Polymer clay millefiori canework is a unique and amazing art form. There are a few special properties that make it unlike any other medium. The patterns stay in tact no matter how small you reduce them. You can make multiple sizes of the same pattern. This allows you to multiply, fold, and further reduce your designs.
One special property of this medium is the ease with which it can be squished and bent into beautiful curves and swirls. Complex patterns can be designed with simple impressions made in the clay. Of course there are many tools that can manipulate the clay, but I’ve always been looking for just the right sizes. Besides, since polymer clay has a strange reaction to many materials, it’s important that tools be made with something safe like these acrylic rollers be Teresa Pandora Salgado. I was very excited to my my own set. I sat down to write a review, but this great article says it all. It has a free video tutorial and information about ordering.
For my part, I was excited to use these with one of my favorite tutorials. Those of you who are subscribers should already have this bonus tutorial, and you can just imagine how useful these Canbenders will be!
Imagine the cards, envelopes and scrapbook pages you could make with polymer clay cane slices! I baked this little frame and glued it onto an envelope with standard white craft glue.
I wanted a striped blend with light rainbow color. I didn’t want to mix every color with white first, so I decided to just place dots on a whitish background.
I wanted more stripes so I added color and ran it through the pasta machine again. Remember, you can always add color to your blends until they are the way you want.
To see my other color blend experiments so far, visit my Color Blend Pin board. https://www.pinterest.com/creatorsjoy/polymer-clay-color-blends/
Adding texture to canework makes all the difference! Here I’ve added fabric texture. First I reduced the canes even smaller than I wanted them to be because I knew that the pattern would spread out as I flattened it more. I placed sliced of the canes side by side and slightly pressed them together. Sometimes I run the sheet through the pasta machine. Of course the pasta machine distorts the pattern, so I run it through once, switch to a thinner setting, rotate the sheet 90 degrees, and then run it through again. I press the sheet against fabric. Sometimes, if I’m really brave I run the clay and the fabric through the pasta machine together. It might be good to put a little corn starch on the fabric first because the clay might stick. You know what else works really well? Sheets of canvas. I use a pad of painting canvas sheets that I bought at the art store.
This “fabric” was made with the indigo shibori canes from the July 2015 issue of Cane Builder. These canes were features on Polymer Clay Daily!
There are lots of ways to make rainbow blend depending on what you need. I wanted a rainbow blend that was somewhat consistent in value. Using red, purple or ultramarine made the cools in the rainbow too dark for what I needed. Using turquoise and magenta was a pleasant surprise!
I use these printable stencils to cut out each color. Here is the pdf rainbow. This rectangle fits well into most pasta machines. I like to fill up the whole pasta machine with my blends because it guides the blend into a more even rectangular shape. Besides, it’s so much work to make blends that it’s worth making more that you need. In fact, you can double the clay thickness before you cut out the sections to make even more of the blend.
I added magenta on both sides because now it’s a perfectly continuous transition if I want to repeat the blend (as I often do in casework).
To see my color discoveries as I find them check out my pinterest board. Also, I will often include exclusive color blend recipes in issues of Cane Builder.
Premo: Magenta, Cadmium Yellow, Turquoise