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
Understanding contrast and value is very important in making blends. Sometimes you will want a dark to light blend that goes almost to white. Sometimes, you will want subtle, rich color blends that go from light to dark without losing intensity. These canes from my Picture Cane Tutorial use the more subtle blends like the Leaf blend and Ocean blue blend.
The subtle blends are basic with only two colors. So far, the only way I’ve learned to make glowing blends is to use at least three colors. Because these are a little more involved I’ve made printable stencils for the Sapphire Blue and Glowing green. Glowing color blends
This is Premo brand Ultramarine, Turquoise and White
To make an Ocean blue blend (the block on the left), just make a basic blend from Ultramarine and Turquoise.
Here you can see the difference in value.
Leaf green The dark green is 2parts black and 5 parts green. The light green is Wasabi.
As I add new recipes, I’ll post them to my pinterest board about
Polymer Clay Color Blends.
Here are the stencils for four different green color blends. These blends are all a bright, pure greens. I came up with these arched cuts because I was tired of obvious lines in the blends when I wanted them to be a smooth transition. Smooth transitions are much easier when the colors are closer in value. That’s why the spring green is just a basic two-color blend. However I wanted the magic green to really glow. I wanted a bend from very light to very dark green without loosing the bright green in the middle.
I’ve done my best with the photographs, but I can’t promise they will look right on your screen. These are for Premo brand polymer clay.
Here is the the pdf of stencils for what I can Emerald and Magic green. Emerald and Magic green recipe stencils
The canes are from my Gemstone Cane tutorial.
Here is the pdf for the Summer and Spring green blends. I don’t have extra pictures of the Spring green since it is so easy. Sumer and Spring green recipe stencils
Here is a nice warm color blend. I’ve added the pdf here in case you want to print it out and cut out the stencils for the colors.Polymer clay sunset blend printable
Above is an example of what this blend looks like in canework. These cane slices were inspired by my scrollwork tutorial. The kaleidoscope patterns only worked as single-slice patterns. Each time I make them they turn out a little different as you can see in extra pictures in the Etsy listing.
Polymer clay cane slices can be added and baked onto many different surfaces. I’m not good at making jewelry, but I do love to go treasure hunting. I found these inexpensive stone beads and earrings to cover with mandala canes.
Polymer clay can be baked onto stone, glass, metal and wood. Just be careful with most kinds of plastic! It might melt in the oven or react crazy with the clay. You can use polybond to help the clay stick. For these projects I did’t need any adhesive.
The mandala cane pattern is found in this month’s issue of Cane Builder.