Thursday, 5 March 2009

How To Make a Complex Kaleidoscope Cane in Polymer Clay - It's Simple!

Kaleidoscope caning is one of my favourite techniques to use with polymer clay and lots of my beads are made using these canes. I thought it might be fun to show you how I make one.

First choose your colours, for this cane I have decided to go monochrome.

Condition your clay really well. You can use a Pasta Machine or a roller or your hands, whichever is easiest for you.

Here are my sheets after I have finished conditioning and I have put them through the Pasta Machine on a medium setting, about #4 on mine.

Next, make some interesting elements. Here I have made a Jelly Roll Cane, a Striped Cane and some plain "sausages". I have a couple of small sheets also.

Then combine them in whatever way you like, I try to keep them in a general right angle triangle shape, loosely speaking!
Then I reduce the cane, refining the shape as I go into a more recognisable right angle triangle - please note that this is not an exact science in my case!

When the cane is about 4 inches long I cut it in half and then combine the two halves, mirroring the image.
Now we have an almost square shape. Reduce the cane again, refining the square as you gently pull, squeeze, tug, smooth or whatever your preferred method of reduction is.
I then cut the cane into four equal lengths and again, mirroring the images, combine the four into one larger square.

One more final reduction and here is your finished Kaleidoscope Cane.
Of course, it does not need to finish there - you can reduce yet again and recombine, change the shape of the cane from a square to a circle for example. Add another cane , or several. Cut the cane in half and then cut lengthways and recombine. The possibilities are endless!
Here are my beads I made from this cane, cut, pierced and awaiting baking!
Now I just have to make something gorgeous with them!


Gill said...

Wow that looks so great when you get to the finished cane!! Thanks so much for the tutorial!!

Linda Riopel said...

Pippa, that is a GREAT tutorial. I can't wait to "give it a go!" You are always so kind and gracious!

Toni said...

I just found your blog!!! Great demo on making a kalei cane. Looks great. Cant wait to read more.....


Pips said...

Thank you Gill - the end bit is my favourite too!

Linda - you are such a lovely friend - thank you!

Hi Toni - lovely to see you here!!

lidia paradis said...

Very,very very nice cane!!! Thank you for the tutorial!

Pips said...

Hi Lidia! Glad you liked the tut and thank you for your lovely comment.

Nicola said...

WOW - FABULOUS tutorial
Now you just need to put one of those "slices" in a nice PMC/silverclay frame ;)
Nic x
P.S> I saw the necklace you made with this cane...GORGEOUS

Pips said...

Hi Nic! Thank you so much - your comments are always so inspiring! I need to do some ACS and polymer next week, looking forward to it!

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

I like your use of only two colors in this cane. The striped cane is a great addition and it is neat how it becomes those curvy lines as it gets all pushed together and reduced. Nicely done!

Nicola said...

CAn't wait to see the PMC & Polymer combos :) That leaf pendant tutorial you liked the look of would look fab with a polymer clay ladybird on it!

Anonymous said...

Popping the link for this over on Crafteroo ;)

Crafteroo said...

Bloomin' heck, that's fab! I never knew how that was made. Off to break out the fimo!

Pips said...

Thanks for all the great comments - I am really happy you have all enjoyed the tutorial!

Thank you Cindy so much,I have read your blog lots of times and really enjoyed your postings.

Hi Nic - another brilliant suggestion - my head is so full of ideas at the moment - I had better get working!

PD - many thanks for posting the link - I did not think of doing it, but will next time!

Crafteroo - LOL - glad to have inspired you to get the pc out!

Lazy Daisy Glass said...

Just found this link on Crafteroo. The tutorial is
fantastic and very creative. The end product if spectacular.

Pips said...

Hi Lazy Daisy! So glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the lovely comments!

Must do another tut soon!

Clotilde M. said...

Really beautiful and intricate results. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand how this works. :S
How do you make it smaller? do you manipulate it to make it longer before cutting or do you do something after cutting?

I feel really stupid but it gets smaller and longer and that doesnt make sense to me D:

Pips said...

Hi ClotildeM - Thankyou so much for your comment - glad you enjoyed the tutorial!

Anonymous - Hi, yes the cane does get smaller and longer, you have to reduce the diameter of the cane, a little like stretching it. Hope this helps :)

Flowermouse said...

Dearest Pippa
Thank you so much for an excellent tutorial. I´ve tried it and I even manage to do it with Fimo soft - which is too soft for caning I think. But it worked - thanks to you!!!!
Lone from Norway

Pips said...

Hi Lone!

So glad you enjoyed the tutorial - can't wait to see your results. Thanks for the comment too - so nice to hear from you!

Anonymous said...

This helped me so much, thank you for sharing!

rengalsa said...

Great tutorial, hun!!! Thank you!

Pips said...

Thanks so much Deb!

Anonymous said...

Amazing! At first looks complicated, but THANKS TO YOU - it's surprisingly simple, and liiks gorgeous. Thank you so much!

Sofia said...

WONDERFUL CANE! That's exactly what I was looking for!

Marta said...

Great!! thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

wow..... those are amazing!!! I need to get a pasta roller before I can do much caning, though :( I hope I get one so I can try this!!!

Neena Shilvock said...

thank you - am wanting a pattern to put inside a piece of copper PMC, and then dome with Ice resin - will use this - but have one spot of red that I will add to the final piece - thanks again

Cara Jane (surfingcat) said...

missed this when you first published it, hadn't found your blog then. Found it when I did a google serach for Kaleidoscope cane tutorial. Very clear and easy to follow. thank you for sharing it

Pips said...

I am so happy that this little tutorial has been so well received by you all.

thank you all for leaving such great comments here, it means so much.

Cara, glad you found it!


Brigitte said...

Thanks for so clearly laying out the construction process making this seem attainable, fun, and tremendously versatile and bounding with possibilities!

Brigitte said...

Thanks for so clearly laying out the construction process making this seem attainable, fun, and tremendously versatile and bounding with possibilities!

Nanou said...

Thanks so much for this great tutorial. Congratulations on your beautiful work.

Judy said...

Oh that's brilliant!
Thanks so much for your generosity in posting a free and beautifully presented tutorial.
Can't wait to give it a go myself!
Judy :-)

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Michelle Lagstrom said...

This is the easiest tutorial I have found by far! Thanks so much! My only question: when reducing the cane, should it be set to "cool" since the heat from our hands is warming it? I've tried making cane only for my clay to run together.

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