Unfortunately I’m fairly clueless when it comes to making my own jewelry. However, I love to upcycle thrift shop finds by embellishing them with polymer clay. (See these dangly earrings from a previous post.)
Remember, some plastics will react in strange ways with the clay, or melt in the oven. Unless you know what you’re doing it’s best to stick with metals, wood or glass.
These projects feature Confetti Canes from this month’s issue of Cane Builder!
Cane covered animals can be so beautiful! The trick is to find ways to cover the curves and contours. In the past I’ve written up free tutorials for a fish, lizard, or seahorse.
This snail is made with canes from this month’s issue of Cane Builder.
Step 1: Make a roll with scrap clay.
Step 2: Flatten one end so that the shape is tapered and also gets wider at the same time. When the snail shell is rolled up, it looks better if the center is farther out. So the center is smaller but wider.
Step 3: Wrap ribbons of cane slices around this shape. Ideally the patterns will get smaller and smaller as the shape tapers down.
I capped the very end with black. Next time I would continue with smaller and smaller patterns.
Step 4: Smooth out the seams and work the slices into the scrap clay. Roll up the snail shell very slowly and carefully. If you go too fast the pattern will stretch and break.
Here are a few things you can make with round polymer clay millefiori cane slices!
Form the cane slice over different size marbles for miniature bowls. Bake the clay around the marble and then pop it off after it has cooled off.
These are all from the April 2016 issue of Cane Builder, but you could use any round cane.
These blends aren’t aren’t as involved as most of the blends on my color blend pinboard.
Just the mixed Premo color and white.
These are all mixes of cadmium red and ultramarine blue. Red and blue are supposed to make purple right? And isn’t there already a purple premo clay color? Yes and yes. I specifically chose these two colors because the red has a lot of orange in it. This makes a neutralized purple. That means it’s a muddy, or less intense purple. Or if you add more red, it’s like a brick red. I don’t always like ALL my colors to be super bright.
If you DO want to see some bright color recipes, check out this month’s canes!
This one is 4 parts cadmium red : 1 part ultramarine
This one is half and half
This one is 4 parts ultramarine : 1 part cadmium red
Here are two more blend recipes for the pinboard!
Yellow blend. Premo colors 3 parts raw sienna and 1part orange / yellow/white
Here is the printable recipe pattern.yellow and rose
Rose blend 1 part red and 1 part purple / fuchsia / white
I used these two and the turquoise blend for this cane from the Quilt Kaleidoscope Tutorial.
This afternoon I’ve been experimenting with more color blends to add to my pin board of color recipes. I’ve been trying to find good turquoise or aqua color blends.
This one is 5 parts ultramarine and 1 part green/ the middle is 5 parts turquoise to 1 part green/ sunshine. I think the sunshine made it too green to be a good Turquoise so I just call it Cool Green. Next time I’ll try just the two greenish colors in a straight Skinner blend. Here is the printable template for both blends. aqua blend
This next one is a beautiful aqua blend!
The upper left corner is 5 parts ultramarine to 1 part green. The middle is turquoise and the lower corner is white.
Since I wanted to modify the cool green blend a little, I just ran it through the pasta machine with the aqua blend to make a mixed blend!
I had fun modifying blends. Instead of starting over with a blend, sometimes you can make what you want by mixing in a new color. This was a dark turquoise made from the 5:1 ratio in the top blends blended with white. I wanted it to look a little more green so I mixed in a small strip of sunshine. Doing this also gives it less of a dark to light contrast. If I wanted to maintain the strong contrast I would have had to modify it with another dark to light blend. However, sometimes you definitely want to even it out a bit and this is a good way to do it.
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!