Windmill Quilt Block Cane in Polymer Clay

If you have fun with this post, come check out this month’s Cane Builder cane.

Notice that the triangles are different from each other. The colored triangles are the same size and shape, but the white is different. On one, the white is a right triangle exactly like the green. On the other, the white is a four sided shape with one of the sides at a slant to make the pink triangle into a larger triangle. It is important to copy the angles correctly.

Windmill cane

Here’s another version that I actually like better. I have to admit, I assemble these wrong every time and I have to cut them up and try again! It’s so hard to get the light color on the right part of the triangle.

There is a tiny video on the blended triangles on the polymerclayworkshop instagram. Sorry I can’t post it here. basically, you just stack a skinner blend into a block and squish two corners together to turn it into a triangle.

new pinwheel cane polymer clay pinwheel cane

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Millefiori Fondant Canes

I’ve never used fondant before, but for years now I’ve wanted to try making fondant canes! I finally picked up some pre-packaged fondant at the craft store because I was too lazy to make my own. It’s certainly different from polymer clay, but I found it to be more workable and forgiving than I expected. Of course, I’ve had many years of cane-making practice, so I have no idea what this would be like for a beginner. I made the fondant canes almost the same way I did in this tutorial  with a few differences. I painted a very thin layer of water between layers of color to make sure the sheets stuck together. I was able to reduce the canes a little, but for the most part I sliced them at the same size they were assembled. I used the same type of tools I use with clay, but brand new tools! Never eat anything made with the same tools or work surface you use with polymer clay. The tissue blade is necessary to slice clean slices. I thought I would need a pasta machine, but the fondant rolled out beautifully with just an acrylic roller. I use these tools only because I don’t know about cake making stuff. I sliced the triangles separately (rather than putting them all together before slicing as I did in the tute) and placed them on a base sheet of fondant. Again, a very small amount of water between pieces helps things stick. I also worked it and warmed it up in my hands. It is not easy to get things smooth. When I first sliced the canes, the face of the slices looked a little dull. They were also a little squished. I had to work each slice back to a nice shape before I could add it to the the sheet.

Once the cake was covered I rubbed it down with vegetable shortening on a paper towel.

Fondant Cake ToolsFondant Millefiori Zendoodle CakeFondant Zentangle Millefiori

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Polymer Clay Coffee or Tea Cup Canes

Brought to you by my Cane Builder subscribers. Thank you!!!

Step 1: Make a grey to white blend (or any color blend you want). You will be slicing it according to the marks indicated. Don’t worry about size as much a approximate proportion.

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Step 2: Stat with the biggest piece.

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Step 3: Form it into the shape you want for the side of the cup. You can change the shape as you go.

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Step 4: Slice four thin slices. This part isn’t entirely necessary, but I like the way it looks. The rim should be very thin. I’ve been very particular about where I want the dark and light, so I’ve added some extra steps.

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Step 5: Lay the slices end to end with dark and light touching.

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Step 7: Slice off part of one dark end as shown above. Attach it at the other end.

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Step 8: Cut this newly arranged strip in half.

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Step 9: Add one half to the cup shape. Match dark to light and light to dark. Notice the darkest part isn’t exactly touching the lightest part. It will take some work to get it to fit. If necessary, slice off some of the edge to make it fit.

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Step 10: Pinch the side of a log of brown clay so that the end looks like a football shape.

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Step 11: Cut off the ends of this shape to make it fit and to make nice, crisp, edges. Even thought the pictures show the next three steps attached to the main project, it may be easier to make the coffee, inside wall, and rim all together first and make sure there is a smooth curved edge to add to the cup.

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Step 12: Form the next largest section into a thin, curved line that will look like the inside wall of the cup. The light and dark should be opposite from the big side of the cup. Leave room for the rim.

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Step 13: Add The rest of the rim. Make sure it looks seamless with the bottom part of the rim. Thats why I said earlier, that you may want to put these three parts together first and then make them all fit the cup together.

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Step 14: Now for the handle. Place the last two piece together with the white touching. Squish these together very well. Otherwise they will come apart. Cut off the darkest part of one end. This little piece will not be used.

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Step 15: Attach a teardrop shape of the background color to the side of the cup. Wrap this with the bend that has been formed into a handle. Make sure it’s the shape and size you want. You make have to further squish or slice some off.

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Step 16: Pack in the background. Here are a few pictures of how I did it.

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coffee cup22

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Please come see what’s happening at Cane Builder this month!

 

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Polymer Clay Tile Cane Tutorial

Here are the stills from this time-lapse video.

Premo brand: Ultramarine, Turquoise, White.

The gold blend recipe can be found here.

movie1

For more fun tutorials check out my etsy shop or my Cane Builder Publication!

time lapse tile

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In Honor of Pansies

I’ve always been a wallflower. Waiting to be seen. Waiting to be told that I am worthy of honor. My joys have been secret joys. Dancing in wildflowers, nostalgia, beautiful china tea cups and tea parties, fairies. Often these delights were mocked, despised; at best passed over by people I was looking to to see if I mattered. So they were hidden away in the china cabinet and never used. Recently I’ve been taking them out, one by one, every morning and honoring them again. Taking joy. Celebrating what I love. And look, it turned into something beautiful to offer. That’s what happens when you go back and dig out those things you were once despised for. It turns out it was beautiful all along. What others once held in contempt becomes the soil and seeds of your best creative efforts. This seems so grandiose for something as inconsequential as a little pansy cane. But that is the small-hearted voice talking. Nothing is inconsequential about a piece of beauty and joy.

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Window Cling Faux Stained Glass

When Shea sent me this picture of faux stained glass, it was love at first sight! I begged her to write a tutorial and we agreed to offer it through my etsy shop.

Here is the tutorial. https://www.etsy.com/listing/511149425/polymer-clay-faux-stained-glass-tutorial

One of my goals for this year is to focus more on collaboration. I haven’t tried it yet myself, but I can think of many possibilities. I love the fact that this can be customized to be the perfect fit for my space. These window clings stick right to the window. I also want to try this to cover a lantern.

sculpey-stained-glass

She even sent this little bird to me. It was fun to see it in person! My house is full of windows and lots of light.

stained-glass-bird

 

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Polymer Clay Canework Fish Sculptures

To continue with my experiments with canework animals I decided to try this month’s cane with this fish tutorial.

This post might also be helpful for those of you who want to try this crazy color scheme in premo brand clay.

Rainbow fish

For these fish I used the Reddish purple color and my all time favorite gold blend.

I also used a green blend. The dark green is a mix of 4 parts purple to 5 parts green (purple is a wonderful mix-in for more natural-looking green or a dark green that isn’t too blue). The light green is wasabi. I added that bottom strip of wasabi last minute because I new it would be too dark if I didn’t!

 

The purple is a mix of equal parts ultramarine blue and purple. Just a normal Skinner blend with white.

Polymer clay lilac blendPolymer clay canework fish

Zentangle fish

Finally, here is a variation of a kaleidoscope with this month’s canes and this color scheme.

Jewel tone clay color scheme

 

 

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