you want or just squish it in your hands enough so it holds together firmly. Now you're ready to slice! Karen Hardy

Nora Jean's leopard .... zebra..... tiger.... turtle .Lessons:
.... The leopard is easy as pie.... take three colors, I use light brown, dark brown and black. Taking the clay make skinny snakes of the black, medium snakes of the dark brown, and sheets and snakes of the light brown. Take a snake of dark brown and put some odd number of black snakes down it's length, randomize it so your first handful of "spots" are varied. Then cover this lumpy log with sheets of black, you could do a bullseye of dark brown with a black outline and then add the black snakes, maybe I'll do it that way and see how it deals with gaps ... anyhoo ....Take the light brown and fill in the valleys of that lumpy log, but don't be perfect, just fill in the spaces where the black snakes are not. Now you have a handful of different lumpy logs, slice them into sections. I use 2"/6cm sections, and then I start fitting them together, like a puzzle, turning them this way and that until I have as good a fit as I can. Now reduce it a bit and slice off a section, reduce some more and cut off a section, reduce a bit more and then you'll have the different size spots you'd need for a sculpture.
What I did tonight was make three different shades of the back ground color, then I sliced them in random patterns, taking the lumpy logs I layered these three different shades in as random a pattern as I could, burying the lumpy logs, because some leopard spot designs I've seen that are more realistic the background behind the spots is not one even tone, but a medly of tones. So that's the experiment going on right now.
Ok, now what else can you do with this cane? Stack a mess of sections together and reduced again, reduce until you get a cane that's as thick around as your finger, your little finger, cut a section and then slice it length wise. To me it looks like wood. HunkaBurnin Love has this leopard cane used as wood for a fire.
...Take a length of this cane and roll it thin, and then pull and stretch, it looks like snake skin. Critters has examples of this technique.
Take a disk of this cane and fashion a turtle shell. Nora Jean
*Nora Jean's tiger skin is a Skinner blend of brown, gold and pearl triangles, pasta machined into a long ribbon which is rolled up with the brown to the middle. Stand the cane on its end and slice down a number of times lengthwise through it adding a thin black sheet in the cut before replacing (the cuts can go all the way through the cane or only partway and some of them can be angled and connect to each other to form V's rather than parallel lines). (website gone)

shagreen (stingray skin...aka honzame). . .I made a jellyroll cane using a skinner blend of transparent jade green,opaque jade green and darker green. Some of the cane I made into a lace cane some I reduced to various sizes singularly. I applied them to a tin in a random pattern. (very cool pattern, with glossy finish, by 10more)
..."try to imagine a thousand little bubbles gently breaking the surface of a sea-green pool, and you've got an approximate visualization of shagreen."
...It could definately be used for snakeskin too.The real shagreen has smaller nodes than I used and of course different colors. The shapes would be paler toward the belly of the snake and of less contrast than the back. 10more

snake skin (could be turtle?) ...Evelyn R's mottled clay sheet (brown, translucent) , impressed with plastic netting? creating allover tiny, diamond pattern (bottom of page)

Bunny's lesson on making a (large) Holstein cow skin for a vessel . . . or for a spotted dog or cat, etc. . . . (she cuts slices from a log, then thins them in the pasta machine; they come out irregularly shaped; she lays them on a sheet of (white) base color, overlapping some, esp. those with any points , then back through the pasta machine

Christel's fish cane --
I made it with one piece of white and yellow skinner blend for the face, inserted round eyes to the cane. The body was made of (another) Skinner blend (rolled up). For the "fishy look" I used a ripple blade and stacked thin sheets of black clay, and put it back together. The fins are basically just several stacked colours cut to shape. . . . Air bubbles also Skinner blends from shade of blue and white. Christel
*Kim Korringa's canes (flowers, faces, quilt, still life, cats, fish, mosaic people, misc.)

Jane Zhao's fancy fish cane slices (on an egg? Christmas ornament)
Deb Jensen's fish and Japanese canes
tropical fish patterns (painted, but good for inspiration)
many, many colorful reef fishes photos (salt water fishes )
fish patterns
Cindy P's rows (of cross-cut striped canes --Skinner blend) separated by solid color clay line)... would make good fish or other scales?
(more fish canes below in Picture Canes)

~I printed your directions (for the Butterfly Wing bead--see Spirals above) and made a cane and then a bead. Mine doesn't look like yours. Mine looks more like chevron stripes. If I slice the cane instead of cutting a football shape, I get a leopard design. It also makes interesting Natasha beads. Genevieve C.
(see more on feathers and butterfly or other wings above in Stacks and in Bullseyes)

Another way of making animal skins is using plastic texture sheets (or other stamps/textures):
...texture sheet mokume gane
..... stack two or three thin colors of clay and run them through the pasta machine with a texture sheet, then shave off the high points from the top layer.
.......I think I use the cobblestone texture sheet for giraffe and a couple work well for zebra, tiger and leopard.
.......experiment with putting the right color clay on the top, and with which side of the palstic sheet to use. Jeanne R.
...highlighting ...Sharon M used texturing and metallic highlighting to create simulations of animal skins like zebra --black stripey-textured clay (from wave texture sheet?), highlighted with silver-- or leopard, etc. --black clay textured with random, non-regular, holes, & highlighted with gold.
(see more in Textures
> Texture Sheets)

for more animals, see Complex Canes below, and Heads, and maybe Kids

DB: move some to Quilt page when finish it?

symmetry in quilt patterns
(much of the symmetry discussion comes from or applies to quilting patterns! . . . .see much info on symmetry, plus ways to preview symmetrical quilt patterns, in Design--not uploaded yet, and above)

Online Clay Quilters mailing list group
(see also Groups Online for another quilt mailing list)

17 quilt patterns, piecing possibilities, real quilts, etc. (FreePatternsOnline) (click on each pattern for possibilites)

Melody's lessons on making discrete blends of gradient colors (see Blends>Discrete for more on those) for Card Trick and Woven canes

Judith Skinner’s site (many quilts)--
(now at
newsgroup cane slices t-shirt (more quilts) (gone?)
Jenny's lesson on making an 8-pt. star, using tiny square canes from clay gun... basic section is 2 points... then 4 joined together... border added (+ click on Next Steps)
*Jenny P’s quilt canes (log cabin, etc.)
(Jenny's for sale)
(now at ?) ) AND

*Shane's beautifully draped quilts with her figures (one around a baby) ...for sale (click on Products and Gallery)

* Molly's many quilt blocks and mini-quilts jewelry, for sale
*Christel Jensen's quilts of various kinds (click on Jewelry>Pins; there may be more in other categories)

Kari's log cabin buttons (website gone)
Elizabeth's log cabin (dark/light) draped earrings (4x4 to create a darker square on point)
Jenny's Snails Trail quilt block and quilt (sort of lesson)
(now at ?)
(made as one cane)
lesson: Irish Kim's Trip Around the World cane made as whole cane (wrapped canes, x4)
(made as a "quarter TAW cane" which is cut into 4 lengths, then rejoined with itself to make a whole TripAroundtheWorld cane
Alan V's lesson on
(Trip around the World) cane + variations
... because of the color pattern he chose, the final cane has a secondary pattern at edges (he calls it Latin Square)
... he also shows how to combine 4 lengths of the quarter cane into a final cane in either a diamond orientation (actually a square-on- point-- with the diagonal "lines" create in the quarter canes forming a diamond shape)... or into an X orientation (optional, for making larger patterns with this cane --with diagnoal lines forming an X)

Gina's lesson on making a Trip Around the World cane with 6 Skinner blend "bullseye" canes (as 4x4, then 4 lengths to make whole cane)
Mia's lesson for a Trip Around the World cane... she used 6 Skinner blend bullseye canes (then each wrapped with sheet of white), stacked into a grid for a quarter cane ... then cut in 4 pieces and reassembled to create her complete TripAroundWorld rainbow quilt cane ...when the canes are wrapped though, the wrap color will double in thickness when the quarters are later joined, creating a thick line between the 4 sections (like a + sign)
Rebecca N's diagram for a shaded Trip Around the World quarter cane using square extrusions from a clay gun? (4x4 units, each with 6 shades in 6 diagonal rows: 1 ea lightest and darkest on opposing corners, 2 each 2, 3 each 2, 1 row of 4
... 4 units joined with dark or light in center to create Trip pattern)

Jenny's Skinner blend? or automatically-wrapped canes from clay gun?...Trip Around the World cane

Alan V's bowls with quilt pattern (Trip Around the World) (gone)
mudra's 1/4 of TripAroundWorld cane, diagonal rows ...thick slices, each used as individual bead,773930,2,76.html

Diana's "pieced" rosebud square lesson
Annie's Dresden Plate patterns ... radial symmetry (website gone)
Dora's crazy quilt simulation lesson, with LS "stitching"
Kristie's baby in crib covered with textured, simple checkerboard quilt
Kim Korringa's patchwork of different mosaic canes to make pattern sheets (from which shapes are cut)
Diana's Quilt School (main page), and lessons on Log Cabin, Bear Paw, Clay's Choice, & Trip Around the World canes (gone?)
(substituting white for the dark green squares in Clay's Choice will result in the more traditional pattern)

Anita uses no-background aquilt cane slices as onlays on textured backgrounds (inside clay frames)

City Zen Cane's New Quilt and Zipper canes create block segments with diagonal patterns, which can be used to create many block or allover designs.
...New Quilt cane lesson: begin with a large amount of two strongly contrasting colors (since the final cane unit may be cut and recombined many times, strong contrast is necessary to avoid excessive muting and blending.. even a fluorescent color will lose its garishness when reduced that much) . . . create the base unit (which will look like a mountain with sky above and to the sides of it) . . .stack together 6 layers (#1 pasta machine?) of the first color (e.g., a black) and then cut from it a right triangle that's twice as tall as it is wide... do the same for the second color (e.g., white)... place the two long triangles together along their hypotenueses...add two more layers (#1) of the light color to the end of the rectangle which has the largest amount of white (or do the same with the second color) ... reduce, cut into two lengths and combine along their length symmetrically (now you have the basic unit). . .cut it into 3 lengths and join on the light sides (now have 3 mts. in a row)... repeat for a total of 6 mts. . . . cut into 5 lengths and combine in rows this time (actually 2 1/2 rows, with most of the mts. now black diamonds) on end and cut diagonally through cane... rejoin the two parts so that the all-white short side is against the single black mt. row (forming a parallelogram) ...cut the ends off the parallelogram (triangles), leaving a rectangle with diagonal zigzags (one full white, one full black)... join the leftover triangle canes together (along their hypotenuses), creating the second cane . . . these two canes can be placed together, rotated, etc., to create many patterns! (try joining 4 of the same blocks together symetrically, for both canes.. then alternate like a checkerboard... can be placed on point too)

Zipper cane lesson: FINISH LATER

Clay elements for a quilt cane can be made with a paper pattern . . . draw out the size block you want for the cane (or crazy quilt patch) twice, number them both, then cut one in pieces and use each piece to cut your individual patch cane elements before combining them all together.
...or use cutters if you can find sizes and shapes which will work together (see Cutters page)

Bunny's lesson on making an Ohio Star quilt pattern using only a clay gun (extrusions from the square disk and triangle disk (half-square) this case she used two half-squares to make one larger half-square; the same pattern can be made without doubling up the square and triangle extrusions, but the resulting cane will be smaller (when putting together more than one extrusion for a shape, be sure to "zip" the extrusions together along their length so that their outlines will be unbroken in the final cane) (she also adds to wraps for borders)

triangles & diamonds especially:
...Tamila's lesson on making a hexagonal block with nine equilateral triangle logs (with a clay gun)

...many other combinations of color and rotation can be made from this base case (for example, Thousand Pyramids, etc.)
...see above in Kaleidoscope or Symmetry? > Triangular
Tumbling Blocks: This is a very simple design, but is one of the most difficult to execute well. It consists of a single diamond shape. With a varied placement of colors, one can create the optical illusion of cubes, stars, hexagons, or diamonds. Most common is the illusion of stacked cubes, (as shown in Judith Skinner's site above)
her Nine Patch design (I like--similar to my unfinished one in cloth) with lattices and tiny nine-patch cornerstones…DB
...Mike B's tumbling blocks (caned, I think)
Lindly H's very fabric-like cane sheets, cut into patches for creating a baby blocks quilt pattern
...claydaze's Tumbling Blocks design over a vase...(website gone)
(...also see Violette's Tumbling Blocks and *many other quilt design mosaics in Mosaics, and her lesson on cutting diamond shapes for these mosaic quilt designs --more in Cutters > Tiles).
see Icing Tips in Clay Guns for possible ways to extrude hexagonal rods or other shapes like diamonds? with icing tips, hexagonal socket wrench tips in icing tips, other shapes bent from icing tips, and other disk shapes for the gun

Could do Attic Windows pattern in a way similar to Sarah Shriver's (triangular) cane... or just use plain Skinner Blends?
(Kerstin's brown, cane component) (click on "Canes")

Seminole Patchwork (a multiple chevron-type pattern) Cynthia Tinapple's polymer seminole (sort-of lesson for a flat strip) (seminole strip used as inlays ... see Mosaics-Inlay)
....see above in Stripes/Stacks for more Seminole designs
.....for the math of Seminole symmetry see

Kellie's silver and gold patchwork with rectangles

Lisa P's patched squares of various "fabrics" ...covering a base sculpt of a rabbit

...using a (Kemper or other) cutter will cut the clay without cutting through a layer of Saran or other plastic wrap which has been placed on top; this bevels the edge nicely --and then you can lift the wrap off. (Cathy Johnston showed me this) .Becky
..... The heavier the plastic, the smoother and rounder the edges. Sally
..... I also used it when cutting tiles for a quilt, since the beveled edges make it look "quilted" and each piece puffy. Becky
...... could put these "tiles" butted together or separate them on a backing sheet (see more in Onlay > Uses, tiles)
....or how about pressing an exact-same-size tiny cutter into a sheet of quilt "squares"around each "block" to do the same thing?...even if it were done over a bunch of tiny wrapped canes (lg.lace cane), it would probably create the look of quilted "blocks"... DB

I textured (my connected slices) with a piece of sheer chiffon... gives the little quilt a "fabric" look and camouflages fingerprints, too. :-) Elizabeth
...Jenny P. also textured her little quilts, possibly with a heavier fabric . . . looks great

(see more on clay "fabric" for clothing on Sculpting-Body page, sub-category Fabric)

Another way I use undistinguished canes is in quilt blocks. . . . take a couple of inches of your square cane reduced fairly small, add other square canes, and try building a 9-block. Three in a row, with three more on top, three more on top of that. I squeeze it all together enough to stick, but not to reduce, particularly. I usally build it like quilts in fabrics--use canes that incorporate the same colors, but are different. When sliced, they make great ornaments too. Sarajane H.

Again as when quilting, you can use not only different colors mixed with your main color, but also different scale patterns (tiny "prints" vs. larger pattern elements...these give interest.

James' many "fabric-like" patterns and techniques of interest to quilters!

tessellations . . ~I have been absorbing a great book-Designing Tessellations, by Jinny Beyer. If you have ever looked at an M.C. Escher print and wondered how he made his facinating interlocking patterns, now you can learn how! It seems so simple when someone shows the steps. Basically, you take a standard shape, like a square, and carve out a piece, then place that piece on another side of the square facing out. Now you have a basic shape that will interlock with itself! You can carve some more from another side and add that to a different side, and still have a "tile" which will interlock with itself to form bazillions of designs! The book shows detailed ways to use the same pattern, like cane slices, and put them together in 17 symmetrical ways. This may be old news to some, but for me it was a great revelation! I got into this because I have been translating quilt patterns into clay... I was amazed at how many different designs could be made with the same basic block or "tile". Crafty Fox
.....Hava's cat tessellation.. bowl was made by printing a template onto transparency plastic, then cutting out the cat stencil. After I had all the different cat "tiles," I carved the designs, set 'em together on a stencil-textured silver sheet, re-carved the boundaries, inlaid extruded black coils... cleaned, baked, sanded, polished... Definitely a one-time project. (Escher tessellations, etc.)
...tessellation (a closed shape or polygon that repeats on all sides without leaving any gaps)
...Escher (reflection and translation symmetry) (many, many examples, plus info)
...(see also Symmetry sub-category above, for more)

"basic" tiles, or modules, ("prototiles") which can be repeated and reoriented for endless patterns --Slavik Jablan's fascinating (but somewhat esoteric) samples & discussion of "modularity in art" . . .many of which relate directly to quilt patterns

Joyce Schlotzhauer's "curved two-patch" method of making hundreds of curved patterns using a single two-patch square similar (but NOT identical) to the Drunkard's Path patch. With that single square, the author creates fascinating flowers, geometrics, ribbons, and much more
...see more below in Miscellaneous canes . . . also clamshell and ogee patterns

You can make a little throw quilt for a "clay couch" (see Beginners & Kids > Sculpting) once you get the hang of making couches can adapt the quilts in many fun & unique ways..... they're terrific for gifts, too! Carla

sheets of Crazy Patch --(moved from here to Sheets of Pattern ) --many individual pieces from other clay sheets laid together (contiguously) to create a new sheet of "crazy patch" pieced pattern (or a more traditional pieced pattern)

using polymer on quilts and other fabric or clothing

cane slices (or other small items) can be put on quilts or quilt blocks ...or on clothing
...they could be sewed or tacked on, or glued on, etc.... even treated like shiska mirrors and stiched around to hold them on

Once for my quilt group's annual Christmas block exchange, I appliqued (or maybe just used adhesive webbing since it was only for the wall?) a large "pine tree" of green-on-green fabric, onto a background of 3 joined fabrics (white for snow on the ground, and sky-with-stars and planet fabric above)
....I then attached about 20 quilt-theme cane slices to the tree as "ornaments" on the tree
....... think I put a short eye pin in the top of each (somewhat thick) slice, or else I had put a hole in the top front of each ... then sewed each to the fabric so it would dangle a bit ...could have glued them on instead, I suppose, especially if I'd used a strong white glue like one for attaching jewels to fabric like Gem Tac, Jewel-It, etc. Diane B.

I also made quilt-pattern cane slices into ornaments to hang on a small artificial Christmas tree (around wh. I also added a tiny-pearl garland)--see website just above. Diane B.

Barbara McKie's art quilts using (appliqued) onlaid polymer clay (mokume gane shape, attached with delica beads) and
Therese May's very heavily embellished wall quilts using lots of polymer slices & small beads, as well as ordinary buttons

Lori G's abstract forms (beads, found objects, embroidery, wire on an art quilt)

(...see also Buttons for more info re using clay on fabric)


(MANY "fabric" patterns can be made with polymer clay! ...for much more on fabric simulation, see Sculpting--Body > Fabrics)

The simplest faux plaid can be made by using a base rectangle log of one color of clay, then cutting across it vertically and horizontally, then inserting thin sheets of clay after each cut (after each, rejoin and cut again).

....Cindy P's shows this type of cutting apart for two plaids:
one with a rolled-up Skinner background, one a straight gradient Skinner --one has Skinner stripes;
both are wrapped (which will interfere with the plaid look if combined)

....Diana's lesson on "tatersal" plaid (tatersal has an overall background color--usually light, with 2 or more colors in thin stripes bisecting the base color horizontally and vertically in different spacings) --Diana's example is 3 colors only (she says the main color is usually light, and the crossing colors of thin strips are usually bright and dark)

.......(lesson) My plaid cane is really simple.... make a skinner blend Then accordion stack your sheet so that you have a loaf - dark to light. Cut 1/3 off the end. Set aside Cut the loaf across (dark to dark) insert a thin sheet of black. Cut the loaf across - light to light - insert a thin sheet of black. Cut slices off the small end that you set aside. Cut open the large portion and insert the small slices. Insert them so that the light is against the dark and the dark against the light. Wrap the whole loaf in black, reduce. Cindy P.
....Mia's lesson on making the insertion kind of plaid, but she starts with a rolled-up Skinner blend, and her insertions are off-center

Ginny 's lesson (she inserted *many* sheets all the way across, then cut into lengths and recombined them, ending up with a line pattern--like one plaid technique)

James Lehman's diagonal plaid pattern (wow!)
Vince's plaid, on bagpipe

"gingham" -- the base cane is made up of 4 square logs (which is cut into lengths and recombined a number of times) --the two lighter tints of the chosen color are diagonal from each other, and the white and the darker color diagonal from each other... the white could be a different color as well)
Diana's lessons on gingham
Tamila's lesson on gingham, using a clay gun disk for her small square logs
Rebecca's gingham beads
Alan's gingham fish & cloth... also teapots, butterflies (click on each)

a different kind of gingham effect (or just woven effect) can be created by applying shavings from mica clay ghost impressions (see more in Mica>Ghost Images), or from two layers of clay, onto a base sheet
Jeanne R's lesson:

Jenny's faux plaid (for farmer shirt), using dark gray, black and red for the 4-square unit, with a surrounding stripe of light blue (same pattern as a gingham except for the addition of the surrounding strip) . . . Jenny's 4-square unit actually looks more like an L-shape because the black and the two dark grays are so close in value)
(website gone)

Real plaids are woven from thread. Because the threads are so small, when two different colors are used (one in the veritcal and one in the horizontal orientation), the resulting color will be a mix of the two (visually) ...however, if the same color is used for both orientations, there is no change in color. Therefore real plaids have a kind of fuzzy/tweedy/stripey look where the colors do intertwine or at the edges of colors. It might be possible to get the fuzzy effect by texturing the completed pattern sheet or slices with something small and nubby???

more complicated & realistic plaid:
here is the long post I wrote back in May 1997 about struggling with trying to figure out plaids for the Plaid Swap) :
. . . . My plaid for the Plaid Swap went through 3 reductions and 2 cut-and-joins--all three are on the beads (DB: add photos). . . . . . . I found that I liked the larger scale, sort-of checkerboards I used for the "woven" look (next to the stripes) best of all, however. The contrast of color and pattern (before reducing) and the complexity really pushed my buttons! Am really looking forward to seeing how each of you guys created your plaid--I’d sure like to learn better and different ways of doing this. Diane . . .

lesson on making (more complicated) tartan-type plaid cane, by Dora...3x3
...9 square logs (3 are solid colors, others are several are fabric-like mixes of 2 of the colors each, run through pasta machine, cut into 6 strips then stacked and log used from the side to create unidirectional pattern horizontally, then cut in half diagonally and reoriented so directional pattern is diagonal) ... 9 logs placed together as 3 x 3 square (color pattern in rows = A, AB, AC...AC, BC, C...AB, B, BC) ......cane cut across center of each set of 3 logs to insert various sheets of color (3 insertions vertically, then 3 insertions horizontally) ALSO (at top of page)... photos of canes made with more symmetrical pattern of colors: ...2x2, with 1 line inserted through each set of 2 logs, then wrapped ...3x3, with 2 lines through each set of 3 logs, cut into 4 lengths, and rejoined with original center colors adjoining

TIPS & INFO: ...I dug a bunch of plaids from my quilter's fabric stash and studied them, trying to see what organization and characteristics they had. I THINK I discovered some helpful things, which I will report, though it's so new to me that I couldn't swear to any of it --I'm still in plaid fog. Here goes:
.....There seem to be several types of plaids: --some use one background color, others use 2-4, and still others use quite a few colors.
--the size and complexity of the repeating unit can vary a lot; the simplest I saw was a checkerboard of two basic colors--a 4-unit square with the color variations white light gray dark gray black ...the background color may show a lot or none at all, depending on the number and closeness of the vertical and horizontal stripes ...the stripes are often right next to each other, or separated by a small "stripe" of background color, in small groups ...creating the larger areas (squares or rectangles) of color *and* the smaller areas of color that make it look like a plaid.
......I created my basic background squares by making tiny checkerboards of colors for the background squares (with the Klay Gun)--it gave a nice approximation of woven fabric.
.... Other discoveries:
--any stripe you plan will never appear in its original hue and value unless it crosses a stripe of itself (going the other way)--of course, you could pre-plan a color to use, based on what it would look like in combination with the background color though.
--the tiny cross-sections of combined colors will not show up very well unless the scale you choose is large or there is a big diff. in hue or value.
--creating the cross-sections to intersect exactly going both ways is a b______! It's very fiddly since it has to match the entire length of the cane when you zip the components together. My original 3x3 grid was about 1 1/2" cubed, and TOO SMALL for more than one stripe (I had planned on four--I did them anyway).
--figuring out and executing a *complex* plaid is not simple for the mathematically challenged--my first mistake was in using the cut slice from the original 3x3 to plan the color combinations. . . I didn't realize until after inserting the first stripe into the cube that the grid from the *slice* was in REVERSE from the up-side of the cube. Oops. I corrected it, but my lines weren't as straight as they could have been.
--Create as large an expanse of the plaid as you can (repeating units) before reducing and recombining. It will keep the pattern and especially the small stripes straighter and more connected through the length of the cane (then reduce using the end-caps or another method to keep distortion as low as possible!.
-- Doing the planning with colored pencils and graph paper is helpful, but not really good enough to make it easy. The best thing to use would be some kind of drawing/paint program if it would allow the cross-over colors to combine properly--shoot, that could be lots of fun! Hadn't thought of that. I do love plaids, but I may never be able to see one again without trying to analyze it.... Diane B.

see how plaid "happens"
(plus making your own real plaid with any paint program having a capability for 2 "layers")
"reading tartans" --lessons on understanding plaids (pivots, underchecks, overchecks, exmples) (click on the different categories)
more plaid patterns to look at: (google Image Search for tartans tartan) (Tartan Finder...when you know the name you're looking for)
Diana's lesson on dotted swiss pattern

Nora-Jean's lesson on kente cloth (African) (website gone)

ethnic clothing using bits of "tiled" patterns (website gone)

Susan Hyde's method for faux fabric caning (see just above in Bargello for explanation)

(see also Sculpting/Body > Fabric/Clothing for more on clothing & faux fabrics)

(for a non-caning, surface technique for making plaid with multiple layers of manipulated wet paint or other powders, tints, etc., see Faux Turquoise-Wood > Wood > Surface Techniques)



("Insertion") ...see above for insertion method, which is often used for putting radiating lines into flower petals
("Translucent cane effects") ...see below for putting slices from many, varied-size, flower canes which have been surrounded by invisible translucent clay, close together and/or overlapping

Petals (and leaves too) are usually the same size and shape for each flower. So it's easier and quicker to make just one cane for all the petals then cut it into equal lengths, rather than to make a separate cane for each petal (or leaf).

basic simple flower cane:
... for the flower center, make a small plain log (or a contrasting or patterned small cane) ...set aside
... for the petals, make a plain log of a contrasting color (or a wrapped cane, or any cane) which is definitely larger in diameter than the flower center log
.......cut the petal log into a number of equal lengths (4 or more --5-6 is a good number for most flowers ) the 5 petal logs around the flower center log (equally spaced) not press petals tightly together now!
...the background is made in 2 steps:
......1. make small triangle logs of background color by cutting a larger round log lengthwise into 4 long wedges (or shape them by hand, or extrude from a clay gun-- see Clay Guns)... you'll need a 5th triangle log for 5 petals
(the color of the triangle logs should be the same as the background color you'll eventually create around the flower)
..........slide one long edge of each l triangle log between each petal cane
.....2. wrap the whole thing with a sheet of the background color
(or the cane can be left odd-shaped, without a background --see odd-shaped canes in Canes, Gen.... or it can be surrounded with translucent clay to make "floating flowers"...see Translucent+Opaque Canes)
(add photos of my handout)

make simple flower canes in a different way by:
...wrapping a center log with several layers of different color (multi-wrapped bullseye)
...then indent deeply down the length of the whole log at least 4 or more times, to form "petals", using the side of a credit card, a side of a needle tool, etc. (see Indention above)
--the indentions can then be filled in with a background color... or left alone to create an "odd-size cane." DB

for lesson links to making simple flowers, see just below in More Flower Websites

OR...for the flower center, make a spiral cane or other cane, or a solid log
...for petals, form a cane into a triangle cane... then cut it into 5 equal lengths each length around the outside of (points to the inside?); tiny solid log between each triangle log... wrap with same color of tiny logs. author??

Petra's more complex petals
...for petals, wrap 2 different-color sheets around a solid color log
...flatten resulting cane a bit, keeping one end rounded--or square it
...cut off one end of the cane far enough to get into the innermost color of the petal cane... remove end
...cut remaining cane into 7 equal lengths them evenly around a (small) flower center log (trimmed end touching center flower log)
...for background, make long triangles of background color and insert between the petals
...wrap the whole cane with background color
more of Petra's various flower canes

some of Pier Voulkos' flowers

It can be a good idea to wrap your petal cane in a thin layer of color that contrasts with the background color to separate the petals visually... can also do for flower center

for more petal cane examples, do a ctrl+f search on this page for petal cane

(for "flower" beads) . . . I also love to wrap a white cane with a dark color, like violet or teal, and then wrap that with a thin layer of pearl. When reduced using the lace technique, the dark color bleeds through the pearl lightly creating a beautiful pearalized look. Lisa

Using Skinner blends for petal or center canes add loads of visual pop, complexity and "depth"-- even to simple flower canes
....create a Skinner blend "bullseye" cane for your petal, leaf, or center cane ...(instead of wrapping a log in a solid color sheet) ...lesson:
...make a skinner blend the usual way (blue, to white is nice)
... when it's blended, turn it 90 degrees to the way you usually run it through the pasta machine and run it through on increasingly thinner settings, until you have a loooooong thin ribbon of clay that blends from blue/whatever on one end to white on the other end
.... Use this to wrap the center of your flower, whether the center is a jellyroll or solid color or whatever. Since it's so thin and you'll wrap it around so many times, it will look like it blends from one color to the next from the center - out.
Then you could use a thin sheet of another color to wrap that (or not, up to you), another looooong thin skinner blend, and proceed with the part about making indentations in the cane (make them deeper than I do in the photos). Irene NC

Naama's lesson on making flower petal cane with 3 narrow stacks cut from an accordion-folded Skinner blend
...(the middle "vein" of the petal is one of the stacks shaped into a long pointed oval, which is surrounded on each side by the other two stacks but with the color order reversed for contrast)
...the petal cane is then rolled to round, wrapped with a contrasting color, then reshaped to a pointed oval shape petal cane cut into 5 lengths and rejoined, with translucent spacer clay between outer portion of petals and wrapped around for wider background

Lindly Haunani's rose cane (Skinner blend cane petal segments), from her video Roses, Leaves and More ...

Darlene's balloon flower lesson; she cuts a Skinner Blend log into 6 lengthwise strips and inserts a darker clay between each strip (creating radiating lines in the petals); the log is indented a little at one end where the inserted strips are and a white clay strip is pressed into the indentions from the outside, creating a scallop around the middle 4 stirps; a diff. shade of the petal color is added around the petal log; she then forms this log into a petal shape round at one end & pointed at the other; the petals are placed around a center log and outlined with background sheet before the background triangle logs are inserted between the petals. Darlene's other nice caned flowers (website gone)

Barbara's lesson on using discrete blend sheets one at a time around a center to make a leaf petal rather than using a Skinner blend)... this allows the bottom to remain free of blend layers... she then cuts and inserts veins into the petal

ikat canes are fabulous for striped flower petals, but more complicated to make
(see bloow? in Ikat for Donna Kato's lesson on making "veins" in leaf and petal canes using a Skinner blend ikat technique ...and
other lessons)

If you don't add a pupil to (Kerstin's) "eye cane," (see Sculpting-Body > Eyes) you'll get a flower -- a carnation. Kerstin

my rose from Kim Korringa's rose cane, using overlapped lengths of rose petal cane made with discrete-blend stack--my variation, onlaid onto magnet
.... (each inner layer of discrete blend petal is indented with the back of a blade in places before the next petal-layer is added...a separate spiral cane used as rose center)

Elissa's chrysanthemum cane, lesson (using indention on outermost layer of translucent sheet and scraps layer, to create a flower shape... most mum canes don't use the scrap layer though)
(see below in Translucent+Opaque Canes for details on this cane)

... see more individual. flowers just below in More Flower Webistes

I love all the flower center ideas, I hadn't gotten very creative with those yet, all I had tried were jellyroll centers or solid colors...I especially like the idea of using a face! The technique that Sarajane described also worked beautifully, I used two of my "mistake canes" and was ecstatic with the results!!
~embossing powder... in the center of flowers...the little dots kinda "explode" into puffs when the slice is baked.
The "explosive dots" can also be partially sanded off, which gives a more muted, neat effect. DB
...One little trick I learned from studying Shriver's cane work is to food process some scrap, squeeze it into a log and wrap it with some complimentary color(s) and reduce. The speckled collection of colors looks like something intricate and interesting to the eye. I typically use those canes as the core for simple flower canes. Desiree

I've turned some of my ugly canes into centers for flower canes. . . My most popular flower center is the ugly face cane that doesn't look nearly so bad when reduced to fit amongst the petals. People are so intrigued when they notice a face looking out where they didn't expect one. LynnDel

**Whole flowers (or leaves, or any images) can be surrounded with translucent clay (to create a round, etc., cane) so that they will appear to float over any background when a thin slice of them is placed over it (....see many details on those below in Translucent +Opaque and also in Close-together there )

My tips for fancy flower canes:
-Study pics of your favorite caned flowers.... Analyze the designs and try to break down the colors & parts of the flower into more basic shapes or shapes that might be morphed. (do this with real flowers too.)
-Buy, rent, or borrow Donna Kato's Millefiori Basics video.
If you have not done a lot of skinner blends, 1st try canes without them, then substitute skinner blended logs for the solid colored ones.
-There is a Flowering Fimo barrette in the Feb. 2001 Jewelry Crafts Mag. A very fancy caned flower project by Donna Kato. I subscribed to the mag just in time to get this one. Laurie in MI

flowers with diff. canes for petals. . .sometimes reducing other flowers or just geometric canes, then recombinng them into flower shapes can yield multiple-petal flowers (see more below in Flower websites)
...Donna's lesson on making flower, butterfly, leaf with a Skinner Blend cane --magenta (center) to white--) by forming into teardrop logs, cutting into lengths, then combining next to each other (the pansy had one unaltered (round) cane at bottom which made it look like an overlapped petal) (if you have Acrobat Reader installed .. use litle magnifying glass icon to enlarge)

Marla's lesson on a complex pansy cane using 3 colors (monochrome = dark, med, light) for petals
...she uses an ikat-flame technique (see Ikat above), but only overlaps the sections a bit (creating the interleaved areas) rather than layering most of each small sheet on top of the previous one (light in center) .. she also tapers each end of the small sheets with her fingers before laying (leaving a sort of scallopped edge on each)
...after pressing the stack into a flat-ish plug, she cuts the plug into sections, and stacks those atop each other... then adds extra clay on the light end so the ikat falls close to one end (the bottom of the "petal")
...shapes into a petal-shaped cane, and cuts 4 lengths
...puts 2 lengths together (but leaving center as divot) to form one large, bottom double "petal" for final cane
....makes trough in ikat side of that cane and lays yellow and green "center" in trough
....adds thin layer of dark color to outside of each length
....presses two remaining lengths to sides of large bottom petal, cutting off just a bit at ikat end first
...makes a plain Skinner blend plug with light and medium clay, covers 3/4 of outside with thin dark sheet
......cuts in 2 unequal lengths, and joins to top of final cane (this time light side out)

using flower canes in other ways
... Queen Anne's Lace...was a total afterthought ...I had made a funky looking dogwood cane, and I don't mean funky in a GOOD way..... it was a HUGE cane and I didn't want to just turn it into scrap, so I got the idea that if I reduced and recombined (5 times) a whole load of the dogwoods it would look like Queen Anne's Lace...then I added the requisite purple/blue flower in the middle and a really COOL new cane was born! Lynne
... I was thinking that without the center flower, it could also look very much like a sea-sponge for an underwater theme. Hmmm . . . or with a little pearl-ex tint, it could be great moss. Or, . . . oh, sorry. I think you have a very versatile cane! Juli

thick slices of flower canes can be attached to the end of individual wires (for flowers on stems), then arranged in a small vase or pot¤t=22.jpg
(where are others? --in Miniatures > Flowers?)

If several flower canes are created with different colored backgrounds and diff. colored flowers, then they're placed next to each other, the effect is more geometric and abstract and looks more like rows of dots
.. Lisa's lesson places clay logs (of a diff. color) into the small triangular spaces between 6 round logs of each cane which had been placed together around a center. . .she then uses slices from the diff. canes to create an interesting sheet

Leigh reduces some of her flower canes way down to 1/16" diameter

(flower canes are complex canes ... for more on all complex canes, see below in "Complex")
(for sculpted flowers, see Sculpture --some overlapping ideas there )

more flower websites

(see more instructions for making Skinner blends or discrete blends in Blends)

(see also Insertion below)

Sculpey & Polyform (simple flower lesson)
(with insertions in petals, freestanding/no background added)
canes instructions: flowers,Koi,dragon,bird,stars,Saturn

Kerstin's violets

Dawn's lesson at PCC on inserting a tiny log into a rolled up blend sheet for a flower petal

Susan T's more painterly, "organic" flower canes using many tiny gradation logs and components...sort of lesson
Nora-Jean's lesson on flower petal with insertion, for making multiple-radiating-petals flowers (website gone)
Juli's flower cane lesson ( lace cane center, diff. kind of petal cane) (3 pgs.) (pch website gone)
Nora-Jean's lesson on making Stargazer Lillies (daylillies) sculptural, and other flowers/leaves in pots (website gone)
Donna Kato's pansy lesson
.....cut a Skinner blend cane in half widthwise... cut each half lengthwise =4 pieces (one not used) one piece on work surface, cut edge 2nd piece against 1st piece, its cut side to 1st piece's round side (barely touching work surface) 3rd piece against 2nd piece in same way

......grouping cut in half widthwise... then carefully reassembled mirrror image
...(red pansy in photo is a striped version).... 2 lessons on same cane, but slightly diff. or better photos:,1789,HGTV_3239_1376369,00.html

Tonja's flower cane swap (many diff. flowers, each with translucent background)

many caned flowers at ClayPen
PolymerClayCentral flower swap (each surrounded with translucent for "floating canes")
Sarajane's collection of many flower canes for her book
Nancy B" thick odd-shaped flower cane slices as beads in necklace (posies)
Lynne Ss many flowers & leaves
Petra's workshop project egg covered with many "spoked" flowers
Petra's flowers & leaves with insertions on card

Jenifer W's many flower canes (onlaid onto beads)

Tonja' simple but stunning necklaces made by stringing thick slices of flower and leaf canes
Eileen L's flowers twining with leaves as onlays
Tonja's bowl with onlaid strips of individual flowers bisecting exterior of bowl
Annie's many flowers with Skinner petals (look around) (gone?)
Cindy P's flowers with Skinner stripes for petals (look around)
Cristel's tulips and leaves in pot cane
Queen Annes Lace
. . see above in text of Flowers

Nora Jean's Stargzer lily (made into sculpted flower)
Debbie A's iris and leaves cane (website gone)
MaryLu's (stained-glass) purple iris cane (website gone)

Jan's bracelet with diff. kinds of mostly simple flowers, plus rose... leaves
Monica’s rose cane lesson (‘cloudless’ = she's saying to make the lightest and darkest sheets longer than the other two) (gone)
maribel's lesson on rose made like a spiral cane, but she indents the two layered colors (as long thin strips, tapered) crosswise many times before rolling up using a needletool, etc.
my rose from Kim Korringa's rose cane, using overlapped lengths of rose petal cane made with discrete-blend stack--my variation
.... (each inner layer of discrete blend petal is indented in places before the next petal-layer is added...a separate spiral cane used as rose center)

rose cane lesson from Leigh (TrueLeighrose)...also overlpapped petal cane
Maria Teresa's rose canes of many colors cane covering a little bottle

rose cane swap (based on Leigh’s lesson, at same site)
Diana's pieced rosebud square lesson

Eileen's interesting flowers and leaves in cane sheet as frame
Leigh's many beautiful flowers and leaves (Millenium Garden & others) on eggs (gone)
artistbead's many beautiful flower and leaves
Tonja's beautiful flowers and leaves with translucent surrounds and on trans. base
cmj's toned-down flowers
Cheryl's onlaid sculpted flowers and many sculpted caned leaves ...on focal beads

*Annie's many flowers (some onlaid), embroidered-complex, and rose (angeled view) (website gone)
*Lynelle’s canes (many flower types, rose, daisy, etc., misc, leaf)
*Laurie MI's flowers & petals (website gone)
*Darlene (modernclay)'s flowers and leaves (look around) (website gone)
Candy's flowers (& more)
Julie W's various flowers (including sunflower)
lesson: Marie making a sunflower cane (5 min, free, online videoclip)
Kerstin's dahlia-type flower
lesson on making a thistle flower (purple, green, white) with leaves, by Zuleykha...the technique used here for the flower the fat-prickly-body under the flower would also work for making a pineapple cane (exterior)... Skinner blend plug (green + white), rolled to round, reshaped to square with green at one corner, cut into many lengths, stacked together with color-side/point up
Claire's flower canes (on vase) --pink, etc
(website gone)
*N&B: face&*flower cane slices (gone)
*Kim Korringa's canes (flowers, faces, quilt, still life, cats, fish, mosaic people, misc.)
claysquared cats and dogs canes
*Klew's drum & Aspen beads, leaf pods, necklace
japaya's 3D flowers made with thick cane slices onlaid from center of flower
Amaco canes (at Accent Arts) --many flowers there

*Christine's (Xtine) many flowers & leaves
Laurie MI's onalid flowers & leaves with "pot" (website gone)
Tamila's flowers and leaves on tel. wire stalks in pot (with bunny) (website gone)

Patti S's poinsettias, using scalloped red leaves for the inner circle of "petals" and scalloped green leaves for a staggered outer layer of leaves
...more layers of red leaf/petals could be added, especially if they were outlined
Ari's lesson on poinsettia cane (or "tropical flower" if using other colors)
... or use the Kato (slice painting) technique for adding very thin petal cane slices one at a time to a background sheet

find photos of Pier Volkous' many flower canes--DB

"Slice Painting" .flowers & leaves, etc.

flowers & leaves built up petal by petal on a base clay sheet

usually pictorial images (but could be graphic)
....created by slicing canes very thinly... then applying them in the desired pattern one by one onto a base sheet, bead, or shape of clay
....applying them this way gives a lot of control and options for "painting with" the slices
... and because the added slices are flattened frequently, the resulting surface is completely flat (resemblinges a "painting")
....the canes used can be "complete" canes (flower cane, e.g), or they often are components which would normally have been only part of a complete cane (e.g., a petal cane-- many slices of which would be used to build a complete image of a flower)
...aka " Blooming Flowers "by Donna Kato

...the results can be so elegant ...especially when the slices are placed on a Skinner blend background. Robin
......I have one of Donna's pendants and it's absolutely beautiful... looks like a watercolor painting on clay. . flowers and leaves on a blue Skinner blend background with tiny, tiny stars on it, which BTW were also from a cane. Gwen
...can create these on a bead or other 3-D bases as well as on flat bases
...some like to cover or partly cover the base sheet or bead with leaf canes, then build the flowers over this leafy background

(for much more on this general technique, and ideas on how to use this technique for non-flower images, see above in Overall Techniques > Slice Painting)


Donna Kato's slice paintings +some by others (+one by me with gold acrylic paint) + a photo of technique (accessible? if Acrobat Reader installed)
........Diane L's shoe has examples of thin slices from a petal cane used this way (as well as thick slices from it used to make a sculptural flower)
........Eileen Loring's many beautiful flowers and other images (first 6 photos)
........Lindly's blue single (layer) flowers and leaves

........Kathy W's flowers and leaves on rust-to-purple blend backgrounds, with white specks here and there
.......Barb Harper's beautiful scenes with flower, leaves, etc.
........Stacia's? or Judy B's? could-be-component caning? flowers and leaves (covers)
........Pat S's beautiful partial blooms on box lid (upper left)
........sev. examples in Tonja's swap (graphics heavy... click on ea.for enlargement tho')
.......sandie's ex's of diff. petals, leaves, arrangements
...... Cat's irises... one has thicker, bas relief petal and leaf slices, then other is flat
........Maer's very "striped" petals in two color sets, with thick marbled vines and leaves
......Jana's faux wood "branches" have dogwood-like flowers on them (both onlaid this way)
........Robin's flowers*&id=1058366075-004572 (gone?)
MORE examples: (accessible if you have Acrobat Reader installed)
........Pat S's beautiful partial blooms on box lid (upper left)
........Connie's partial blooms on paddle shaped earrings
........sev. examples in Tonja's swap (graphics heavy... click on ea.for enlarge.')
........Robin's flowers*&id=1058366075-004572

lessons & tips (slice painting)

Donna Kato's lesson on making a floral pendant using a petal cane (also lengthened for slender leaf cane)
... plus a "reed" cane (like dried sepals, leaves?)... with Skinner blend of 2 greens (green + gold... green/gold and black), then wrap with gold
........reed is Skinner log or plug?...the thin reed slice is also turned over once or twice when onlaid so it's more angular,1789,HGTV_3238_2856588,00.html

...create a petal cane:
.... make a Skinner blend sheet (see Blends > Continuous Blends) with white and magenta clay....thin the sheet in pasta machine to med. thickness, then roll it up beginning at dark side to create a Skinner blend log (will be darker in center)
...set on one end and cut lengthwise in half.... then cut each of these in half for 4 long wedges
...pull on the white clay on the outside of each wedge somewhat till it covers more of the dark color
...lay wedges next to each other in the same orientation, and squeeze them together to form a rectangle... then reduce to a small rectangular cane ~3/4" wide (should have 4 dark stripes, surrounded by white)
...cut log in half crosswise ...lay lengths next to each other and squeeze to same cane size (= 8 dark stripes) ....repeat (= 16 dark stripes)
...round off cane by pinching dark edges toward each other (almost completely ...registration line), then light edges
...wrap with fairly thin sheet of gold clay (leaving a slight gap to also use as registration line later)
...reduce petal cane to several very small diameters (even slightly smaller because they will spread a bit when rolled over)
...shape these canes into teardrop canes by pinching each along its dark registration mark
LEAF cane: ...make a Skinner blend from 2 greens (green and gold... green, gold and black)..... wrap with gold and shape into teardrop cane as with petal. ..pinch two sides to create an almond shaped cane
...REED cane... do the same as petal with gold wrap...but rather than almond shape, leave one edge slightly rounded and pinch and stretch the other side out a few inches to elongate it (like a long comma)
ONLAYING the slices
...create a solid color base sheet, or perhaps a Skinner blend sheet, or whatever you want (almost thickest pasta machine setting)
...begin with the back-most components or any background elements.... and think about where you will want the flower(s)
...(can refrigerate canes if necessary to hold shape while slicing?)
...leaves & reeds... slice leaf and reed canes very thinly slices so they will extend from "under" the flower(s) and so their narrow ends are pointing outward ... reeds can be crooked, bent or squiggled for added interest
....gently roll over the slices with a thickish, metal double-ended knitting needle (or some kind of roller) to smooth everything laid down so far
...petals....cut about 9 slices from the largest petal cane... lay them next to each other (not too uniformly) in a ring (which can be left somewhat empty in the center, depending on the size the flower and look you want) .... dark ends of petals should point inward ....roll over all to smooth
...cut 5-6 slices from the next largest petal cane .... lay these petals in a 2nd ring about halfway overlapping the first ring (or whatever you want), with their tips touching in the center ....roll over all to smooth
(...more rings or petals can be added depending on the type of flower being simulated --reducing the petal or not)
(...could add some kind of flower center now, if wanted... or anything else)
....trim clay scene with long blade (she used a shield shape, rounded at top) ....she likes to artistically truncate some of the outer flowers/leaves so that they appear to extend past the edge of the area that's left ... bake 15 min
....create a sheet of the same thickness with a contrasting clay to use as a "frame"... place baked scene on raw sheet ... wrap around perimeter with a raw clay rope (blend seam ends)
... cut sheet outside perimeter of scene for frame, except at top:
HANGER TUBE create a clay tube hanger for cording, leave an uncut "tab" of backing sheet extending upward from the center of the top of the backing clay... after the other excess clay is removed, roll the tab around a knitting needle or wood skewer toward the front of the pendant... bake ... remove skewer while warm... string

Someone said they lost the stripes in the their Skinner blend cane guess is that there wasn't enough contrast between the colors correct having blended your Skiner blend too much, you can roll a log of color for the center, or add a blanket of color outside. ...this works great to bring back the lines. . . .......actually you can have the same effect as the kato method with a bit more contrast by using two colors (& not doing skinner blend). H2Obaby
.........the ones she made for us had maybe 30 or so stripes ..very subtle....she also folded her cane over from the long sides into an slim teardrop or oval shape and then outlined it in a thin sheet, usually of gold metallic or of white (base or teardrop edge of the cane stripey and the point or top of the cane was usually a solid shade (this end pointed to center of the flower) ...extremely thin slices of the teardrop-ovals and laid them out into a Chrysanthemum sort of flower. Mary M.
...because the slices are so thin, it's important to place them on a light colored background ...or to use an opaque clay (or mix a bit of white, which is opaque, into the other clays
.........also the pearl-based clay seems to be more opaque than most clays- not surprising, with all that mica in there, I suppose... .I used pastel coloured pearl clays for the petals (I don't think the slices were all that thick ) Alan

Alan's beautiful, large flowers on bowls (using a diff. color for each flower)... I also had the idea of lining a black bowl with the flowers and leaves - very Japanese. Alan striped petal cane is a surprisingly easy one.....first make a Skinner blend bullseye cane with a good colour contrast....cut lengthways into quarters and flatten the sections, with the outer colour wrapping the inner as much as it will. Then all 4 sections are stacked together, reduced, cut, and stacked again....then the cane is shaped into a petal form with the lines parallel to the long axis.
........ I also made some fish with this cane. Alan

These same cane slices can also be used for buds or for side views of multi-petal flowers
... just overlap in a V shape, beginning with petal at tip end (wide area of petals near stem) rather than using a disk (she used a flame-type cane... see Flame/Spliced on this page for more on those )

for more on slice painting, see above in Later Manipulations > Slice Patinting

Real Flowers for inspiration

Some seed catalogs have good flower photos, as do remaindered calendars. I always search out the larger book stores after January to find the sales. Both of these sources are good for general info: color, composition, size, etc. Karen S

my close-up photos of real flowers and leaves (incl.shamrocks) (DB..add back)(website gone)
Shelley M's flowers, plants, and animals for inspiration
Kim K's flowers, leaves for inspiration
Melnik's real flowers (website gone)
many daylillies!
many irises
sunni's many wildflower photos (semi-closeup) (may not be on website yet)
California wildflower close-ups
MaryAnn's (Ph.) photos of roses (website gone)'s Flower Identifier (by scientific family)
GHS's flower identifier (by # of petals), ferns too
Burpee seed catalog
loads of lilies!
flowers on art posters


Leaf canes can be made in several ways.

any people use Skinner blends (generally for the main part of the cane) or discrete blends can be used, for leaf and flower petal canes because it gives them so much punch, depth, and interest, BUT it's not necessary to do that (can just use solid colors)
. . .(instructions for Skinner and discrete blends are both in Blends)

....leaf centers can be almost any coloration
........simple (one color, like a basic light to medium green)
....... graduated single color for more pop (e.g., Skinner blend bullseye.., discrete blend bullseye... or just log of one color thickly wrapped with another color --usually darker version of some color)
.........marbled, chopped, etc, colors ....or whole canes
....leaf veins
.........can be one color, or more colors
.........can be a simple line of one sheet, or a more tapered line, or highlighted, etc.
....leaf outline wraps
.........usually there is one wrap, but could have any number... usually a darker color than center, but doesn't have to be

round cane(s)

SUMMARY: several diagonal cuts are made across a round log or cane... thin sheets are put between the pieces to create the side veins of the leaf... cane cut in half, diagonally to the stripes... one half flipped over then and rejoined with other half, with a center vein inserted ... cane is pinched at one end and shaped into a leaf cane
....this is the most common way of making leaf canes ... there are lots more possibilities for variation though
....this wonderful style of leaf cane was originated by Karen Lewis & Marie Segal .. looks wonderful with all types of flowers. Dotty
(also Lindly Haunani? --see "Kaleidoscope" caning above)

1. Make a regular bullseye cane or Skinner blend bullseye cane (with a light yellow-green-->leaf green in the center, and a dark green outside), and make pretty fat and short.
2. (Lay it face up and) Slice across the cane about 3 times across through its length (then move pieces apart)
.... Insert a thin slice of dark green or black clay into the slices and reassemble the parts ( Now you have a round cane with horizontal stripes through).
3. Here's the the tricky part.... now rotate the cane about 45 degrees so the stripes are on a diagonal then cut the round cane in half (face up), so you have two semicircular canes with diagonal stripes
.... (OR, just cut cown the cane's face from 1:30 to 7:30 as if you were looking at a clock face, to get the correct angle for the cut.

4. Flip one half of the cane over (so its other end is facing up)
.... Insert a thin slice of dark clay between the two halves. (Now you have a round cane with a line through it and diagonal lines running up on either side, like the veins in a leaf. )
5. Make one end of the round cane pointy like a leaf and you are done! (author?)

Valerie H's thorough lesson on making a leaf cane from a Skinner blend bullseye cane--not a "plug" (she gives it a highlighted vein)
....she also shows examples of leaves (veins simple & complex)
Leigh's lesson on making a leaf cane (for her rose cane) ... (with her veins)
Eugena's similar lesson
CandyFimoWebTR's video lesson on making a leaf cane from a Skinner blend bullseye cane
PolymerClayTV's video lesson on making leaf cane from a multi-color Skinner blend bullseye cane (warning: ad first)

Marie's leaf canes & her leaf necklaces on Claudine's page (check other galleries too)
Donna Kato's lesson on making a slender leaf cane, then using it for the "slice painting" technique
......using Skinner blend bullsyeye of 2 green mixes (green+gold to green+gold+ black)... then wrap with gold
...also a very long "reed" cane formed from same cane (used as dried sepals, long leaves) ...reed slice is also turned over once or twice so it's more "angular",1789,HGTV_3238_2856588,00.html (step 13, but forgot the photo)

Pinchy's lesson on leaf cane made veins in Skinner blend log with a wavy blade
...after making the cuts, I lay a thin sheet of color in between each cut and gently stroke it into the grooves. Joanie

Naamaza's lesson on creating a Skinner blend "plug" cane (from an accordion-folded Skinner blend strip) which is then cut vertically exactly in half (not on an agle) and the halves aren't flipped and rejoined.... dark vein then inserted partway ....(lighter color ends up all at one end and symmetrical)
Elaine's lesson on making a leaf cane from a Skinner blend bullseye plug, which she cuts on an angle and flips (ends up with non-symmetrical shading)

Carolyn's lesson making 2 bullseye (Skinner blend) canes in reverse order, then cutting about 8 slices.... alternating slices of them to make new round cane, before cutting on an angle and inserting a vein

Emma used different patterns inside her leaves! .....What beautiful leaves and different designs .Adrienne (gone)

Jeanne R's 2 leaf canes using a "bullseye" cane made from solid color log surrounded by with a thick wrap? instead of a Skinner blend bullseye (then inserted)

Cindy's leaf with wide center vein which doesn't extend to bottom of leaf (Sk.blend bullseye, indented for shape)

For the vein, I like to put in a contrasting color... so if the leaf is a turquoise-to-silver Skinner Blend, I like to use a coppery color down the middle, and vice-versa. Elizabeth

These leaf canes also be done in a wide variety of colors besides green.
.... I love to make what I call "fantasy" leaves using a blue and white shaded cane, or lavender and white, but all sorts of combinations look wonderful. Fun to experiment with. Dotty in CA
I like to use wild colors for my leaf canes, and in place of the matching color for the vein up the middle

Elaine's lesson on using this type leaf to a 5-pointed ivy leaf (with 5 segments of graduating size, placed radially) ... mirror image
... reducing it, then cutting in half (set aside one half).
... reducing remaining cane, then cutting in 3 lengths (set aside two)... reducing remaining cane, then cut in half (leaving two) . . .
...arrange 5 leaf canes radially (pie-slice) so that the largest points toward 12:00, the next largest two point to 10:00 and 2:00, and the smallest two point toward 5:00 and 7:00 (stretching or reshaping all canes to fit)
... surround with layer of translucent... fill in with translucent if desired

Cindy's Skinner blend leaf with insertions (not shaped as leaf yet)
Kim Korringa's great leaves (click on various photos) ...
Cindy P's various leaves on boxes
Lisa P's simpler-looking monochromatic leaves with Skinner blend bullseye...and short vein insertion... wrapped in black
IrishRed's bright graphic leaves
Rebecca A's orange onlaid leaves (red & yellow)
many more examples (Google search)"leaf+cane"
(also see more of various types below)

other ways to make leaves

STACKS of STRIPES..... (squared... one diagonal cut... flipped)
...this method first creates a stack of stripes (in various ways)
... the stack is made into a squared cane... it's cut diagonally into in 2 parts
...a vein is added on one part ...then the other part is flipped over & joined to the other half (creating chevron stripes)
Nora Jean's various leaf canes using stacks of flattened bullseye canes to make the stripes
(# 2 + 3?)
Nora Jean's stack of green-orange-green sheets, used as multi-color veins between layers of flattened bullseye canes to make the stripes
Nora Jean's not -flattened green bullseye canes with multiple green wraps which are stacked, cut in half widthwise, then joined with added vein strip (leaf looks large & topical)
long squashed bullseye cane strip accordion folded ..

Susan Bradshaw's feather cane. . . stacked pieces are offset... used as a leaf cane when two lengths are joined symmetrically
...offset lengths of very long, pasta machined cane ribbon (several colors, several Skinner Blend strips made into plugs then ribbons, or several unloved canes squashed on a base layer) ...with black sheet added to sides, plus a center spine (sheets & slices)

...(see a bit more on this and similar canes Diagonal Stripes-Chevrons and Feather Canes above)

ikat canes are fabulous for striped flower petals, but more complicated to make
(see above in Ikat for Donna Kato's lesson on making "veins" in leaf and petal canes using a Skinner blend ikat technique ...and
also Valerie's lesson)

...Lisa Pavelka's lesson on making a simple but effective leaf cane with a short central vein
....she wraps a gold log thinly with silver, then thicker with black ... she then indents the cane
....then presses the gap together, creating a central vein......(could also be a heart),,HGTV_3239_1397691,00.html

Cindy's flames (could be leaves)
...made with a stack of 3 Skinner blend sheets... folded in half & rolled up... outermost layers indented (for side veins)... shaped into a leaf
(see Other Geometric Canes > "Wedges" on this page for details)

MIRROR IMAGE.... (lengthwise cuts creating half-canes)
...Donna Kato's leaf cane lesson for a large tropical-looking leaf
......a Skinner blend cane is cut in half widthwise... then each half is cut lengthwise =4 pieces (3 pieces used) one piece on work surface, cut edge down 2nd piece against 1st piece, its cut side to 1st piece's round side (barely touching work surface) 3rd piece against 2nd piece in same way (touching w.surface a little more)
......cut this "cane" in half widthwise...add sheet of clay on one half as "vein"... press 2 halves together mirror image
.....(leaf cane is made same way as the pansy cane, but a vein is added)
(2 lessons on same canes, but slightly diff. or better photos)

individual Natasha slices from a log could also be used to make leaves
..shape a log of many chopped colors into a rough tear drop shape (or twist it first, etc.)
..cut two thick slices and open them like a book (decide if you want to combine the leaf halves in that orientation or reversed)
..add a vein between them if needed.
(none of the leaves would be the exact same pattern, of course, but the all colors would be the same so these might work for a variety of slightly different leaves---see Natasha how-to's in Beads > Symmetrical)

Cindy P's wonderful leaves, made with bargello-ed strips of stripe strips, etc.
some used as flower petals

(...also see Flowers because those petal canes can be shaped into leaves and look great
...also see Wedges for another way to make striped petals)

MORE EXAMPLES of all leaves:
Nora Jean's leaf index... many many leaves using various techniques (some lessons)
Christine's (Xtine) many flowers & leaves (also click on Next Page)
Lorie's various leaves on items.... +glow-in-the-dark leaves (Skinner blend with fluorescent green) on hair sticks & larger face showing the leaves (click on photo), plus same easier to see?, large central vein

all of Cindy's leaves
Nora-jean made some sculpted holly leaves from canes

Norajean's lesson on mkaing a coleus leaf
*Emma's stunning leaves, including creative coleus leaves (website gone)
Teri's various interesting leaves in blues, & more (others in photo # 84) http://hobbystage. (not accessible)
*Annie's onlaid flowers and rose (angeled view) (website gone)
Darlene's long slender leaves, using a slice from stripes stack (website gone)
Darlene's cane with 15 repeated leaves around a central flower, effect is feather-like (website gone)
chopped cane used for Fall leaves, also cut and impressed -- Karen WA (website gone)
Feat of Clay's plaque with many leaves (wrong URL?)
*Valerie's scene plaque of tree/leaves/flowers/vines (gone)
Grove and Grove's leaf-shaped slices for masks (many could be leaves!...inspirational) (gone)

see other interesting leaves (including "dead" corn leaves) in Miniatures > Veggies & Fruits, etc.)

MISCELLANEOUS non-geometric canes

Another clever way to make a silhouette cane:
.....A star (or other straight-line) cane can also be made with a cut out paper pattern (I've used an enlarged photocopy of a star sticker to easily get the right pattern shape, and in the size I want) (lesson... this idea was in a very old polymer booklet...sorry I don't know whom to credit):
...make tall, round (or square pads) of two contrasting colors as above with shape cutter method (end diamater should be wider than your paper pattern) ....cut off or otherwise flatten the tops paper pattern on top of one cane end
...using long, sharp blade, cut down the clay pad exactly beside one side of one of the star's arms (all the way to the outside) the blade as perpendicularly as possible!
...make the next cut on the next arm (so that you'll end up cutting out a V shape)
...remove this section and carefully place it to the side

...make these two cuts for the next between-arms area and place it to the side all cut pieces in the EXACT positions they were removed, so you can put them back the same !! (they won't all look alike . . . )
...finish cutting the star from this pad of clay
...NEXT: do the same series of cuts on the second color/pad of clay
...REASSEMBLE ("inter-assemble"?): add the cut pieces from pad one into the spaces of pad 2, and vice versa (yielding two canes with stars of diff. colors) together, and reduce
(for the small-cutter method, see Insertion & Removal above )

My 'delft' is actually made from lots of various monochrome canes - I made 10 square canes in all and assembled them
... I did have an idea that mini-scene builders could use them as 1/12 scale tiles in kitchens or fireplaces
....the colours didn't bleed at all - and since I've started shielding all the pieces with tinfoil during baking, my white (actually 50:50 white:fimo pearl) stays white; my blue is Premo Ultramarine 50:50 with translucent. Alan
Alan's lesson:
...Shane's delft beads and eggs ...she uses Skinner blend canes as well for some.... and simple blue-lines for others .....and

Eileen L. uses one cane to create hot air balloons to use as onlays
...could be any round cane, but each has a wrap of contrasting color at outside to give dimension when joined
...she lays four cane lengths side by side, and pinches one end to form a teardrop "balloon"... then adds one (or two) square versions of same cane underneath for basket (or bottom +basket) separated a bit from balloon

Nora-Jean's abstract sky-woods-water cane (website gone) (website gone)

eye canes

(much more info on making eyes --caned and sculpted-- in Sculpting -Body > Eyes)
and also in Faces, and below in Complex Canes)

eye cane lesson
lesson on making an eye cane (& on using a thick slice for an eyeball)
Darla's spoked-iris eyecanes: (website gone) (website gone)
Kerstin's lesson on a many-spoked-iris cane
(see more on Kerstin's cane above in crushed Ikat)
Nora Jean's cat's eye lesson website gone)
Sandy's (painted or rolled-on-cane-slice?) eyeballs in figures (website gone)
Dotty's cat faces with onlaid eye and nose canes (website gone)
Lorraine's eye cane slices necklace
d'zi bead patterns ( shiny stone beads patterned with mystical eyes and stripes) from Tibet
add my various eye canes

Make your own out of polymer clay by creating an eyeball cane. Create a graded sheet using the Skinner method for the iris (brown and gold, cobalt and light blue, etc.). Roll it very thin and accordion fold it to achieve the effect of variegated striations. Compress and wrap around a black pupil so that the striations are perpendicular to the center. At this point you may wish to wrap a very thin sheet of dark blue, or brown, or green (depending on the color of the eye) around your cane before building the wite of the eye. <<There are two accordion folds to create the variegated iris: The first establishes a pattern of graded stripes from dark through medium values to light. The second accordion fold is done perpendicular to the first. Then this pattern is compressed and is wrapped around the pupil so that these striations radiate outward.>>
For the white of the eye, blend a non-plaquing translucent with white using a 2-1 ratio. After the cane is reduced, shape it using a eyeball mold. This mold is simply a sheet of polymer clay with hemispheric dimples made by pressing ball bearings of varied sizes into to it. The ball bearings were removed and the mold baked. Bake before using. When the sculpture or doll is finished, varnish with Hyplar Gloss Varnish for a shiny eye. Katherine Dewey

seasonal (xmas, etc.)

Jane's candy-cane cane (PCC)
Jane's snowflake cane (PCC)
little snow man cane (gone?)
nora-jean's holly leaves from canes (search around in
Arlene Thayer's valentine cane (using cutter method)
Leigh’s PCC pumpkin cane
(instead of cutting out the features on the votive with an xacto, I put a layer of black clay on the back of the slices, put them in the freezer for a while and then carved the faces out with a toothpick. I enjoyed doing them and my daughter loved them. Michelle)

more canes can be found in Christmas (....or Halloween-Valentines...) here at Glass Attic. . .
...for example, in Christmas there are canes for (pine) trees, gingerbread people, snowmen ....and many more

Dianne C’s "dirty snow man" cane– Make snakes of Fimo Art translucent (00), white, & glow-in-the-dark. Bundle the snakes randomly so your bundle has Art, white,and glow next to each other. Reduce, put the bundles together; reduce, put the bundles together--do this until you can make 3 x 3 inch squared cane….cover snowman.
same as Dianne’s except I made a lace cane out of white and translucent 06 and put the glow in the dark on under the lace cane …Dawn

Chop "n Toss
(not true canes because the pattern elements change in size, shape, & color throughout the cane length)

Nora-Jean's Chop 'N Toss canes (...can also be made mirror-image, if desired) (lessons, examples and ideas)
...(I took) 4-6 canes and did a "chop and toss" (then squeezed a handful) (--can also roll the result into a rectangle and press together contiguous slices for a mirror-image).... to get a medley of colors and images that mean something ... (if there is a theme) it could be Africa like mine, things and colors from the sea, or any symbol that means something to you.
...Patterns created by the randomness of the toss will hold a truth in the design, the truth that came from the physics of tossing the bits about. Ever notice that natural things have their own patterns?....You have your own cultural construct and beliefs, all filled with colors, designs, symbols that have relevance to you.... (think) about what are your favorite colors, what are your favorite design elements: curls instead of straight lines, for example; what symbols mean something to you, and marry all that together.... Nora-Jean

NoraJean's canewich technique

to see many other ways chopping up canes or just random colors and recombining them can be used (as backgrounds in canes, for example), see Scraps

TRANSLUCENT cane effects
("floating" images.... non-cane uses, etc)


basic info

These "floating" canes are created by using a translucent clay and an opaque clay in the same cane ...(or slab, etc.)
...the translucent parts of the cane will disappear after baking, leaving only the opaque parts visible (if done correctly)
...this also allows any clay background color lying beneath the translucent parts to show through the slices
(so, any parts of the cane that are to be visible will be created with opaque-colored clay, and everything else in the cane will be created with translucent clay)

I believe this technique began with Kathleen Dustin's method of making a cane using a lot of translucent clay (and sometimes Premo's Pearl clay) along with some opaque clay parts, to create "floating" effects (stripes, etc.)
... here are some examples of her work (click on Gallery for more)

Two techniques:
......translucent clay used only as a background around the outside of an image (especially popular for creating the field of flowers look so that the entire opaque image appears to float over its background)
......transcluent clay iused as a background AND inside the cane image (a little or a lot) as well

To create this floating effect, t
he outer portions of a cane could instead just be left odd-shaped and stand-alone rather than being surrounded with translucent, but those kinds of canes are hard to slice without distortion
the "background" portions of the cane are usually packed with translucent clay until they make round or rectangular canes (or the "cane" could be just a stack of alternating layers,etc.) ... this also makes the cane easier to reduce if desired as well

It's always best though to have as little translucent clay around the outside of the image as possible (if that applies) can always trim away any excess translucent before reducing
...or you can reduce the cane until you start seeing the colors of the image begin to "move toward" the outer edges of your cane (a typical effect of reducing is that edges often move quicker than centers!) Sarah
...see below for more ways to make as transparent as possible

...(some of the information below may apply to one, or all, those methods... some are kind of mixed up)

There are lots of ways of applying and/or layering slices from these canes!

Slices of these translucent-opaque canes can be applied in various positions:
.....just here and there alone
....overlapping each other
...(partially or completely overlapping)
..........the floating cane slice could also be partly overlapped by a bit of regular cane slice, and might then appear to be partly behind it
...over a background of plain clay, or a background of other cane slices, or over patterned clay sheets
of any kind

most importantly!!. . . slices should be cut as thinly as possible, often after letting the cane rest a while or refrigerating to firm it
.......(some people like to further thin the edges of each slice by pressing with their fingers)
If the cane slices are not. really thin, the translucent will show up more as a frosted look
...also see info on "shaving" canes while vertical to get the thinnest (partial or complete) slices, in Canes--General Info > Cutting
....... I mostly used a free hand technique --like slicing a banana in your hand
after I apply the very thin slices to the other clay, I carefully slice off the excess clay. I think of it as "shaving" them (also works with opaque cane slice so I don't have the obvious lines of where one slice stops and the next one starts.) Jules
...some of the stand slicers on the market now will cut very thin slices (see Cutters > Stand Slicers)

however, cutting the slices diagonally will give a lot of apparent depth because then you'll be able to see the sides and curves of the opaque clay through the translucent parts, even if not really transparent

I get less distortion from adding slices on beads by letting the parts cool off from the heat of my hands and even out in temperature
...... I press the slices into the ball so there is good contact, but I don't roll the slices into the base right away
.......I let the slices sit on the base for about 10-20 min, and then I roll them in my hands until the seams are MOSTLY gone
(and softer clays can be more difficult to roll into even shapes, so you may want to leach those clays, or at least cool them at various stages)

I always roll and smooth each layer of slices before moving on to the next layer, esp. if background should show through -- doing this does minimize movement and distortion. Donna K. (she uses a knitting needle to roll down the slices?... an acrylic rod works well too)
... some people like to bake the bead after putting on some of the slices ...then add more slices, and bake again (may give something hard to push against fr maximum thinning too)

You should probably use the same brand and type of translucent clay for each cane you'll be using in one piece (so they'll all bake up the same "tint" if the translucent darkens some)
....(each translucent clay ambers --changes color or darkens-- and also plaques at a different rate ..those differences don't show up much on a dark or yellow-cast background, but it do on a white or blue-cast background.) Elizabeth

It's also helpful to use the clearest. translucent clay you can (...many translucents will be fine though, if sliced thinly enough!)
.......Premo bleached translucent is very clear .... though opinions vary on the "clearest' translucent (see Translucent > Clearest)

When working with translucents for caning, if you have a very fresh package of translucent, leaching it improves the ability to cane with it (or put it away to "age" for awhile)
......Sarajane is probably right about the Premo bleached translucent being warm enough already from just working with it. Trans, from my limited experience is really gooey so caning with translucent can be tough
...for best reduction, I suggest you keep the (image) part of the cane warm somehow, and then add your translucent background.... then wait 5-10 min for the translucent cool off just a bit, and then reduce the cane (.. the translucent may still be gooey, but if you kept the flower warm it should move along with it). Candy

I like to mix even my regular opaque clay colors in the cane with translucent clay too (about 50-50)
.... this gives more visual depth to all parts of the cane. Sarah

I laid out the cane slices, sometimes one nearly on top of the other then used the brayer.
....If after braying there were still some indentations... I filled those with translucent clay then brayered again. Pauline
...see more in Canes-General > Sheets

...often, these very thin slices are applied over a field of opaque cane slices, or any opaque areas of clay, so they'll show up well
......but they can also be placed over any background (even one with heavy patterning)
..... they can also be applied over a base layer of translucent clay or tinted translucent or any translucent effects for even greater visual depth in background

OPAQUE parts
....using white or any bright or warm color for the opaque clay in the cane will also enhance the illusion of the translucent-opaque slice floating higher over the background, particularly if the background is dark or toned down.... but that's not necessary, or even always desirable
...using only one opaque color (plus translucent) throughout the cane can result in a very graphic look --an outline, or skeleton

GETTING SHINE & DEPTH after baking
the clearest results for the translucent clay may come with an ice water soak while the clay is hot out of the oven (and having used the thinnest slices possible)
....then lots of sanding/buffing, or a gloss sealer (or both)
(much more info on those in Translucents > Getting Clearest Results).

examples , lessons

double DVD by Donna Kato...Tips Tricks and Techniques in Polymer Clay has info about various translucent layering techniques

LESSONS online for various types of these canes:
Elaine's lesson on making a 6-petal flower, then using translucent only to surround the flower image as a disappearing background

Nora Jean's lesson on using translucent & opaque cane slices on a black background to cover a box

Irene & Rachel lesson on making a snowflake cane (applicable to other types and color combos)--they use translucent, translucent and blue (light blue), and white . . .she make thick slices, so translucent is more like frosted

Chris' lesson on a hydrangea cane uses rows of stripes, alternated with solid color rows, to create a petal cane

Dawn's lesson & revised lesson on making a hydrangea cane with translucent and opaque purple

some examples which a LOT of translucent ...(also translucent used inside the cane image as well...)
turkeymama's lesson on simple flower (+ opaque insertion in petal )...white + translucent for petal cane; white + tinted translucent (yellowish) for center cane
.....and many other examples (not yet placed on backgrounds), opaque white or black + various tinted translucents
...these use white or black as the opaque wrapping color, and tinted translucent "ice" colors to go with them (1/2 part saturated color to 66-72 pts translucent).
......some of these canes are made by combining different-colored wrapped logs together... combining logs wrapped in black *or* white together
.....using small amounts of color surrounded by large wraps of translucent (such as their polka dot which is a lace cane made with a small core of light opaque color wrapped with lots of translucent).many flowers
in swap (each surrounded with translucent )
...Dotty's lesson on translucent spirals on keychain
translucent & black slices onlaid onto part of a small glass bottle (BOH)

... translucent & white slicees over a marbled-pastels translucent clay base on small glass bottle (BOH)

glass votive covered with canes of plain translucent and tinted-translucent + opaque (light will shine through brightly) (click on Eva)

Jainnie's simple bullseye cane slices on beads (... black clay log, wrapped with translucent)
...... slices placed over various base colors (often metallic clays or translucent clays with inclusions)
(click on Gallery, then on Beads)
Sarajane's opaque-trans. canework to create lace and gauzy effects on "sleeve" fabric over hands (Renaissance, Victorian, etc.)... also Pearl clay

Jean Hornberger's white + translucent applied over translucent core beads
(cream-colored necklace... click on 2nd Detail)

Keith's black to white Skinner blend translucent canes (creating gray in middle) (or ClayPen photos)
Cat uses only white with her translucent to makes flower and leaf canes, etc. (which she often places on a background of a narrow Skinner blend ) to simulate Hawaiian muu muu-type dress fabrics
.....the dresses often have Hibiscus, Jasmine, and/or Banana Leaf silouette images on a colored background. Cat
Leigh made a cane with opaque white as concentric star shapes (see chevrons? above), with Premo bleached translucent as a in-between (see chevron canes below) DB--can't find link now.

many flower canes at PCC swap

Petra's many translucent floating canes

cmj's toned-down translucent-wrapped flower canes

many translucent canes, and use in covering, at ClayPen
(or ClayPen photos)

Donna Kato's translucent canes over pastel patterns

melnik's many translucent canes (both types) on different backgrounds (gone)

Janice V's starfish with translucent and ivory over mottled dark/light background
NoraJean's sheet of slices made with translucents and opaques (or semi-opaque) ... lemons, oranges, etc.
Sharon's examples of using translucent canes (lizard, pendants, etc.)

Krista's jellyroll-spiral translucent & leaf, using metallic clays as well

Dawn's translucent and black canes over dark (brown) and crackled metallic leaf background

Golden Pembroke's (Corgi) many translucent effects (see especially cabochon Combo sets, # 4 (Daisies), and Mad Botanist Floral Cabochon 2) (prob. inaccessible)

Claire's translucent canes over black with silver leaf (website gone)
Wanda's translucent floating canes on pens (website gone)
Mia's many examples of transl. floating canes (website gone)

Elissa's translucent canes on light vs. darker background(website gone)
Wanda's tranlucent canes on boxes (website gone)
translucent layered canes by Joanie, a la Donna Kato
(website gone) (click on 3 bottom photos)

some MORE-OPAQUE CANES...(little or no translucent used inside image... translucent used on outside)
( --though the opaque colors may also be mixed with some translucent)

...I made a simple palm tree (solid silhouette?) cane with a translucent background , and the slices seemed to rise up from the beach scene.
You might build a cane with your initials or other lettering in black on a background of transparent (Premo’s 06 or Sculpey?). I made christmas ornaments with "Mexmas 97" this way. I pressed the cane slices onto and into the design so the letters appeared to float above the other design elements.
....(for examples, see just below in More Complex Canes (Esp. Flowers, etc.)

see also Kerstin's icy snowflake canes, using primarily a triangular, bleached translucent log, inserted with sheets of pearl clay (lesson and photos above in Kaleidoscopes > snowflakes)

chrysanthemum cane . . . finely rolled spiral cane which is indented from the outside, nearly to the center, forming a multi-petal or spoked appearance . . .the indentions can be large and deep or many and shallower, or a combination of the two
....Elissa's lesson on chrysanthemum mum cane with a scraps layer
....the lesson said to sprinkle little pieces of different colors of scrap clay before you roll it up into the spiral. Genevieve
... When I did that though, my scraps didn't show when I made my slices. It just looked like another solid color. Lori
.........The key to getting those scrap "bits" to show up is having enough of them and also having the translucent next to them. Trina

... important tips:
1. I have discovered that using Pearl clay does make the cane nicer (it makes a gradual transition with the translucent, giving it more depth).
2. The white layer has to be thin.
3.I do brayer the scrap on the cane before I put it through the pasta machine
4. Put the whole mess; pearl, white, translucent and scrap clay through the pasta machine. The pros probably forgot their mistakes but those of us that are still trying to conquer their art remember only too well. Allison
... roll your scrap clay minisculy THIN (like #9 on the pasta machine) and cover the whole surface of your translucent with it, even letting colours overlap a little. Tanie
... chrysanthemum cane has a layer of Jones Tones Swirls underneath for multi-coloured shine...Michelle
(NO SCRAPS layer):
Kerstin's various translucent mums and other translucent canes (look esp. in Other Stuff > Vases green vase, and in Tins... also in Beads, 3rd row...and in Eggs, 2nd row)

...for mine, I used Cobalt Blue..white..translucent and gold-glittered Fimo. A striking combination of color's. Linda D
...Elissa suggests using a Skinner blend as one of the layers (so that the lighter end is always closest to the middle, for example)... so roll parallel to the blend
...Chryse Laukkonen's chrysanthemum cane made with translucent, then pearl, then white layers (gone)

...Darlene's unlighted and lighted votive, covered with chrysanthemum cane (website gone)
*Kathy Weinberg's Altoid chrysanthemum tins ...esp. blues on black clay, and on white clay (egg); also opaques and red, and over faces etc.
...I was inspired to create my own version of a flame cane using the technique of indenting into multiple-wrapped cane to make a chrystanthemum cane. It works great and I use it nt only for flames but any color for interesting effects
....(lesson) I took a Skinner blend of red/orange laid flat, a skinner blend of blue/white laid flat on top, and a skinner blend of yellow/white on top, folded (the 3 Skinner blends stacked) all in half, and rolled into a round log. Then pressed into with a wooden ruler to indent (indenting only the 2 outmost layers). Then I formed my "flame" shape. (gone?, even at new site
...and as used in a leaf cane (only outermost layer, barely indented) Cindy

especially-complex canes (--including flowers & leaves)

These are canes where the images are surrounded by translucent clay on the outside only (though they could have some translucent areas in the interior of the images as well)
... the slices are generally placed very close to each other, and partly overlap
...can be created in complete layers, or just here and there
... (generally, only a tiny bit of the real background will show through)

I have just started using translucent as a outside "spacer" in some flower canes
(I really hadn't thought it would work since trans is so mooshy compared to the other clays I used.... I was SHOCKED at how well it worked!!!!
....I didn't even wrap the entire cane... I just filled in the divots between petals
....that actually spread a bit to form a thin film of translucent around the outside of most of the cane, and was perfect when I finished.
.......for best results, allow it to cool a bit before reducing
......and allow to cool at least 15 minutes before slicing as the trans will smear otherwise.
I LOVE the possibilities this opens up (look in my new book, Celebrations...). Sarajane
...Sarajane's collection of many flower canes for her book ....some wrapped with translucent, but trans. looks brownish in this photo)

GOOD EXAMPLES of the general concept
...many single flower canes, each surrounded by translucent backgrounds (Tonja's swap

Kathy G's flower petal components ... each wrapped with trans. around most of its outside (except flower-center area)
Tonja's bowl.. canes used alone ("odd-shaped canes," with no translucent perimeters?)
Tonja's beads... canes used over translucent backgrounds
Tonja's example with both types of translucent-opaque canes used in one piece

Kerstin's many examples of using translucents in various ways (background, around canes, etc...some flowers.) (look esp. in Eggs--last 6 .. and also 1 in Beads)

Leigh puts many flower canes of varying sizes next to each other for her meadow-like millennium garden beads,etc. & eggs (on a glass votive) (mostly not flowers) (photos gone?)
Tonja's beautiful flowers and leaves with translucent surrounds.... over a translucent base for more depth (though this translucent is dark-ish... may be over a core of another color)
Carolyn's many translucent-wrapped canes (many are flowers)

Rasa's many beautiful flower and leaves with translucent around (several pages)"
...also few beads with area of the background as a suggested "landscape" or seascape
....... then overlaps flowers, etc, at edges for "foreground"
...also beads with large faces (drawn or painted) as the base over which some slices are applied

Heather P's beads, with individual branches-stems and flowers over solid or slightly marbled backgrounds

I agree that a variety of sizes is more important than a wide variety of flowers. This is true of the leaves added also. You can do a lot with a little if your canes are all different size. DottyinCA
... I like lots of different sizes to give a sense of perspective. Sarah
....Leigh reduces some of her canes way down to 1/16" diameter.
...I've tried to make all of the flower canes of the same color group. Kim K.

one lesson for "slice painting" with these canes
(see more on this technique in Flowers > Slice Painting just above, and also "Slice Painting" near top of page)
...I made many very thin slices, just a little thicker than cardstock
....even the paper-thin partial slices are useful for covering small gaps, or for giving the illusion of flowers behind one another (perspective).
...the thicker slices are useful though when you need to put something in a space too small for two slices but too big for one, to help make it smooth.
... I laid all the slices out on a tile like a painters palette. . .
...made a background sheet (2 on the PM) from ends of the leaf canes
...on this I "painted" my picture....I laid down the leaves first. Then I filled in the flowers.
...Donna Kato smooths each one once she puts it down with a knitting needle.. . . I put down a bunch, trying to get all the edges close to each other, then I mush them with my thumb. . . . if there are gaps, I try and fill them with partial slices.
... I did cover the sheet pretty completely..... I brayered the sheet...
...because I was covering a pen with the sheet, I added some really thin slices over the seam areas or any gaps I had missed, and gently rolled on (under?) an acrylic rectangle. Sarah

additions & other uses

TINTED TRANSLUCENTS and/or more than one color:
... translucent or Pearl clays can also be tinted (using alcohol inks like Pinata or Fimo's "transparent colors"of clay, rather than regular clay for clearest result).
...Donna Kato's colored translucent canes -lessons (on Duvall): bullseye,spiral,stripes,mokume gane canes,1158,CRHO_project_8547,00.html (can't find new link)

Marie Segal's lesson on using the pasta machine to make a continuous sheet of different colored translucents

Lindly Haunani referred to her translucent canes as " chameleon canes" using opaque and translucents clays, from her video Tantalizing Translucents
.A "chameleon cane" is constructed from both opaque & translucent clays. ...I think she had an article on this technique in the PolyInformer last summer, 1996. Carol
...Chameleon canes are millefiore canes made with areas of translucent (tinted or not) and opaque clay; by slicing them very thin, an additional (background) color(s) shows through the areas that were made with translucents. Lindly

Lindly H. also uses her "chameleon canes" to make "Illuminated Millefiori" mokume gane by placing very thin slices of them over metallic leaf) ....
....I like to use translucent with gold and silver leaf ---then, the slices can be put on ANY color clay, and the leaf will show through. Its very versatile! (for my favoriate mokume block) Sarajane
...Geo conditions a block of translucent clay and then shapes it into a square... she slices it on an angle in a random manner (
vertical, horizontal, diagonal). .... she splits the cane where she sliced it, and lays one side of the slice down onto a leaf sheet, then puts the two slices sides back together. ...eventually she will reduce the cane, slice and use the slices. Dianne
........ that would be really cool with a wavy blade . Anna
...or you could put metallic powder between the cuts instead

Jenny Dowde's lesson on using grated colors and foil on translucent sheet under translucent canes

Jenny's lesson on finely patterned granite-y agate (hers makes a cane and she cuts slices), using (refrigerated) grated clays
--she uses white and a tiny bit of tinted translucent along with the plain translucent on the large-hole area, white in smaller hole-area, and a bit of color if you want on large hole)-- this is grated again after rolled into ball and refrigerated again; she then rolls into a plug and adds various layers of translucent or trans-tinted clays before slicing
... the technique for the center could be used for many finely broken up or swirly effects

I've even done flower outlines (using same background color as base clay?), completely in translucent... so they were just little ghostly images
... on pastels, it's gorgeous...and on vibrant colors it's almost psychedelic! Nae

you can mute the pattern and colors underneath the floating canes too
... make a bead with a random pattern ...cover it very thinly with FimoSoft translucent clay..pinch off the excess and roll in your palm to smooth out the seams...... you can also then add cane slices (or onlays) on top, letting the underlayer show through. Heather P.

...there are other ways to use translucent-opaque effects besides making canes
.......e.g, in stacks.... folded layer canes... mokume gane, etc.) ...can still remove or shave very thin pieces and add over other colors or patterns

another way to make "invisible borders" around cane slices when dealing with single-color backgrounds is to just surrounded the cane with the background color rather than with translucent
...Petra's flowers surrounded with black like the background

other ways to cut canes, stacks, etc

(Most of these canes have been created to take translucent cane slices from --sometimes the slices taken somewhat diagonally).
But, translucent cane lengths or other parts of the canes can be used as well.
...........twisties (lengths). . . my best guess is that Chryse onlays small, short lengths of flattened translucent and opaque "canes" onto other surfaces
. . .she may start with a central log of translucent (on which she sometimes adds a smaller rope of a pearl-glitter-other-color clay); she wraps a small (pre-flattened? or squared?) rope around the log in spiral fashion, bottom to top (a single helix) (she sometimes uses two colors layered together)... she probably reducees these fairly small, and cuts short lengths of these "canes"... then my guess is that she flattens them to make the translucent fairly thin and applies them to other surfaces, sort of like the floating cane slices above
...using Premo, she leaches any very soft clay, but not the translucent because she thinks it creates air bullbles or streaks in it ...(she also refers to this as "filigrana")
... stripes run vertically along the sides of a snake and then twisted? Dawn S.
...... this site shows how to make filigrana with hot glass ... stripes are added vertically around a core (momolo), then the whole thing is twisted to create the helix Pat NJ
... I played around with the clay for a little while, achieved a similar effect (if somewhat more crudely) Georgia M.
...Chryse's spirals interwove. She had two different spirals going that intertwined each other. Plus the inner activity which added to the complexity. I am easily able to make a single twist like the one on the tutorial, though I couldn't achieve the level of transparency she showed, but I'm not sure how she got the intertwined spirals. Dawn St.
... this is what I would try . . . I would make two different colored snakes, thin, and twist them lightly together. Cure. Cover in a sheet of translucent. Cover with the second spiral... since I love the spiral of black with a gold back i would make the black/gold part by rolling out thin sheets of each color. Lay the sheets together and run thru the machine once again. Cut nice narrow strips of that and run them around the transparent in a spiral. Roll it gently to sink the spiral into the trans. ... Does it sound like it would work? Diana C.



Cindy P's lesson on making a simple round frog cane
Linda B's lesson on making a round scorpion cane, with all body segments Skinner blend logs, filled around with backgr.

Claudine's lesson on making a tropical fish with stripes ...she turns an accordion folded Skinner blend stack into the body cane ...she saves a section of the stack for the tail... then she cuts the stack into 6 thick slices (so she has one color for each "slice"), then inserts sheet of black and white betweeneach slice before rejoining...(later adds a blend-cane tail, plus fins, head, etc.)
(middle of the page) (in English) ......or

Carolyn's lesson on making a fish cane ... body is a round (almost discrete blend) Skinner blend cane... lips are two small Skinner blend canes pressed together on the front of the face
... fins and tail are lengthwise quarters of other Skinner blend canes pressed together side by side and made into rectangular flame-splice canes--see above in Wedges (one fin and the tail are placed outside the body, the other fin is placed in a wedge hole cut out from the body cane)...eye cane is added plug style after a hole has been made in the body ... background is added, then all surrounded with two layers of very small bluish Skinner blend canes (to suggest bubbles prob.)
....(see more fish canes above in Animal Skins)
Janet's lesson on building a complex rectangular Kabuki male face + bodice cane ...
...and beginning to reduct the large cane

IrishRed's lesson on cat face
(see more complex canes in Faces and some above in Flowers, e.g.)
(find new page)
Nora Jean's lesson on making a cat cane (needed more filler around the jaw) (find at or
Candice's many lessons on making various picture canes using the composite method

Christy Hensler’s lesson on cat cane (face & body)
(gone --click on "demo)

Susan T's more painterly, "organic" canes
*7th-Sense's fabulous complex canes (click on each picture votive to see many more!)
Omodtart’s complex canes and covering a large vase?

*Marie Segals complex onlaid canes
*Wanda's fabulous canes, some with borders (website gone)
*Kathy G's landscape canes (after a Michelle Fanner class)
Barbara's fabulous canes of herons, flowers, etc., with caned mosaics, etc. (hover cursor)
Deb Jensen's fish and Japanese canes
Anita's animal canes (tiger, dog, coyote, otter, zebra, cats, etc.)
Monica's quarter moon with eye and inserted (profile) mouth (& stars) cane
Mia's amazing Santa and helper cane w/ lg. background
Christine Brasher's complex canes (cats, symbols, etc.)
The Rock Garden's many complex canes, animals, flowers, borders, etc. (click on 4 pgs.)
Dorianne's caned vegetables (carrot, beet, tomato, turnip, eggplant, leek, peas in pod)
uniquebead's fabulous complex canes, using wrapped chopped logs, as "mosaic" elements to surround images (of birds, flowers, etc.)
Sarajane's lesson on making a complex cane, cutting/combining (website gone)

more info

Canes can also be made without background clay to make them round, that they are comprised only of the item or figure itself
...Tamara's many (tiny) freestanding "picture"canes
(see also Odd-Sized Canes in Canes-Gen)

find images on the Web to study
1.Google's "image search" feature . . . just enter the type of image you want to see (e.g., a koala, pineapple, sunset) and google will display *many* (mostly photos?)
(Advanced Search)
2. enter the word "clipart" after whatever you want to find (for example: squirrel clipart), then follow all the links it brings up (these may be mostly graphic drawings).
...for costume (hair,hats,jewelry,etc.) and ethnic faces, see Costume category under Non-Polymer categories

BTW, when I build really intricate canes, instead of building a HUGE cane to incorporate the detail, I build each part separately... reduce each to the proper dimension... then put them together into a larger cane.
...Since I have these different parts as canes, it's fun to take the extra parts and build something else with them. Sometimes, those other canes are even better ideas than the original!! AND I don't end up with 500 beads - just 50. Syndee Holt

Many people feel that complex canes are easier to build if the background, or any large areas, can be made up of as many larger, geometric sections as possible to help keep down the number of potential the gaps in-between any many-added-pieces (for less distortion during reduction) . . ..
...As an example, when making a face cane, after the freestanding mouth is created, sheets of background-colored clay (or other shapes) may be wrapped around it until the whole thing is "too large" and can be cut into a smooth shape (a rectangle, e.g.); this will cut off extra background, leaving a rectangular shape comprised of a mouth with background-skin color around it. This is much easier to add to, and again reduces any potential gaps. (asee more in Faces > Component method)

if you consider doing this type (large) cane again think about modularizing it. You could have one cane that is the segment from the finger tips/hair top down to the area just above the boobs. Then another segment from above the boobs down to the tops of the legs, then another segment from the leg tops to the toes. It's a different way of thinking about canework. Desiree
...see Kim Korringa's tip re doing this kind of thing for a face cane, Faces > Component method

several different pattern canes can be combined then used as a single module... see Kim K's link befow for her patchwork angel lesson... she combines several different fabric-type cane pattern together to form a larger cane (which she then cuts a dress shape from)

For inserting parts into the middle of a cane, I just cut in from the sides with a tissue blade.
........If I have to cut across another peice to get there, I just do, and put them back together afterwards. Mike B? (see Landscape Canes)
.....Kim K's lesson on making a patchwork angel cane by cutting into the sides off her multi-pattern cane to insert a sleeve and hand.... then wing, foot and head are added to outside areas..., then background is packed all around

Susan T's more painterly or "organic" cane... she often creates parts of her cane with many tiny logs or bits of slightly different variations of a color to give a painterly shading and complexity (she may also use simpler components in the cane as well) ....sort of lesson

Clay can also be removed and other clay reinserted in its place (a particular shape or a cane, e.g.)....see below in "Landscape Canes" and also in Cutters/Blades > Blades >"Bending" for more on removing parts from the outside of a slab or cane, and filling back in with the same shape of other clay or patterned clay (creating mountains, e.g.)
...some food garnishing tools might be sharp enough to make these outer cuts rather than single stroke cuts from a blade, or bending a blade
--Oriental Garnish Making Set
... see Faces > "Plug Method" and also below in "Landscape Canes" for removing clay from the inner areas of canes or slabs to insert shapes such as eyes or mouth, or a moon, e.g.

paper template guides

...Nora Jean's lesson on making a complex cane on top of a drawn paper pattern (a skull)
...I use an 18" square clear glass sheet with a piece of graph paper underneath for cutting straight lines. Also good for making complex canes. Draw out your design on a piece of paper to the actual size you want the cane to be and place underneath the glass sheet. Then build the cane on top of the glass following the shapes. Shelley

(see more just below in Landscape Canes)

...The best result I get when trying to cane from a picture, is, first get the picture the right size (enlarge or whatever). Then use tracing paper and trace the picture. Then lay the tracing paper on the clay and use a needle tool to mark the lines onto the clay. Do this for each color. Then fit the colors together like a jigsaw. It is easier said than done. . . . Also you might mark the peices with a number (in the correct orientation) on the tracing paper and lightly mark that same number on the clay. This helps when putting it all together.
here's how i make picture canes: take a photo, stain glass pattern or clipart picture and print it out in the color(s) i want (or color in a b&w by hand) and the size i want to build my cane in.... place that under a piece of glass.... using the glass as my worksurface and the picture as my template, i build the cane about 1.5 to 2 inches thick... once i build the central piece - in your case the flamingo - then i fill it in.... if you have additional elements like reeds or clouds or whatever, do those next before filling it in (packing)....when you start packing, you need to get anal... cut the filler clay to fit exactly or you will get distortion. Sunny

Okay, let's see if I can sort of explain this (Klew's puzzle-piece method for making complex canes)
First of all, Klew's way of making a (large) cane is just one way of doing them, so you don't *have to* use this vellum drawing/puzzle piece method; you can do anything that works for you (but I'll try to explain her method:)

...(BTW, she suggests using a fine point Sharpie to draw your pattern on vellum... or any paper would work with a sheet of waxed paper on top of it to retard leaching; she uses the pattern under the clay pieces to guild the building)
.......One thing that's confusing there is that I believe two of her photos are in reverse order (the bottom two on the left). . . . The part about the "large blocks of background" refers, I think, simply to pressing the mixed bits of color (or any marbling or solid color that will be used for the background) into a large slab or slabs *as high as the cane pieces that are used for the kokopelli. (That simply makes it easier and neater to cut pieces of background to press around the kokopelli.).............
--The photo in the top left shows the cane-lets she made for the kokopelli, each one with some added background to square or round it off (head-rays, arms and legs--same cane, body, and head with neck?) I think she must have added the feet and flute too, but not quite sure about that.
--Anyway, she combined together those cane-lets which she'd created to fit the drawing (bottom left), then put the whole cane on top of the background slab.
--From there she either cut pieces of the slab to fit (marking the slab with a needle tool?), or I guess you could try to cut the whole rest of the background and insert the kokopelli by cutting at one place and spreading the background apart, then rejoining.
I'm making a lot of guesses here because I haven't actually done a whole cane like this, but maybe it'll clear up parts of it anyway :-) Diane B.

Remember those paint by numbers paint kits? You'd get little pots of color with numbers and you fill in the space with the appropriate color... Ok now picture those little bits of color as little towers of clay.
I'd just do 1/2 inch towers of color. You stack your "clay by numbers" design and you're looking down on it. Squint...does it look ok when you squint. When you reduce the cane that squint will happen automatically as the design gets smaller. . . .
I found that if you do sheets of color gradation (blends) the leaves here on this new cane is a stack of white yellow yellow green green green blue blue just do the pasta machine and cut out 2 x 3 rectangles and stack them with colors of clay... that does a natural gradation. So if that would work with the leaves there, then I want to goof around with color gradations of florescent pink pink pinkish red red redish purple purple ending in pearl (for the flower petals??) When you get these stacks of color gradation you can start to experiment with not only the paint by number sort of approach but sculpt by color, brighter colors come at the viewer, darker colors recede...... build your picture with these circles (logs) squares and rectangles (clay towers shaped accordingly) triangles and these petal impressionistic...think how the pixles get big when you accidently magnify a picture to 200%...that'll help visualize your millefiori design. Nora-Jean

(See also Canes-General for "how long should it take to make a complex cane?" the Hints for Success sub-category)

landscape canes

*Mike Buesseler’s landscape canes (video descrip, and some canes)
*Ed Tuter's many landscape canes (Copper Gulch) (diagram of many layers of a landscape cane)
Cindy's lesson on making a complex cane (lighthouse scene)

*Kathy G's landscape canes -- pueblos... craggy mts., (after a Michelle Fanner class) ... Kat

Sue Heaser's book page showing the making of a land/seascape cane
Eileen Loring's wonderful landscape and skyscape... with hot air balloons (cane slices) on Skinner Blend sky, over mountains
Claudine's very cool surreal nighttime beach landscape with moon/stars... mts. &waves... water with sparkles
Vince's sunset skies with trees, clouds, stars, mtn. silhouettes
Barbara H's mountains, sky, southwest, etc., with different frames
Nora-Jean's abstract sky-woods-water cane (website gone) (website gone)

Lori G's alien "landscapes" (not whole cane slices)
Diane Maurer's pictures and landscapes (made with paper, but could be polymer), for inspiration and
Sanford's simple lesson on creating one-point perspective (object is face-on) and two-point (object's front face at an angle) perspective
*Denise in Austin's beach canes, some cane building shown; also sunset & sky layerings (website gone)
*Sharon's desert landscape cane (Mike B. class) (gone)

Claudine's discrete-blend landscapes

Many of these canes are created by making large flat canes (stacks, textures similar to grass, etc.)
...., then cutting the bottom edge (or side/s) off in a particular pattern (wavy for mountains, straight across for water, etc.); for the next lower layer, or part of a layer, cut it in the same shape (can stack under previous layer and mark before cutting) and nest it into the reverse-matching shape above or beside.... Continue adding layers/bits until the puzzle is complete.Diane B.
...First I draw out a picture to about the size I want it and color it with pencils. I generally make the cane about 3"x3"x3". Then I start at the bottom, think of it as a jigsaw puzzle and just build upward.
.. . . . If I want to add detail elements such as a cactus, I make a cane, reduce it to the size I want and add it in (by cutting into the puzzle, or adding and building around?). . . Just know that you will probably end up simplifying the cane a little bit; I always draw in too many details. Kat

shapes can also be cut out & removed from a completed cane or from one of its parts before assembling, then replaced with the same size piece (for a round moon, e.g., remove a hole in the sky with a round cutter, then replace with a small log of white or any kind of moon cane).
....When doing this, it's often helpful to remove an easy shape like a circle or rectangle, and replace it with the item to be inserted surrounded by background color (e.g., for a quarter moon, use a round cutter to remove a circle shape from the sky, then replace it with a circle shape comprised of a quarter-moon and whatever sky is needed to complete the circle).... Making the insertion a tad smaller than the hole will work best; you can press down on it with your finger to enlarge it after it's been inserted.

Mike Buesseler also cuts away portions of his canes or slabs to be able nest them together
....... he uses a folded or bent tissue blade to make small curved or pointed cuts into his cane, from the outside edges, for removing certain sections
--i.e., removing mountain-shaped sections from a sky (so that he can insert something else-- e.g., the mts.) --see Cutters-Blades > Blades > "Bending"
for a lesson on making them . .(see cane examples in his links in the Websites just above)
.....OR (canape or cookie) cutters or some food garnishing tools might be sharp enough to make these outer cuts rather than single stroke cuts from a blade, or bending a blade
--Oriental Garnish Making Set

"scenic canes" (idea and organization of cooperative effort by Barbara Sosna)
4"x4" squares of Premo in sky, mountain, or earth colors : foreground, mid-ground, and sky. (The first third, the fore- and mid-ground, of the eventual cane was completed and compressed, then logs of mountain colors were inserted into them, creating one tall mountain hump). Finally, the sky colors were stacked (and laid over the hump of the mtn, then the cane was pressed back into rectangular shape, leaving little sky on the top of the mtn but lots on the sides). (These canes were also cut into strips and onlaid onto a base, slightly separated --see Onlay for more on this technique)

"real" landscape cane pattern ("picture" agate)

for removing clay from the inner areas of canes or slabs to insert shapes such as eyes or mouth, or a moon, e.g., see Faces > "Plug Method"
....Priscilla Kienzell's seascape with moon (not a cane probably, but a marbled area of a blue/white/translucent? sheet selected for its "sea-ness"; a white moon disc is inserted into it

For views in which objects recede into the distance, a gradient cane stack may be used (lighter and less saturated toward the "back" --& possibly bluer) --for example mountains... skies usually are lighter toward the top during the day? and toward the bottom at night. Look at sunsets to see which direction the colors get lighter.

simulating water or waterfall, using Jeanne R's lesson: she makes an oval jellyroll cane and/or a rounded corner, accordion-folded cane (her layers were: light blue, dark blue, white, dark blue, medium blue)
.... I make weird shaped-folded canes, then often cut the cane not vertically, but diagonally and horizontally.... I run the slices through the pasta machine...(I can get the scalloped edge (on the folded ones?) that is sort of water falling.)..
... I think I remember using diluent to smear some of canes afterward to get a muted effect
...and then used interference blue powders after letting sit for a day. Jeanne R.
(similar to her faux wood version)

" flat onlay " . . . placing very thin individual slices one at a time onto a base slice, sheet, bead, etc. . . .(see above in Overall Techniques for more info ) way to use that technique for landscapes would be to add single elements or items like clouds, trees, or whatever by placing single slices of them on indivdual cane slices rather than bulding them into the cane itself (that way you coud keep rearranging them for each slice , if you wanted), or to make an area of overlapping rocks, etc.... bits of mokume gane or other things could be used to create visually textured areas as well)

I love the way Kato Polyclay canes, especially in my landscape canes. Lenora

Mike Buesseler's Jaggy Cut (for realism)

(see his video including this technique just above)
. . .in my notes from his class.... As I remember it he made many tiny parallel cuts vertically in a cloud in its background sky (or in a wooded scene, etc.) and as he made each cut, he offset it a tiny bit in varing amounts from the previous strip. After that he did the same series of parallel cuts horizontally, creating a slightly whispy look at the edges. (I think he may have done it a third or fourth time on a diagonal too.) (see also: Oct. 96 article in Jewelry Crafts on his snakes and landscapes; that one describes his jaggy cut too, but doesn't call it that; also a several-page spread on a class of landscapes and snakes by Cassy Cohen in the Polyinformer, Vol. VIII, No. 2.)
What fascinated me was the cutting he does into the body of his cane to insert items like trees, etc. He talked about how horrible it felt to do it the first time, but that it got easier eventually . . . ack! Diane B.

After making such things as mountains, sky, etc., he then cut into that portion and added trees, etc. Then, after that was done, he began very small slices across the face of the cane, and each slice was moved. One slice up, one slice down (just a tiny bit.) Dotty
I thought he did the background first... then put in clouds.... then sliced it up and moved things about. THEN he added trees, or mountains... made with a skinner blend for shadows... sometimes with birch markings cut into the trees... or snow on the mountain tops. He also would add start & comets after all the background slicing and dicing was done. Joanie

I also tried to use just white clay (for jaggy cut clouds), or white and transparent and even a marbling of white + transparent and tiny bit of silver that worked fine. Claudine

Krista's landscape cane (looks like she did the jaggy cut but only in one direction--vertical; Impressionist) ; also her leaf


embossing powder is kinda nifty in canes, also. Fooled around with using it in the center of flowers...the little dots kinda "explode" into puffs when the slice is baked.
The "explosive dots" can also be partially sanded off, which gives a more muted, neat effect. DB

Other things like various kinds of paint or inks can also be combined with clay (in layers often) to create canes (see Paints & Mokume Gane, e.g., for more info)

...lines or other impressions can be made in raw can slices or slices flattened into a background sheet by using stamps, or drawing with a blunt needle, etc., or impressing with small tips like the end of a screwdriver or a ball-headed tool
....these lines, dots, etc., can also create details in a less detailed shape
....or they can follow the shapes in a pattern of clay (like sheets of patter.), coloring them in with different color
.........(e.g., impressing and backfilling a new dot made in the center of a bullseye slice, or doing lines or series of dots, etc. along the outline of a color or shape, etc.)

Dimensional clay bits or other cane slices can be added on top of, underneath, or extending out from a cane slice, such as adding hair or clothing to a single face cane slice, etc.
Cindy's fish magnet shows fins, tail (and lips?) added onto teardrop-shaped fish body slice (gone)

for using Kato Repel Gel & other ca debonders in caning, see Canes--Gen.Info > Repel Gel and (see more in Glues > Superglue Solvents)

Connected Lines (software)... a stained glass software for converting real pictures to stained glass patterns. you can download the demo copy, import the picture of your choice, make a stained glass pattern and use that! only glitch is you'll hafta use the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard and paste the clip into another graphics program, crop it and save it there. the save/save as features have been disabled in the trial version of Connected Lines. but i just got it and I LOVE IT!! it's soooo EZ to use!!! enjoy! Sunni

Marcia B's lesson on making a tiny wire body with head of wrapped wire, hair of 7 loops of embroidery floss cut, and a polymer cane slice wrapped around (square orientation) for a dress

(not canes, but inspiration for all kinds of possible canes . . . "tiles" for free downloading)

shibori ...."the special characteristic of shibori resist is a soft- or blurry-edged pattern. . .embellishing textiles (symmetrically) by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing, from the Japanese "to wring, squeeze, press . . (resisted areas are created by) folding, crumpling, stitching, plaiting, or plucking and twisting. Cloth shaped by these methods is secured in a number of ways, such as binding and knotting. .." (bottom of page, and photos of Students...)

(not canes, but inspiration for them: graphic fractal patterns)
...Cheryl's transferred fractal images in polymer frames

see also Sheets of Pattern for many other possibilities:
...Damascus Ladder... Crushed Helix
... Marbled Paper/dragged lines
...Collage/Crazy Patch Sheets... Slice Painting... Holey Layers
...Flattened Pattern sheets... Origami, etc.

see also Canes-Info >Misc. Ideas


Kim K's many links to cane lessons
*Monica's many links to cane lessons
Rachel A's links to cane lessons lessons on various simple canes (" Easy Breezy Canes") ...lessons on various simple & more complex canes
canes lessons: flowers,Koi,dragon,bird,stars,Saturn
*Clayspot's cane work

polymerclaycentral index page (folded cane, & others)
Monica's moon & stars cane
lesson: making a star cane (the composite way…good for seeing caning technique though) (gone?)
Candice's lesson at PCH on making a star cane (composite) by cutting away clay then adding
.....also see info on making star canes (or other shapes) with a cutter in Canes--Info >Types of Canes
Desiree's lesson on making a multiple-layer star cane
Bunny's lesson on making a ladybug cane in a composite way
*Lynelle’s canes, including radial patterns
*many cane patterns (covering eggs)
Cathy's various geometric cane patterns in black, white and gray
various canes at ClayPen
*Debbie Anderson's horizontal strips eggs, each strip with a different cane pattern --sampler of many types of canes (website gone)
kimono made with strips (could use canework or patterned sheets) by Marlies
*Wanda's fantastic dragonflies & bugs using cane pieces
(website gone)
*Fayette's fabulous 1 1/2 to 2" bugs & flies

Karyn Kozack's fabulous caned bugs, teapots, etc.
African Trade Bead patterns & Kiffa beads from Mauritania ( stripes and other caning over a core) (bottom third of page)
African trade beads (millefiori) (see more in Canes-whatarethey)
..Debbie J's (polymer clay?) African trade beads as curved & straight tube beads, threaded end to end
d'zi bead patterns ( shiny stone beads patterned with mystical eyes and stripes) from Tibet

Jan's gathered tips on making canes (gone?)
newsgroup t-shirt (with many slices from 20 members)
*Christy's cat cane lesson
*N&B: face&*flower cane slices (gone?)
*Desiree’s many slices on switchplate
(website gone)
*Kim Korringa's canes (flowers, faces, quilt, still life, cats, fish, mosaic people, misc.)
*Darlene's many cane patterns (animals, geometrics ,flowers, lighthouses, xmas,etc.) (website gone)
*Julie W's many cane patterns (animals, faces, flowers, fruit, holidays, etc.)
Amy K's houses, faces, flowers, etc....thick, non-round slices for bracelets, watches (click on Watches)
FOODs (for more food canes, look in Miniatures)
Angie's lesson on oranges

NoraJean's lesson on making citrus canes with tinted translucents & opaque... limes
, oranges, etc.
..NoraJean's sheet of slices made with translucents and opaques (or semi-opaque)

..Nora Jean's citrus canes of translucent and opaque on a black background to make a sheet
Maureen Carlson's lesson on making citrus canes (lemon, lime, orange),,HGTV_3472_1390370,00.html (instructions in middle of pg)

Candy's lesson on caned lemon, orange, and lime (all opaque clays)
Myra's lemon, lime and orange slices ...& Trina's many citrus slices (used in many ways) (website gone)
Marina's lesson on making orange and lemon slices & putting on barrettes, bracelets

MaryLu's? watermelon slices cane (website gone)

Svetlana's many canes (faces, geometrics, etc.)
cane slices swap (using a predetermined color)
Klew's drum&Aspen beads, leaf pods, necklace
Klew's complex cane--Kokopelli petroglyph lesson (see description above, complex cane)
Christy Hensler’s complex canes (see "demo" lesson) for cat cane (face & body)
Christine Brasher's complex canes (cats, symbols, etc.)
Toops’ Morphing the Cane lesson (changing the shapes of cane parts, etc.)
–go to Dec.99 meeting
Omodtart’s complex canes and covering a large vase?
Olga's use of canes as onlay
Jeanne’s blended cane earrings
Julie’s many canes (click on various categories)
~Byrd’s caned diagonal-wound eggs (website gone)
Ann’s folded and agate-pattern canes
(website gone)
SHANEANGEL "new", bowls, lumpy beads, mini teacups, etc. (no longer available) )
Z Kripke (head beads, & good all around) (no longer available?)

translucent layered canes a la Donna Kato
(website gone) (click on bottom photos)
Donna Kato's translucent canes (on Duvall)
Jane’s buttons (mostly caned)
PolymerClayShoppe’s Tri-Omino cane (good for "weaving," neckscarf)

claydaze's (many) animal canes (website gone) (look around)
Justino's cane slices hair & turtle
Linda's lesson on making a butterfly cane (could use any component canes)
Annette's caned butterfly (website gone)
Marty W's caned butterfly (website gone)
Cindy's caned dragonfly
Dawn S's canes used as clothing
Valerie's egg-artichoke layered with cane slices in relief

Mike Buesseler's cane covered snake

Jon Anderson's many tiny canes used mostly for covering polymer or wood forms of animals (lizard, etc.) (pendants & cuff bracelets... framing border canes, one like Shriver's)
tropical fish patterns, for inspiration

(also see Face Canes for faces and heads of people, animals, fantasy figures, etc. )


PRE-MADE canes

raw canes (usually somewhat short) are sold in various places... often these will need to be "reconditioned" a bit to warm them slightly (by stretching and compressing and/or under a warm light, etc.) so they can be sliced without cracking
---eBay ...pre-made canes (usually raw) are also offered for sale by clayers on eBay a search for polymer clay canes (...or Crafts > Ceramics,Pottery > Polymer Clay > Polymer Clay Canes)
.......there are a few vendors that always have canes for sale....when you find one, click on "other items from this seller" to check out what other canes they may have up there. (you can refine ebay searches to narrow your focus too.) Barbe

-------Cat Theiren and her "guest artists" sell various canes (many with translucent wraps) on eBay
----Carolyn Stearns sells many canes (most surrounded by translucent clay... many flowers)
---"Sille Millies" ( ... many themes:
........(Alphabet, Animals, Bugs, Buttons, Cats/Dogs, Celestial Designs, Girls/Faces, Holiday, Nautical, Reptiles/etc, Sports, Wizard of Oz) (click on Silly Millies)
---Boston Clay Works ... Larry is now selling 12-pack of canes - 1 each of various themes (flowers, cat, moon, butterfly, valentine, flag, etc.)
and also individual round or square canes from Amaco ......(both types are roughly 2" long by 5/8" diameter)

---Amaco canes, sold by Accent Arts (be aware that packaged Amaco canes (often sold also at craft stores) are often very stiff because they're old and may be harder to use)
.......... for info and their catalog of canes: 1-800-374-1600, e-mail:
---Crooked River Claymates (gone)

pre-baked canes
...this type must be cut while still warm after heating for a short time in the oven... then cut with a single-edge razor blade or other fairly stiff sharp blade)
...Linc has a page at his site explaining more about this:
The following areimages without a surrounding background to make them into circular or rectangular canes shapes (freestanding image/figure)...very small or tiny
...Linc's pre-made, baked (silhouette-type, non-round) canes of tiny gingerbread people, stars, snowman, few animals, etc.
......some of these were hand painted by the buyers (shown on the gallery pages) (gallery 3-4 pages)... page may take a while to load!
(order page)
...Tamara's pre-made, baked tiny canes ... many categories (see also page 2)
also sold at

Custom made canes

Lately I have been making a lot of canes. A couple of folks have contacted me, asking me to make custom canes for them. No problem. It occurred to me that some others might like to have canes made for them also. Am I right? Is this a service anyone would be interested in? I'm a good caner. Basically, if you can draw it, i can cane it. I charge for my time (currently it's $10.00 an hour, but that may change) plus the cost of the materials. I only work in Fimo or Premo (prefer Premo). As of right now, I am pretty confident that I can do just about anything. (I do reserve the right to decline if I think I can't do it or it's in poor taste. I also do name canes.) Contact me at: (to see examples,(website gone)

Anita Sterling Winthrop makes custom canes (and will make them into jewelry, etc.) (click on About Anita, and on Special Orders for more info)

The Clay Station sells pre-made raw Skinner Blend canes for whatever use you want

Boston Clay Works sells various premade canes (baked or unbaked? --"warm, then slice" ...wrote Larry)

more on SYMMETRY

"The technique in the plastic arts of using symmetry to achieve appealing or esthetically useful effects is an old one... the ancient Egyptians and Romans used it.. 
...With polymer clay, I first called a method of slicing a ball of mixed colors of clay in half, then pressing together the cut edges to form a symmetrical design, the "Rorshach Technique."
... Jamey Allen carried this further, forming canes that were sliced across their axes and reassembled, so that slices produced symmetric designs of considerable complexity; he called these "geometric canes," if I recall.
.......Similar and closely related polymer clay techniques have commonly been used since then, as in Lindly Haunani's leaf canes, City Zen Cane's superb butterflies, and the intricate mosaic designs of Pier Voulkos, for example. 
...Natasha Flechsig described a Rorshach variation that exploits another orthogonal plane; she called this "The Magic Bead," although it is commonly discussed and described on the Internet as the "Natasha bead." " (Dave Edwards, mid 1990's?)

Pippa Drew's? wonderful pages on symmetry, mandalas, tessellations, etc.
(click on pattern examples at bottom: "Home work for 3- and 6-fold symmetry designs")
(lots of info on symmetry & tessellations)
.....for the math of Seminole symmetry see

Symmetry refers to repetition which is balanced and rhythmic in an image ... vs. imbalance, variety, randomness, etc.
.....There are several types of symmetry usually referred to (...and some others too esoteric to mention):
Rotation occurs when an image turns... is repeated around a fixed point (e.g., like pie slices in a pie, for example).
Reflection occurs when an image/motif is placed next to it's flip-flopped self (as if one placed a mirror against the edge of the image).
Translation - one image unit moves left or right or diagonally, while keeping the same orientation
Glide reflection - the image both translates and reflects

Symmetry in CANES:
Most any cane can be re-combined using reflection.
So for example, the cat cane from above could be cut into two lengths and rejoined so that the patterns are mirror images of each other (one cane length will need to be reversed) .
....This example doesn't result in anything very new. But especially when geometric patterns are used, their cane edges can combine in unexpected ways and give a very complex-appearing new pattern (providing a
border hasn't been used around the original cane!-- this will interrupt that part of the effect). . . .(This new cane can be cut and recombined further for tinier, even more complex patterns).
A cane can be rotated only, as well. This would be the same as placing triangular pie slices next to each other into a round pie shape. So after a single cane is cut into (3 or more) lengths (of triangular log), the segments can be placed side by side in a radial pattern (for example, 8 equal spokes of pattern if using 8 lengths).
Often a cane is first reflected by cutting in half & rejoining, then rotated. In the case above, there would be only four lengths to rotate now (instead of 8) because the original cane had been reflected into a new pattern unit first.


TO READ MORE ABOUT SYMMETRY ---and how to create it--- see Patterns & Design page (not uploaded yet) for much discussion of creating patterns, elements of design, etc
.... DB MOVE MOST? OFTHIS TO THAT PAGE, and all purple

names and examples of many types of pattern (on buttons, but not restricted to)
"basic" tiles, or modules, ("prototiles") which can be repeated and reoriented for endless patterns --Slavik Jablan's fascinating (but somewhat esoteric) samples & discussion of "modularity in art" . . . (click on everything!)
grids & diapers ...overall patterns, interlocking patterns
...What is a diaper? (definitions: and info by Kandace Merric)
....a quick answer is a grid in which a repeating pattern is created. . . .Diapers can be very complex but once you understand the 8 basics, you have a foundation to build any repeating pattern on.
... I do not know of any consumer software that has a preset library of diapers. I use Adobe Illustrator CS (or 10) for my pattern and texture creation. I have
created my own libray of diapers to use...Illustrator is a great programe to use because one can take advantage of its ablity to create repeating pattern tiles.. ...My class at EOPC04' is going to cover the basics of pattern will be designing patterns and textures using the computer as a tool. and will cover imaging the designs you create for use with any number of techniques (including photopolymer plates). Seth Savarick
...I tripped and stumbled through the process (of learning about this), knowing there was a method to the madness of interlocking patterns. I drew on square sheets of paper wrapped around cardboard tubes, beginning in the center and then turning the sheets 90 degrees as the pattern approached each terminus. It drove me nuts until I began to SEE what was going on.. . . As I learned to used the drawing tools on the computer, I applied many of the same techniques by using mirror and flip and a diapered layer drawn in red, but an actual course would have made all the difference. Oh, the time and paper I wasted! Katherine Dewey
tessellations ... use the same principles as repeat patterns, yet the edges are exposed rather than hidden. Historically, this kind of repeat is referred to as a "diaper" meaning that the images of the repeat share a common boundary. There are many examples in history that show diaper patterns that are geometric. Representational diaper patterns are an art form that I believe is only beginning to be explored..
....are diapers only the on-point squares or diamond shapes repeated with half drop??, with wallpaper using the term the most?
...some wallpaper examples of units and diapers? (look around)
.....many of the members of the elaborate Egyptian diapers are symbols of the mysteries of nature and religion; as, for example, the lotus, the scarab, the winged orb, the hooded and winged serpent. ....the diapered patterns of Franc
The block construction is the most fundamental of the repeat structures The block can be mirrored or rotated which helps to give movement
The half-drop repeat, made by dropping each unit halfway down the next unit, is another repeat structure. Quarter drops and other fractional drops can create other gradual or steeply stepped effects. Drops can be used to create strong one-way diagonals, diapers, or a random appearance. Notice that mirror images of such repeats can produce zigzag or wavy effects.
Powdering is yet another repeat structure (Figure 14). It is an old term for the uniform, overall spotting of a surface. Polka dots are a form of powdering; but other motifs, such as flowers, crosses, and stars, can be scattered on a surface. Care must be taken to keep the repeat uniform. Much of the area around powdered patterns is unembellished. (They could form a diaper if the produced visual diagonals in both directions.)
....Make sure that there are at least three or four repeats of the pattern in order to see the pattern
books on pattern
Design Your Own Repeat Patterns (Dover)... V. Ann Waterman
Diaper Patterns ...Nancy Noland Kotten
Repeat Patterns . . . Peter Phillips and Gilliam Bunce
Pattern Design: An Introduction to the Study of Formal Ornament, Archibald H.Christie, Dover Publications, New York, NY 1969
Pattern Design, Lewis F.Day, Taplinger Publishing Company, New York, 1979
The Pleasures of Pattern, William Justema, Reinhold Book Corporation, New York, 1968
Proctor, Richard M. The Principles of Pattern for Craftsmen and Designers, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co, New York, 1969
Audsley, W. and G. Designs and Patterns From Historic Ornament, Dover Publications, 1968
...(plus numerous other books on diaper patterns in needlepoint, embroidery)
websites on design principles ...Desiree


(see also: Reducing, Old Canes, Storage for storing canes, Mica, Letters,Inks, Faces, Mokume Gane for illuminated millefiori, Houses/Structures for caned gingerbread & candies, )